Knockout Punches


Story by Becky Speere

Ulupalakua Punchr recipeThe house looks spectacular, the menu is set, the prime rib is on low in the oven, and you’re chilling the wines for the food pairings. Then you glance at the clock and realize you won’t have the time or the energy to play bartender. Your friends will soon be arriving, and you could be tied up at the bar for an hour, pouring and shaking and more pouring and shaking — when you’d like to enjoy the party, too!

Who comes to the rescue? Your mother! Well, not exactly Mom, but her holiday rum punch recipe. Out comes the antique punch bowl she gave you, the one you have dragged to every new house, but hardly ever use. You scan Mom’s recipe and are tickled to see that you have all the necessary ingredients: passionfruit juice, some inexpensive bubbly, and rum. You think to yourself, ‘This will be easy.”

And if you’re thinking, “What recipe from Mom?” don’t worry. Thanks to executive chefs Cameron Lewark of Spago Maui, and Tylun Pang of Fairmont Kea Lani, we’ve got you covered with a one-two punch.

Ulupalakua Punch

Our thanks to Tom Bean, manager of Chef Tylun Pang’s Ko restaurant at the Fairmont Kea Lani, for creating this holiday punch. Tom says, “Instead of regular ice cubes, try cubes of frozen juice to chill the punch without watering it down.” We like his suggestion of using frozen chunks of mango  and pineapple even better.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.


  • 2 c. organic Deep Island Rum
  • 1 bottle MauiWinery’s Hula o Maui pineapple sparkling wine (or prosecco)
  • 1 c. pineapple juice
  • 1 c. liliko‘i (passionfruit) juice
  • 1 c. cranberry juice
  • 1 c. guava juice
  • 1 tsp. ginger purée
  • frozen pineapple and mango chunks

Method: Assemble juices, ginger puree and Deep Island Rum in a punch bowl. Add frozen fruit chunks and stir mixture well. Add the Hula o Maui pineapple sparkling wine. Ladle into punch cups. Enjoy!


no ka oi punch recipeNo Ka ‘Oi Punch

Executive Chef Cameron Lewark created this holiday punch for our test kitchen, using ginger ale he made at home, and we can attest that it was delicious. If you’re feeling adventurous, you’ll find his recipe below.

Makes 16 to 20 4-ounce servings.


  • 2 c. dark rum
  • 2 c. light rum
  • 2 c. pineapple juice
  • 8 c. ginger ale (homemade or store-bought; see recipe below)
  • 1 c. fresh lime juice
  • 1 c. simple syrup
  • 1 c. grenadine
  • 4 c. assorted berries (i.e. raspberries, blueberries, strawberries)

Method: Place all ingredients in a punch bowl and stir. To serve, place ice cubes in glass, ladle in punch and a few berries.


Ginger Ale

Yield: 2 liters


  • 9 c. spring or well water
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/4 c. fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 c. cane sugar
  • 1 tsp. active dry yeast

Directions: In a large pot, bring 4 c. water, cream of tartar, lemon juice and fresh ginger to a full boil. Reduce heat to medium, add the sugar and stir until it’s dissolved. Add remaining (cold) water to the pot, and allow it to cool to around 75°. Add the yeast, stir, and cover the pot with a kitchen towel. Set pot in a dark place for 3 hours.

Using a fine strainer, strain the liquid into a pitcher to remove all the grated ginger. Pour the brew into a clean 2-liter plastic bottle (or two 1-liter bottles) with screw cap. (Soda bottles, carefully cleaned, work well.) Do not completely, as fermentation creates carbon dioxide, causing pressure to build up in the bottle. Place the bottle in a warm, dark room for 2 days for a sweeter ginger ale, 3 days for a drier ginger ale. The longer the ale sits, the more it ferments, becoming ginger beer.

One to three times a day, loosen the cap to relieve the some of the pressure without opening the bottle all the way. Be careful in this process, and do not point the bottle at anyone’s face—including your own. When the ginger ale has finished brewing, store it in the refrigerator. (Chilling it slows the fermentation process.)

Pour in a glass and enjoy as is, add a splash of rum and lime juice, or mix with our No Ka ‘Oi Punch.


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