My last full day in Port-au-Prince was a swirl of activity. Like my arrival in Haiti’s capital, it was loud, hot, and overstimulating. Luckily, our robust agenda allowed time for a break at the historic, legendary Hotel Oloffson. And even more luckily, this break was for one of the Hotel’s delicious rum punches.
Hotel Oloffson is over a hundred years old, built in the ornate “gingerbread” style typical in the older, moneyed neighbourhoods in Port-au-Prince. Originally a private home, it was turned into a hotel in the 1930s and served as a draw for writers, artists, and celebrities into the 1960s. Today, the rooms bear nameplates identifying famous occupants, including Mick Jagger, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and novelist Graham Greene, who set his 1966 novel, The Comedians, at Hotel Oloffson.
Our mission, on a hot Sunday afternoon, was not to immerse ourselves in fiction, it was to get down to business in the Oloffson’s hotel bar. With open windows and plenty of seating, the Oloffson invites you to come in, get out of the sun, and have a rum punch or three.
Placing our orders, my group spread out across the bar and seating area and waited for our rum punches. The Hotel Oloffson rum punch is generally considered a classic version of the drink and, like many of the rum punches I enjoyed in Haiti, lived up to the legend.
The rum punches were refreshing in the mid-day heat and soon our group was boisterous and ready for more fun. We had to move on, but made a note to return (at some point in the future) for Thursday nights with RAM, the Oloffson’s house band, for their raucous dance parties – also a thing of legend.
Make the Hotel Oloffson rum punch
If you’re lucky enough to have some Haitian Barbancourt rhum on hand, you could be drinking a Hotel Oloffson rum punch in minutes:
- 2 oz Haitian dark rum
- 1 tsp maraschino liqueur
- 3 oz orange juice
- 1 1/2 oz lime juice
- 0.5 oz simple syrup
All about my trip to Haiti
For more about my G Adventures trip to Haiti, check out my Haiti travel section:
If you’re extra curious, explore my detailed Google Map of everywhere I visited in Haiti:
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