Bajan Rum Punch

Bajan rum punch

Bajan rum punch

Health warning: Do not let the amazing and tantalising taste of a Bajan Rum Punch fool you: it carries the kick of a mule, hence this up-front warning!

Here’s the rhyme Bajan’s use to mix a traditional rum punch:
“One of sour, Two of sweet, Three of strong, and, Four of weak.”

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 cups Bajan raw cane sugar syrup
  • 3 cups Bajan rum (Burts preference is Cockspur!)
  • 4 cups water
  • A few dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Grated nutmeg
  • Some also add a glace cherry.

In a pitcher, combine the lime juice, syrup, rum, water, and bitters and stir well. Pour into glasses filled with ice, and sprinkle the nutmeg over the top.  Add a glace (cocktail) cherry if you must!

There you have a Bajan rum punch – just like Sammy the chief barman at the Powell Spring Hotel in Bathsheba used to make!

Drink responsibly.  Bajan Rum punch carries the kick of a mule!

PS.  The kids too can enjoy this recipe.  Just leave out the Rum and the nutmeg.  Add a glace cherry on a cocktail stick.  This virgin Rum Punch is known to Bajan kids as a Bentley.

Bajan Fried Flying Fish

Bajan flying fish

Bajan flying fish

There are a great number of variations on this favourite Bajan speciality. This is probably the favourite version, as described in John Lake’s book, The Culinary Heritage of Barbados. Flying fish is sometimes found frozen in the supermarket; if it’s not available, substitute any mild white fish, such as flounder.

  • 8 small flying fish fillets
  • Bajan Seasoning  as needed (see recipe)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Bread crumbs and flour, mixed
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • Lime slices and parsley for garnish
  • Bajan hot pepper sauce as needed (see recipe)

Rub the fillets with the Bajan Seasoning and a little Bajan hot pepper sauce, then dip them in the beaten eggs, then the bread crumbs and flour. Fry the fillets in the butter until lightly browned, turning once.

Serve garnished with the lime slices and parsley.  Sprinkle hot sauce over the fillets to taste.

Bajan Seasoning

Delish Bajan Seasoning

Delish Bajan Seasoning

Bajan seasoning is found in almost every home and is the secret to the success for many mouth-watering Bajan dishes.  One of the favourite uses is to place it between the meat and skin of chicken pieces before grilling, baking, or frying.

Note: This recipe requires advance preparation if you cannot buy a ready made alternative like Delish Bajan Seasoning.

  • 1 pound onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 5 ounces green onion, coarsely chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 bonney peppers, seeds and stems removed, or substitute habaneros
  • 2 ounces fresh thyme
  • 2 ounces fresh parsley
  • 2 ounces fresh marjoram
  • 1 1/2 cups vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauces
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons salt

In a food processor, combine the onions, green onion, garlic, and bonney peppers and process to a coarse paste.

Remove the leaves from the stems of the thyme, parsley, and marjoram. Place the leaves and the vinegar in a food processor or blender and liquefy.

Combine the onion paste, vinegar mixture, and the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cover, transfer to the refrigerator, and allow to sit for 1 week before using. The seasoning will keep in the refrigerator for at least 6 months.

Heat Scale: Hot

Bajan Hot Pepper Sauce

Errol Barrow

Errol W. Barrow, PC, QC was the first PM of Barbados.

This is Errol Barrow’s hot sauce recipe.

Errol Walton Barrow was Prime Minister of Barbados from 1961-76 and again from 1986 until his death in 1987.

In addition to a serving in the RAF in WWII as a Navigation Officer and being an accomplished barrister Errol W. Barrow was also an accomplished cook, who co-wrote “Privilege: Cooking in the Caribbean.  He noted: “Pepper sauce recipes can be adjusted to suit individual tastes: green papaya, green mango may also be used.”  We have modified this recipe slightly for the food processor-enhanced kitchen.


  • 6 large bonney peppers, seeds and stems removed, chopped
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 small cloves garlic
  • tablespoon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and boil for about 15 minutes. Adjust the consistency with water. Puree in a food processor or blender and bottle in sterilised bottles.

Book details:
Privilege: Cooking in the CaribbeanPrivilege: Cooking in the Caribbean
, Errol W. Barrow & Kendal A. Lee, published by Macmillan Caribbean, 1988

Privilege: Cooking in the Caribbean is a very special kind of cookery book. It was written by two West Indians from different islands, from different ethnic origins, different fields of work and different backgrounds. The great interest they both shared was their love of cooking and this also contributed to the friendship they shared.

Errol W. Barrow was a Barbadian, who in the course of a distinguished political career was Prime Minister of Barbados from 1961 to 1976 and from 1986 to his death in 1987.

Doctor Kendal A. Lee, was from Trinidad, a man of many cultured interests. Sadly, Kendal Lee  also died only a few weeks after Errol Barrow in 1987.

This book stands as a legacy of their wish to share their love of the rich diversity of good recipes from the Caribbean with others.