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Yo-Ho-Ho and a Bottle of Rum Punch

There's a little extra love in this Caribbean rum punch. It's not just the freshly squeezed orange and lime juice, or the fun ice-and-fruit float, it's taking the time to make your own spiced rum. It's super simple and you can totally steal the rum recipe to make and give to friends and family (or a pirate).
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 days 45 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 12 cocktails
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Spiced Rum:

One 750-millileter bottle white rum

5 whole allspice berries 

5 whole cloves

1 whole star anise 

One 3-inch piece orange zest 

1 vanilla bean, split

1/2 cinnamon stick

Punch Base:

1 cup sugar

4 cups fresh squeezed orange juice 

1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice 

6 dashes bitters, such as Angostura

4 cups mixed orange slices, lime slices, pineapple wedges and maraschino cherries, plus more for garnish

One 2-liter bottle seltzer

Ice cubes, for serving


Special equipment:
a 8-inch cake pan
  1. For the Spiced Rum: Remove the cap from the rum bottle and drop the allspice, cloves, star anise, orange zest, vanilla bean and cinnamon stick into the bottle. Reseal and let sit at room temperature for 2 days to up to a week, shaking it once a day.
  2. Put 2 cups of ice cubes in an 8-inch square cake pan and layer in half of the fruit. Top with another 2 cups of ice and then the remaining fruit (the ice cubes keep the fruit from sinking to the bottom). Fill with water and freeze until solid, about 6 hours.
  3. When ready to serve, combine the sugar with 1 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Stir together the sugar syrup, orange juice, lime juice and bitters in a large punch bowl. Pour the rum into the punch bowl, through a fine mesh sieve, and discard the spices. Let the ice island sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes, unmold and float in the punch. 
  4. Fill a highball glass with ice cubes pour in 1 cup of punch. Top with about 2 ounces of seltzer and the garnish of your choice.