A few years ago on a lovely trip to Belize, we had an unpleasant incident with a scam artist who promised a wonderful day of sailing upon a gorgeous boat (payment due upon booking, of course). Unfortunately, the boat he showed us was not his vessel and the day on the water went by the way of the unicorns. Fortunately, I was able to meet with a tourist police officer and file a complaint. I enjoyed this lady and our conversation went far past my complaint. Since her shift had ended and I was her last appointment, she invited me for cocktails in town. Leaving the rest of my crew at the pool, I crawled beside her in the police golf cart for a short ride to a tiny, primitive bar on a side street where the locals stopped on the way home from work. She ordered for both of us and a tall, murky red drink in a disposable cup appeared in front of me. One drink of this magical elixir and I was hooked! It was sweet, fruity and tropical tasting – perfect for alleviating the stress of the day! One drink led to another, and I think another after that. They couldn’t be strong since I couldn’t even taste the alcohol! Laughing, my new friend told that it was stronger than I thought and it was her favorite afternoon treat before going home to her four teenaged children. I asked her what was in it and almost fell off my stool when she told me it was coconut rum and Hawaiian Punch! Well, I do believe that she was accurate in her assessment of it being much stronger than I originally thought. After bidding my new friend a fond farewell, I began walking back to my hotel. I had the wonderful idea of stopping at the liquor store and grocery to get the ingredients to share this with everyone! A big, cheap bottle of the local coconut rum was an easy score and the grocery had a gallon sized jug of Hawaiian Punch…..for the low, low price of $12 USD. $12 for something that is less that $2 back in the States? In my euphoric, tipsy stupor, I thought that was a rockin’ steal and much fun was had by all back at the resort sipping on my new discovery.
Well, back home, I wanted to improve upon my favorite cocktail, adding some level of sophistication. I stumbled upon a copycat recipe for Hawaiian Punch that seemed to beg for coconut rum. After a bit of tweaking, my Belize Breeze Punch was born! So good poolside, beachside, or any time! Now, you could go the easy route and use store bought Hawaiian Punch. I have taken that shortcut a time or two, but if you can find the ingredients and have an extra 10 minutes, this version really does kick it up a notch. With each sip of my punch, I remember my police friend fondly and send her good energy and gratitude for making a stressful day into a wonderful day!
Belize Breeze Punch (Serves 8 – 10)
Recipe modified from Top Secret Recipes/Hawaiian Punch
- 2 cups cold water
- 2 cups pineapple juice
- 1 1/2 cups guava nectar
- 2 TBSP orange juice
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1/2 cup mango nectar
- 2 TBSP apricot nectar
- 2 cups coconut rum
- 2 cans Fresca Citrus Soda
In a gallon jug, stir all ingredients together. Fill several tall glasses with ice. Pour your punch over the ice, garnish with a pineapple slice, an orange slice, or a fun tropical umbrella! Sit back, imagine the waves crashing on the surf as you take a sweet, fruity sip! And yes, they are stronger than you think. Be careful!