Dark Isles Luau: The Tepes Punch

The creeps all dance by the falls, the party’s at it’s peak.
The Dark Isles most famous guest arrives heralded by his caskets creak.
Dracula emerges, but on blood tonight he’ll pass.
Luckily tonight for this bar man he’ll take rum in his glass.

Bad poetry aside when Halloween comes about you have to think about the most famous of the monsters. Bela Lugosi played Bram Stoker’s titular horror in a legendary fashion that started not only horror films, but made vampire films into a industry. Since then we’ve seen the good (Anything Christopher Lee), the bad (Twilight), and everything in-between (Blackula). However honestly over the 4 years I’ve been doing this as a radio segment or a website I’ve just never been able to make a good vampire drink. It’s something I play with atleast twice a year and always shelve or turn into another drink. So this drink is a pretty proud achievement for yours truly. Not only did I clear the bar I set for myself but I’m really excited about it as well.


Brugal and Plantation are two of my favorite rums, and they combine really well in this. You can use Mount Gay if you must but it just lacks the complexity that really adds to this cocktail. Red wine was an addition I hadn’t thought of before and along with the honey was the key to making this idea work. Lime as always acts like a policeman to keep the drink running smoothly, and the touches of orange really aid the finish. We used Lees Fitch Cabernet in this wine but you could use a Cabernet based Meritage or even an oakier Syrah. It worked great in the cocktail even after being open and recorked a few days in the fridge. Heck it was almost better.

TepesPunch (4)

Tepes Punch
1 oz Plantation 5 Year Barbados
1 oz Cabernet Sauvignon (Lees Fitch or fruit forward cab)
1 oz Brugal White
¾ oz fresh lime juice
½ oz orange juice
½ oz honey syrup
1 dash orange bitters

Shake ingredients together and pour into a tall chimney glass. Garnish with a rosary and orange or blood orange slice.


Notes of dark cherry, oak, orange peel, and honey greet the nostril. The wine, rum, orange, and honey all make great dance partners. The tannin adds a great balance to the citrus and sweet, but doesn’t overpower. Red berry, vanilla, tannin and cane fade into notes of orange peel and honey. Notes of molasses, vanilla, and jam bring up the end in a pleasing wine like finish.

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Thanks for joining us on the Dark Isles this month folks. We hope your holiday month has been gloriously ghouly to tide you over during the lame ones to come. Whats your favorite part of the holiday? Okole Maluna and until next time…


“You get Hammered America” -JFL


About JFL

Joey or JFL as he is known by friends is a culinary trained mixologist from the Heart of Dixie Birmingham, Alabama. From a weekly column in the St. Clair News Aegis to his own experiments online JFL never stops doing work on Tiki and Cocktails. When he's not studying all things spirit, wine, and beer he's pursuing his own odd interests such as cartoons, cheesy old horror movies, horror punk, hair metal, and hockey
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One Response to Dark Isles Luau: The Tepes Punch

  1. Pingback: MxMo CII: Spooky Sips | Rated R Cocktails

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