As much as rum punch is synonymous with the Caribbean, ‘ti punch reigns supreme in the French-speaking islands of this region as the punch of choice and may be the most significant contribution the French have made to the Caribbean. French cuisine may rank higher with “foodies” but after a couple ‘ti punches (which are normally served as a pre-dinner drink), typical French fare may be the last thing on your mind. Don’t trust me? You’re not the only one. That’s why we have Wikipedia: “A popular tradition is that of “chacun prépare sa propre mort” (roughly, each prepares his own death), where instead of serving the mixed drink, the bartender or host will simply place out the ingredients, and everyone will prepare the drink according to his or her own taste.” Make a ‘ti punch and prepare to die. That pretty much trumps french fries. They’re a French delicacy, right?
Short for “petit punch” (French for small punch), the kick to ‘ti punch is anything but tiny. Consisting only of rhum agricole/white rum, limes and raw sugar/sugar cane syrup, the drink is simple to make. Beach bar bums love their simplicity, especially when it comes to making cocktails (witness my seemingly never ending affinity for vodka tonics). The less complicated the drink, the better and that’s where ‘ti punch fills the bill perfectly.
This recipe for ‘ti punch comes to us from the folks at Rhum Damoiseau in Guadeloupe, whose virgin cane rum was awarded a silver medal by the Beverage Tasting Institute in 2013. Its availability in the US is limited but growing (currently available in NY, NJ, CT, MD, DC, DE, FL, GA, SC, RI and IL). Don’t currently reside in a state with those initials? Have no fear! This new fandangled thing called the internet allows you to purchase it from drinkupny.com and you don’t even have to change out of your pajamas or put your french fries down to do it. Added bonus – if you sign up for their newsletter, you get a free bar accessory. That’s the bingo!
2 parts Damoiseau Virgin Cane
2 bar spoons Sirop de Canne
2 pieces of lime disks
Method to Prepare the Lime
Choose a supple lime stored at room temperature. Roll it around in your hands to bring the oils to the surface. One lime can yield 4-6 proper lime disks. Cut from the side of the sphere so you are left with an inner core of lime, which can be juiced for other purposes. Each spherical lime disk should almost have equal parts lime pulp to lime skin.
Method to Prepare Your Cocktail
In your ‘Ti Punch glass, squeeze and twist the spherical lime disks to extract all of the juice into the glass. Add 2 bar spoons of good quality raw sugar or pure sugarcane syrup from Martinique on top of the lime. Add Rhum Agricole. Gently press down on the lime with a swizzle stick or a bar spoon and swizzle the cocktail, working it between two palms.
Add ice cube if you choose
As you can see, there is some swizzling involved but seriously, who wouldn’t want to swizzle a cocktail filled with rum? So gather your Damoiseau rum, sugar and limes and get to swizzling this holiday weekend. Just remember – death may be involved so swizzle at your own risk. And eat your french fries ahead of time. No one wants to eat a dead guy’s fries. That would be uncouth.
About Rhum Damoiseau – Rhum Damoiseau is the leading producer of Guadeloupe Rhum Agricole. The opposite of industrial rum distilled from molasses, Rhum Agricole begins with the finest selection of sugarcane, which are then pressed to extract the finest and most aromatic fresh sugarcane juice. It is distilled in the traditional way, inspired by the enjoyment of great brandies, particularly by Armagnac of southwestern France. Rhum Agricole is only produced in the spring months of the year during the driest season. The Appellation of Origin guarantees Rhum Damoiseau is crafted and bottled in Guadeloupe, at our distillery. Damoiseau must comply with standard of quality concerning, source and extraction of sugarcane, distillation, and aging.
Following the successful development of Rhum Agricole from Martinique in the United States, the category gets a new player from Guadeloupe. RHUM DAMOISEAU has introduced in select markets VIRGIN CANE RHUM BLANC and V.S.O.P. RHUM VIEUX. Rhum Agricole is the only rum in the world made from specific varieties of sugarcane, resulting in rum that is smooth and enjoyable. It is the choice style of rum for those who appreciate a terroir-driven spirit neat or in cocktails.