Hillery & Son is an authentic Premium Jamaican Rum Punch. Created from the closely guarded Bryan family recipe. At least that is what the marketing says anyway!
Upto now the site has focused on rums and spiced rums. We have featured the occasional liqueur but never any pre-mixed drinks or any of the “rum beers” which have sprung up over the past couple of years.
In order to keep the site “on trend” we will in future cover rum based curiosities such as those mentioned in the previous category.
Hillery & Son Rum Punch recipe is dating back over 100 years. A blend of exotic fruit, infused with the finest premium Jamaican white rum. Although it isn’t detailed on their website Hillery & Son currently use J Wray and Nephew White Overproof in their punches. Which is a big tick in the box from me.
Marlon Bryan founded the company in 2012. After three years of growth and development of the brand, Hillery & Son is now becoming more availabled across the UK in pubs, bars, carnivals, festivals and events such as The Rum Kitchen, Notting Hill Carnival and Beach East in the Olympic Park and Nottingham. Hillery & Son is also currently stocked in over 20 retailers across London. Including Drink Supermarket where I picked up my bottles.
Hillery & Son’s rum punches are available in three flavours Fruit Punch, Grape and Strawberry. They retail at around £3.50 per 250ml bottle. They are also available in 750ml bottles as well. I haven’t seen this for sale so I am not sure how much they are.
It would be easy to dismiss them as another faddy “alcopop”. Until you realise the ABV on the bottle. At 11.6% ABV these punches are more in keeping with a white wine than an alcopop.
The punches contain imported syrup’s from Jamaica and fresh exotic fruit juices. With Wray and Nephew as the rum base I’m expecting quite a substantial rummy kick. Perhaps a bit of twist on the famous “Ting Wray”.
I’m not Jamaican but Worthy Park’s distillery manager Gordon Clarke has tasted these punches and was very much in favour of them!
Original Fruit Punch
The bottles pictured to the right are the old design. The first photo in this article shows the new bottles.
I spoke with the makers of Hillery & Son prior to tasting their punches. On their website they have a number of suggested cocktails and ways of mixing their punch.
I was advised as primarily a rum lover just to chill the punches in the fridge and then enjoy from a chilled glass. No ice and no mixer.
With exotic fruit juices I’m getting a lot of Mango, Peaches and Passion Fruit on the nose and syrup the punch is very sweet smelling. It reminds me a little of cartons of sweetened tropical fruit juice. To be fair that does it a little dis-service it smells a lot more inviting and much less synthetic than most of those.
What strikes me the most though is the wonderful funky Jamaican pot still overproof rum which is rising above all the sweet fruity flavours. You can smell the full 11.6% ABV.
Drinking this punch is very easy – too easy really. You get great full flavoured Jamaican Overproof rum and sweet juicy tropical fruits. It is sweet but has a nice balance and doesn’t become cloying.
Strawberry Rum Punch
Next up is the Strawberry flavoured punch. Which being honest is my least favourite of the three. Like the Original Rum Punch the Overproof rum does still come through and you get a nice satisfying rummy kick.
The Strawberry flavour is nice and authentic tasting and it’s quite enjoying. However, for my taste buds and preference its just a bit too sweet. It reminds me of Strawberry flavoured ice pops its just a shade too sweet for me to enjoy as much as the others.
I did end up mixing this one and I made a Basil Punch (mine didn’t look quite as good as the photo so I didn’t use my photo!
It was easy to make Lime Juice and touch of Basil. The Lime Juice cut rhough the Strawberry nicely giving the drink a slightly bittersweet taste which I much preferred.
Grape Rum Punch
Finally we come to the Dark Grape Rum Punch. Again like the other two punches the flavours are bold, sweet but not cloyingly so.
The nose reminds me in a big way of dark grape flavoured boiled sweets which for the life of me I cannot remember the name of!
Once again the Wray and Nephew is not overawed and is perhaps most noticeable in this variant. Drinking this I add a few ice cubes (against the advice given) and it remind me very much of Grape Flavoured Slush – which was always my favourite as a kid.
Add in some Overproof rum and I’m very much enjoying this “adult slush”. Very tasty.
Despite picking these up I was quite sceptical about them. They are certainly much better than the likes of the rum flavoured “beers” such as Fosters’ Rocks (it really doesn’t) and Cubanista.
These are sweet tasting cocktails in a bottle but they elevate themselves from mere alcopops or novelties as they have that huge authentic high ABV rum kick.
As I haven’t reviewed (or really sampled much Authentic Jamaican Rum Punch) I was toying with the idea of not giving these a score. However, I’ve been really pleasantly surprised by these and have thoroughly enjoyed them. They are a great summer drink – believe me if I had noticed them earlier in the year I would have picked them up! Apologies for the timing of the review if you are in the UK.
Certainly something worth looking out for next summer. Ideal for barbecues and sunny days outdoors. The two we might get anyway……