Martha Washington's Rum Punch

Matthew Kelly/Supercall

Nearly 300 years ago, George Washington wasn’t the only one working magic with liquor at his Mount Vernon home and distillery. His wife, Martha, enjoyed drinking the good stuff as much as she loved entertaining at home. This punch created for Mount Vernon by Dale DeGroff, is an approximation of the recipe America’s first FLOTUS may have served during one of the dinner parties at her and her husband’s Virginia estate. It’s a beautiful amalgam of two types of rum, baking spices and citrus—it’s not hard to imagine the lively conversations this rummy punch inspired.

Martha Washington's Rum Punch



  • 3 Citrus
  • 1 Orange, quartered
  • 3 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 6 Cloves
  • .5 tsp Spices
  • 4 oz Simple Syrup
  • 4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 4 oz Fresh Orange Juice
  • 12 oz Boiling Water
  • 3 oz Rum
  • 3 oz Dark Rum
  • Orange Curaçao
  • Lemon and Orange Wheels, for garnish


Step one

In a large bowl, mash the the orange, lemons, cinnamon sticks, cloves and nutmeg, then add the simple syrup, lemon and orange juices.

Step two

Pour the boiling water over the mixture in the bowl and allow to cool.

Step three

Once cool, add the white rum, dark rum and orange curaçao.

Step four

Strain the mixture through cheesecloth into a pitcher or punch bowl.

Step five

Serve over ice in punch glasses and decorate with lemon and orange wheels.

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