A signature cocktail seemed like a good idea when you pinned it to your “holiday house party” board – not so much when there’s a lineup down the hall for drinks and you’re trapped in the kitchen trying to pull off your best Coyote Ugly impression.

The solution? Punch, says Tyler Newsome, bar director for Jamaican-Chinese restaurant Patois in Toronto.

His rule: Skip the mulled wine for something fresher, like his Boreal Sorrel Punch. This rum-based bevvy is a twist on the cosmo, which Newsome says — completely owning it, we may add — is one of his favourite drinks. Instead of cran juice, it incorporates sorrel (hibiscus water, popular in Caribbean cocktails) and falernum (a syrup that you can make on your own with rum or buy at a cocktail store). “The sorrel has this cranberry flavour, while falernum is a traditional rum-based Caribbean liqueur with spice and ginger,” he says. 

Also worth noting: This punch bowl comes from BYOB Cocktail Emporium in Toronto.


Here’s the full recipe: 

260 mL (9 oz.) J.Wray White Rum

130 mL (4.5 oz.) Cointreau

300 mL (10 oz.) hibiscus water (To make, mix 100 g dried hibiscus—available at most dry-goods stores—with 1 litre of water, boil and then steep for 30 minutes.)

130 mL (4.5 oz.) Falernum (You can make your own with rum — we’ve put the how-to below — or buy alcohol-free commercial syrup. For the latter, you may need to reduce the amount of lemon juice and add more booze. Taste test before your party.) 

150 mL (5oz.) Freshly squeezed lemon juice

Garnish with dehydrated lemon and a sprig of hibiscus.


Make your own Falernum:

1x 750mL bottle of J.Wray White Rum

20g Cloves

5 limes (Peel only)

50g Ginger (Grated)

50g Almonds (Crushed)

1000g water

1000g Sugar

In a saucepan toast the cloves on medium heat until the aroma builds then add the almonds.  Toast for another minute & add all remaining ingredients hold the rum.  Bring to a boil then reduce and simmer for 15 minutes.  Allow 30 minutes to steep then strain and add to rum.