“Dates often begin in the small but elegant (Peninsula Grill) champagne bar, where bartenders set the mood with glasses of bubbly and cocktails inspired by the season,” writes Katie McElveen in the travel feature A Table for Two: Epicurean Elegance in Charleston.
LOCAL COCKTAIL LORE
The potent Planter’s Punch dates back to the 1800s and is often associated with Charleston’s famed original Planters Inn, which opened in 1809 and was favored by Lowcountry rice plantation owners who came to town for the winter. However, the earliest records of the fruity rum drink credit Jamaica as the origination of Planter’s Punch; and considering Jamaica’s plantation society, prevalence of rum, and taste for toasting—all attributes of Charleston during that era—it’s no wonder things got muddled.
It is little surprise that a historic city with a fondness for cocktails like Charleston would embrace a popular, time-honored cocktail like Planter’s Punch as its own. While we may not have originated the recipe, it’s a fittingly refreshing cocktail for Charleston, particularly in spring and summer months. As The Washington Post wrote in 1906, Planter’s Punch is “one of the simplest concoctions in the world and just the thing for hot weather.”
Peninsula Grill’s Version of Planter’s Punch
- 1¼ ounces dark rum 1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 ounce pineapple juice
- 1 teaspoon grenadine Orange slice, for garnish
- 1 maraschino cherry, for garnish
Fill a highball glass with ice, and pour in all of the ingredients. Stir to combine. Garnish with the orange slice and cherry. Cheers!