Puka Punch Cocktail Recipe

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Puka Punch Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 16, 2024


The Puka Punch is a classic Tiki cocktail with a vibrant blend of tropical flavors. It's a drink that captures the essence of island life and has been a favorite among beach-goers and Tiki enthusiasts for decades.

  • Origin: The exact origins are a bit hazy, but it's believed to have been created in the mid-20th century during the Tiki culture craze.
  • Popularity: It's a hit with those who enjoy a strong yet sweet and fruity cocktail.
  • Tiki Culture: The Puka Punch embodies the Tiki bar experience, with its elaborate garnishes and exotic presentation.

How Puka Punch Tastes?

The Puka Punch is a delightful medley of sweet, tangy, and tropical flavors with a robust kick from the rums. It's a complex drink where the honey's smooth sweetness complements the sharpness of the citrus, while the falernum adds a spicy undertone.

Interesting facts about Puka Punch

  • Versatility: The Puka Punch can be easily customized with different types of rum to suit one's preference.
  • Presentation: It's often served in a tall glass with elaborate garnishes, making it visually appealing.
  • Tiki Tradition: The drink is a staple in Tiki culture and is often used to showcase the art of tropical mixology.


  • White rum: 2 oz(60ml)
  • Fresh lime juice: 1 oz(30ml)
  • Dark jamaican rum: 3 oz(90ml)
  • Fresh orange juice: 3 oz(90ml)
  • Pineapple juice: 3 oz(90ml)
  • Passion fruit syrup: 3 oz(90ml)
  • Honey mix (honey with hot water): 4tsp
  • Falernum: 1 oz(30ml)
  • Angostura bitters: 1dash
  • 151 proof rum (optional): 3 oz(90ml)
  • Pineapple slice: 1
  • Orange wedge: 1
  • Maraschino cherry: 1

White Rum

The base spirit of the cocktail, providing a clean and slightly sweet canvas for the other flavors. It's used in a generous 2oz measure to ensure the rum character stands out. Too little, and the drink becomes a juice medley; too much, and you risk overpowering the subtler flavors.

Mary Mitkina

Fresh Lime Juice

Adds a necessary acidic punch—1oz of this keeps the cocktail balanced. Skip the lime, and you lose the sharp counterpoint to the sweet ingredients. Without it, you may end up with a cloyingly sweet cocktail.

Alex Green

Dark Jamaican Rum

At 3/4oz, this brings depth with its rich and often funky flavor profile. Missing out on this ingredient means missing a layer of complexity. It's like a painting without shadows.

Emma Rose

Fresh Orange Juice

Another 3/4oz of sweetness and tang. Fresh is key here – using something less vibrant could dull the drink. The OJ works in tandem with the pineapple juice for a full-fledged tropical embrace.

Mary Mitkina

Pineapple Juice

It's all about tropical vibes with this 3/4oz addition. Pineapple provides tartness and body. If you omit it, the drink feels less lush, less island-like. Imagine a luau without the hula; it's just not the same.

Alex Green

Passion Fruit Syrup

This syrup, also at 3/4oz, is the exotic heartbeat of the cocktail. Its perfumed, tangy sweetness is distinctive. No passion fruit syrup means no passion, and who wants a life without passion?

Emma Rose

Honey Mix

Our sweetener comes in the form of 4tsp of a honey-water blend. It adds a floral sweetness that granulated sugar just can't replicate. Skip, and the drink loses its smoothness. The bees work too hard for you to ignore their nectar!

Mary Mitkina


This clove-and-lime-laced syrup adds spice and complexity with just 1/4oz. It's the secret whisper in the crowd of flavors. If left out, the drink is still good, but it's like forgetting the glitter on a carnival costume.

Alex Green

Angostura Bitters

Just a dash adds a botanical complexity that ties all the sweet and fruity flavors together. Bitters are like the bartender's salt and pepper; without them, the drink might taste flat.

Emma Rose

151-Proof Rum (Optional)

The kicker, at 3/4oz, for those who like their punch with a punch. It adds a potent layer of alcohol and warmth. Omit if you prefer a gentler drink, but know it pulls back the cocktail's cape of invincibility.

Mary Mitkina


A pineapple slice, orange wedge, and maraschino cherry add that final touch of tropical flair and suggest you're about to embark on a liquid vacation. The garnish is not just decorative; it provides a hint of the flavors within.

