Ian Fleming's Brown Sugar Punch

Alex Van Buren
Food Features Editor
August 1, 2014

An early edition of Ian Fleming’s book Diamonds are Forever, published in 1956. (Illustration credit: Pat Marriott, Jonathan Cape, 1956)

Some scintillating things came to light at a panel called “Bottled in Bond: Ian Fleming & 007" at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans a few weeks ago. Two gentlemen and cocktail savants, Simon Rich and Philip Greene—both of whom were wearing tuxes, natch—talked about the boozy life of author Ian Fleming’s most famous hero, James Bond. We learned that Bond’s signature vodka martinis bumped up sales of that spirit, and that the first instance the line “shaken, not stirred” was uttered was in Fleming’s 1956 book “Diamonds are Forever.” 

In addition to the trivia gleaned about 007, we learned a good bit about the writer’s precise drinking and dining habits. Among them? He was in the market for a woman who “can make sauce béarnaise as well as love.” 

Well, then. 

Fleming eventually lived and wrote in Jamaica full-time, coming to love the local food and indulging in a brown sugar punch we think sounds fit for tiki-themed summer fêtes. Proceed with caution: It’s insanely high proof, and you should keep a fire extinguisher handy if you decide to light it all on fire. 007 would have.

Brown Sugar Punch
Serves 6-10

1 750-ml bottle of dark rum
1 entire lemon peel (plus more for garnish)
1 entire orange peel (plus more for garnish)
3 Tbsp. dark brown sugar

Simmer all ingredients together until hot, but not boiling. Carefully transfer to bowl and place in sight of guests. (Have a fire extinguisher at the ready!) Use match to set punch alight. Allow to burn for several seconds, extinguish flame, and garnish with small lemon or orange peels.