As the weather gets colder, what's better than warming up with a cup of hot apple cider? Even if you prefer your beverage cold, nothing cements the holiday season like some apple cider. However, what makes this drink even better is when you can add something special to it. While most people would choose to spike their cider with alcohol, we prefer a non-alcoholic version.
Fortunately, Seir Hill has you covered with Biscane, a rum alternative that offers the same flavor notes and delicious smoothness but without the hangover. As holiday parties ramp up during the season, you can enjoy cocktails like an apple cider rum punch without the guilt or unhealthy side effects.
Rum punch is one of the easiest drinks to make, and when you add apple cider to the mix, you have something that will make you the hit of your next gathering. So pop a bottle of Biscane, and let's get mixing!
A Brief History of Apple Cider Rum Punch
Since this cocktail blends both rum punch and apple cider, we'll look at the history of both beverages and how they blend so perfectly to make something both smooth and refreshingly tasty. Let's start with apple cider because it dates back to ancient times, making it one of the oldest drinks in the world.
Apple Cider and Ancient Civilizations
What's really fascinating about the history of apple cider is that the fruit itself wasn't used for eating for much of the ancient world. Instead, people grew apples simply to make cider. And, by letting the mixture ferment for a few days, old ciders had naturally-occurring alcohol, making them even more delicious.
The Egyptians grew apple trees along the Nile river as far back as 1300 BCE, and the Romans encountered cider after visiting (and conquering) the British Isles. The drink was so popular that it spread fast throughout the empire, making cider a global phenomenon. This trend would continue well into the colonization of the Americas, as apples were much easier to grow than barley and other beer-making ingredients.
A History of Rum Punch
So, early apple cider was already alcoholic, but did people mix it with punch back in the day? There are no official recipes, so it's hard to say, but we have to imagine that there was some crossover. Rum punch is one of the oldest cocktails, dating back to the early 1600s. The first mention of punch was in 1632 in a letter from a British man in India. The first recipe dates back to 1638, when a German in India commented on a punch-like drink the locals made in the factory.
Based on this evidence, one would assume that punch was created in India as a local beverage but not officially codified into a cocktail until the Colonial powers found out about it. While early punches used local ingredients, British sailors started using rum as its base, hence the name "rum punch."
Punch was valuable for long voyages at sea because it stays relatively shelf stable without refrigeration, unlike beer and other alcoholic drinks. Once punch became the go-to beverage for sailors, its status was cemented in history.
The idea of mixing apple cider and rum punch has likely been around for a long time, and there are tons of variations on this cocktail. As we'll discuss, this recipe is hardly set in stone, and you can mix and match ingredients as you see fit.
Alcohol-Free Rum Punch for the Holidays
Apple cider rum punch works well for holiday parties because it's both festive and delicious. However, if you're celebrating Sober October or want to stay away from alcohol, you're in luck. Seir Hill's Biscane Rum is perfect for mixing and delivers a smooth and refreshing taste to this punch recipe. Now, you can drink multiple mocktails without the threat of a hangover or any embarrassing antics during Thanksgiving dinner.
Even if you're not trying to swear off alcohol entirely, substituting non-alcoholic rum for this recipe still makes sense. This way, everyone can enjoy a sip, and most people won't even know the difference.
What You'll Need to Make an Apple Cider Rum Punch Mocktail
As with all punch recipes, the great thing about this cocktail is that it's easy to make large batches. However, if you want the traditional punch experience, you should get a large punch bowl for serving. However, since this drink is best served chilled, you'll likely have to keep it in pitchers in the fridge until guests are ready to drink. Here's a breakdown of the equipment and ingredients necessary to make this mocktail.
- Pitcher - Make sure the pitcher is large enough for your guests, or use multiple pitchers to get a bigger batch.
- Punch Bowl - Nothing says "party" like an elegant punch bowl, complete with a serving spoon. However, this piece is optional if you don't want to buy one.
- Stirring Stick - With so much going on, you need a large enough stirring stick to mix the punch correctly. A long spoon works well, but you can be flexible.
Apple Cider Rum Punch Mocktail Ingredients
- Fresh Apple Cider - You can buy many varieties, so pick the one you like best.
- Apples - You'll slice your favorite apples and toss them into the punch for some extra flavor. We recommend Honeycrisp, but you can choose any variety.
- Oranges - Depending on the size of your party, one orange should suffice. However, if you like a more citrusy taste, you can add two or more to the mix.
- Biscane Rum Alternative - Ideally, you can use about one cup of rum for every half-gallon of cider.
- Orange Juice - You'll need about another cup of orange juice for every half-gallon of cider. You can either use store-bought or make your own.
- Cinnamon Sticks - These will add some extra flavor to the mix, and you can use sticks as a garnish for individual glasses.
How to Make Alcohol-Free Rum Punch
This is one of the easiest cocktails to make, and feel free to experiment with specific ingredients and amounts. Here's an excellent baseline to use for your first batch, which you can adjust as necessary.
- Step One: Slice Your Fruit - Cut the apples and oranges into thin slices. The more pieces you add to the beverage, the thicker it will be and the harder to stir. So, you should only use one apple and one orange for this recipe, but you can scale up as necessary.
- Step Two: Add the Ingredients - Pour one cup of rum, one cup of fresh orange juice, and a half-gallon of fresh cider into a pitcher. This container is ideal because it fits into a refrigerator more easily. Then, toss the cinnamon sticks on top (two or three should suffice).
- Step Three: Stir and Chill - Stir everything evenly for a few minutes. Then, place the pitcher in the fridge for at least two or three hours. The longer you let the punch steep, the more flavor you can extract from the apple and orange slices.
- Step Four: Serve - You can either pour the punch from the pitcher or transfer everything to a large punch bowl.
Alternative Options for a Rum Punch Mocktail Recipe
Although this recipe is mighty tasty, there are endless ways to make it your own, including:
- Add Mulled Spices - These spices will add an extra kick to the punch and make it a bit more festive. Be sure to add a little spice at a time, so it doesn't overwhelm the mocktail.
- Use Blood Oranges - These oranges have a bolder, fresher flavor and can make the punch look more intense.
- Add Cranberries - To add more flavor, crush the cranberries first before adding them to the punch. Or, if you don't want to drink mushed cranberries, you can slice them in half. Since these fruits are slightly bitter, we recommend only adding a handful to the mix.
If you're interested in making other mocktails with Biscane rum, you can find an ever-growing list here.