Islamorada Punch TO PUNCH UP A PARTY


Naomi Blackburn has once again come up with a delightful recipe that will have you feeling in a Florida mood even if you are sweltering in the city. This tropical punch is even more fun when served in old time mason jars, as it’s shown here. A sure fire way to turn your next book club meeting into a party. For more of Naomi’s fabulous recipes, follow her at

I love the Caribbean..absolutely love it! I developed this drink to pay homage to that incredible place and to celebrate its’ simpleness and beauty.

On that note, It is mint season in the Blackburn home. As usual, the mint I grew without thinking about the the weed that mint can become if not put into check is taking over my garden. I have had to become creative in how I use it in recipes. One can only have so many mojitos before they become boring or I become drunk. Trust me, I have a lot more mint than that!!

So, the recipe concoctions have begun. This is the first recipe out of that marathon…

These are so tasty and go down so easily, it isn’t even funny. The mint flavor celebrates the essence of the Cuban mojito, but is much more subtle than the mint taste in a classic mojito. Anyone who has tried these have loved their smoothness. I use Maraschino cherry juice vs. grenadine because I don’t like the aftertaste and overpowering sweetness of grenadine. Feel free to use grenadine if you prefer.

So, here we go: The Ingredients:

1/2 to 1 lime, cut into 6 pieces ( I like my drinks with heavy lime, adjust to your tastes)
1 T. brown sugar
1 handful of fresh mint leaves
1 ounce cherry juice or grenadine
2 ounces rum
4 ounces Cherry 7-up


1) In large glass or shaker ( I use a mason jar for effect and ease), muddle lime, brown sugar, mint and cherry juice.

2) Add rum, 4 to 5 Maraschino cherries and a very generous helping of ice. Put on lid or shaker top. Shake for 60 seconds. If using a shaker, pour into a large glass

3) Top with Cherry 7-Up and stir gently. Garnish with an additional lime slice.

About the author

Bette Lee Crosby

USA Today Bestselling and Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby's books are "Well-crafted storytelling populated by memorable characters caught up in equally memorable circumstances." - Midwest Book Review The Seattle Post Intelligencer says Crosby's writing is, "A quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about important things in life and madcap adventures." Samantha from Reader's Favorite raves, "Crosby writes the type of book you can't stop thinking about long after you put it down." "Storytelling is in my blood," Crosby laughingly admits, "My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write." It is the wit and wisdom of that Southern Mama Crosby brings to her works of fiction; the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away. Her work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. She has since gone on to win nineteen awards for her work; these include: TheRoyal Palm Literary Award, the FPA President's Book Award Gold Medal, Reader's Favorite Award Gold Medal, and the Reviewer's Choice Award.

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