A requiem for Clearwater, Florida’s much-loved and much-missed Kapok Tree Inn and Restaurant. For a generation, the Kapok Tree packed the house by offering exactly 3 dishes (fried chicken, ham, or steak of dubious provenance), lovely strolls through their magnificent and tacky Italianate gardens, and their Planter’s Punch to make all of it seem absolutely divine.
Frau van Food, before she was my fiancé, and I spent a lovely spring break in St. Petersburg, and it was during this trip that we decided to marry. We dined and drank at the Kapok Tree, but I swear the punch had nothing to do with my first proposal. That did, however, inspire both the name of this concoction and my choice of fruit.
Anyway, this is a riff on the potent Kapok Tree potable, less sweet and minus the offensive name meant to evoke a pre-Emancipation landowner’s lazy summer afternoon. The original recipe is all over the internet should you choose to have that one give you the spins.
Equipment and Supplies
- very large shaker or 1-liter sealable carafe
- Cots for those who pass out
- ¾ cup orange juice
- ¾ cup passion fruit syrup
- ¾ cup lime juice, unsweetened
- ¼ cup simple syrup, or 3 tablespoons sugar, more or less to taste
- 1 cup amber rum
- ¾ cup dark rum
- 6 tablespoons grenadine, real grenadine, divided
- Notify EMT services well in advance.
- Dump everything but half the grenadine into a Very Large Shaker or tight-sealing carafe. Shake, shake it all night long (this can be made in advance).¾ cup orange juice, ¾ cup passion fruit syrup, ¾ cup lime juice, ¼ cup simple syrup, 1 cup amber rum, ¾ cup dark rum, 6 tablespoons grenadine
- Pour a glass over crushed ice and float a splash of grenadine on top to make it real pretty and check the sweetness level. This may take several glasses. When you can’t make the float work, hand the keys to the grill and all flammables to a trusted family member or friend and set to making another batch to replace what you drank.6 tablespoons grenadine
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