Alternatives are possible, but each substitution will take you further from the sunny shores of Puka Punch.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Puka Punch Drink

  1. Prepare the honey mix: Combine 2 teaspoons of honey with 2 teaspoons of hot water and let it chill.
  2. Blend with ice: Add 1 1/2 cups of ice cubes into a blender and crush.
  3. Mix ingredients: Pour the white rum, dark Jamaican rum, fresh lime juice, fresh orange juice, pineapple juice, passion fruit syrup, chilled honey mix, falernum, and a dash of Angostura bitters into the blender.
  4. Blend: Blend everything on high speed until smooth.
  5. Garnish: Pour the mixture into a tall glass and slowly pour the 151-proof rum over the back of a spoon into the cocktail. Garnish with a pineapple slice, an orange wedge, and a maraschino cherry.

Pro Tips

  • Chill your glass: Before serving, put your glass in the freezer for a few minutes to keep your Puka Punch colder for longer.
  • Fresh juices: Always use fresh-squeezed juices for the best flavor.
  • Layering the 151-proof rum: Carefully layering the rum on top creates a beautiful visual effect and allows for a burst of stronger rum flavor with each sip.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

Grilled Seafood: The refreshing citrus notes of the Puka Punch would complement the smokiness of grilled shrimp or lobster.

Hawaiian Cuisine: The tropical flavors of the Puka Punch harmonize with dishes like poke bowls, kalua pork, or lomi-lomi salmon.

Spicy Asian Dishes: The sweetness of the cocktail can balance the heat from spicy Thai or Szechuan dishes.

Drink Pairings

Coconut Water: A non-alcoholic option that matches the tropical profile of the Puka Punch.

Iced Green Tea: The subtle bitterness of green tea can provide a pleasant contrast to the Puka Punch's sweetness.

Pale Ale: For beer lovers, a crisp pale ale might complement the cocktail's citrus and fruity notes.

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What you could change in Puka Punch

  • Rum: If you can't find dark Jamaican rum, a good quality dark rum will suffice.
  • Passion Fruit Syrup: In a pinch, you can use a mix of simple syrup and a splash of passion fruit juice.
  • Falernum: If falernum is not available, a homemade version can be made with almond syrup, cloves, ginger, and lime zest.

Explore all drinks starting with P here

And of course - twists🍹

Coconut Cream Puka Punch

Add 1/2oz of coconut cream to the mix before blending. The result is a creamier, silkier drink that whispers 'tropical paradise' a little more softly. It's the Puka Punch wearing a white, sandy beach robe.

Spicy Puka Punch

Muddle 1 slice of fresh jalapeño with the lime juice before adding the other ingredients. This fiery twist will dance on your palate like a luau fire dancer, adding an exhilarating heat that contrasts with the sweet, fruity flavors.

Berry Puka Punch

Replace the honey mix with raspberry syrup and add a handful of fresh mixed berries to blend. This berrylicious twist turns the cocktail into a fruit punch with a kiss of summer love, giving the drink a vibrant, ruby red allure.

In case you forgot basics how to make Puka Punch

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Puka Punch

What are the key characteristics of a Tiki cocktail?

Tiki cocktails are often characterized by their exotic, tropical flavors which typically include a combination of rums and tropical fruit juices. They are usually garnished elaborately and served in distinctive Tiki-themed mugs or glasses.

How can I measure the ingredients without a cocktail jigger?

You can use a tablespoon as a rough measurement guide. Typically, 1 oz is about 2 tablespoons.

Can I make Puka Punch in a large batch for a party?

Yes, Puka Punch can be scaled up to serve a large number of people. Just multiply the ingredients by the number of servings you need and mix in a large punch bowl. Remember to add the 151-proof rum layer and garnishes to individual glasses when serving.

What's the importance of the garnish in Tiki drinks?

Garnishes in Tiki drinks add to the visual appeal and can enhance the aroma and flavor profile of the drink. They're a signature part of Tiki presentation.

Can Puka Punch be made without a blender?

While traditionally blended, a shaken version can be made by shaking the ingredients, except for the 151-proof rum, with ice and straining it into the glass. The texture will be different, but the flavors will be similar.

What alternatives to 151-proof rum can be used for the layering?

If 151-proof rum is too strong or unavailable, you can use a less potent overproof rum or omit this layer for a lighter drink.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Puka Punch?

A mocktail version can be created by omitting the rums and using a non-alcoholic falernum. The overall flavor profile will change, but it will still offer a tropical taste experience.

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