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Delicious and Festive Rum Drink With Cranberry Juice

Liz enjoys family recipies and cooking shortcuts. She is a capable cook, but it is not a passion for her, so simple meals appeal to her.

Raise your glass and cheer for the "rumboggery"!

Raise your glass and cheer for the "rumboggery"!

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Origins of a Secret Family Recipe

A grandaunt of mine invented this amazing drink many years back over the Christmas holidays. The red of the cranberry juice helps this drink fit in with traditional holiday decorations and flavors!

This drink is delicious and refreshing even on a summer day. As an iced drink, it is better suited to warm weather than winter, in my opinion.

The name she gave it ("rumboggery") comes from the combination of rum and cranberries—acknowledging that cranberries are grown in bogs.

The ingredients are simple!

The ingredients are simple!


For the drink:

  • 1.5 ounces (1 shot) light rum
  • 8 ounces cranberry juice
  • 5 to 6 ice cubes OR 1/2 cup crushed ice
  • splash club soda

Optional garnishes:

  • 1/2 orange slice
  • 2 maraschino cherries


  1. Put ice in a tall highball or iced tea glass.
  2. Add the shot of rum.
  3. Fill nearly to the top with cranberry juice.
  4. Top off with a splash of club soda.
  5. Stir briefly.
  6. Add garnish if desired.
  7. For larger quantities, mix in a large pitcher.
While growing, cranberries look pretty ho-hum.

While growing, cranberries look pretty ho-hum.

To harvest the berries, the bogs are flooded, and the berries float to the top, where they can be easily gathered.

To harvest the berries, the bogs are flooded, and the berries float to the top, where they can be easily gathered.

Hijinks and Grand Party Capers

This grand-aunt was a favorite of mine. Sadly, she lived 3,000 miles away in Massachusetts, so I only got to visit with her about nine times during my growing-up years, and once when my mother and I took my kids back east to meet that side of the family.

Aunt Eunice's mother was housebound and bedridden from the time I knew her, ("Great-Grand-Gram," to me), and Eunice and her sisters were always thinking up off-the-wall things to keep Mother entertained. There was the famous Groundhog Day Party, at which all of the hors d'oeuvres were spoofs of fancy restaurant fare served in multiple courses.

Their "Eight-Course Dinner" menu was as follows:

  • Aperitif: Cordial glassful of kool-aid
  • Fish course: A single sardine laid across a soda cracker
  • Soup course: A tiny cup of bouillon broth
  • Salad course: A single leaf of lettuce with a single wedge of tomato
  • Main course: Groundhog stew (actually beef stew)
  • Dessert course: A single scoop of lemon sherbet
  • After-dinner beverage: Coffee served in a demitasse cup
  • Grand finale: Two Junior Mints served with much flourish on a fancy paper doily

All of this fuss and bother for a party of four: Eunice, her two sisters, and their mother. (I don't actually recall from their story whether or not their brother [my grandfather] was present.) At any rate, Mama loved it, and it was the highlight of conversation for years afterward.

The decor for the "event" included silhouettes of groundhogs, clouds, and top hats. (Oh, did I forget to mention? Auntie was also quite the accomplished artist!)

© 2012 Liz Elias