Caribbean cocktails! Of course some some famous names instantly come to mind and in fact there are many cocktails of world fame out there which originated in the Caribbean. Whether you demand a mojito, a Daiquiri or a Caipirinha – in almost every bar they will more or less know what you want and will serve you the corresponding drink; in whatever quality. But who knows right away what a Ti’ Punch is?
People in many former French overseas territories will know for sure! For it is the Ti ‘Punch’s home. Especially on the isle of Mauritius, La Reunion and of course on the Caribbean isles of the French Antilles you will get a Ti’ Punch whenever you desire it. But no matter whether you’re having a Ti’ Punch on the beach of Guadeloupe or in your home’s basement somewhere in central Europe: The Ti’ Punch will always be made of one essential ingredient: the Rhum Agricole.
But what actually is Rhum Agricole? Without a claim of giving an encyclopedic definition or presenting an abstract on that matter, Rhum Agricole can be defined as a distillation of pure cane juice, which differs from regular rums that are made of cane sugar molasses. Now you might think that this difference is kind of lapidary and only liquor enthusiasts will pay any attention to such details, but those who have tried Rhum Agricole will surely understand that it is a fundamentally different drink compared to regular rum.
Rhum Agricole tastes much bitterer and drier than his famous name relatives and offers quite often even greenish and earthy notes on the palate that might appeal more to whiskey drinkers than to rum lovers. But even here there are several varieties.
Who wants to mix a Ti ‘Punch, (short form for Petite Punch) doesn’t need much. Depending on the recipe, only lime (juice) and sugar (syrup). There are no fixed proportions of the ingredients and if you’ll order a Ti’ Punch on one of the French Antilles it’s very likely that you will get a bunch of ingredients to your table to mix them for yourself. So everyone can prepare her or his Ti’ Punch as she or he likes it most. A common phrase regarding this is: »Chacun prepare sa propre mort« (“Everyone is preparing his own death”).
I like the Ti’ Punch in the way shown in the following recipe. If you look at the way of mixing it, it is hardly surprising that the Ti’ Punch is very often compared to the Caipirinha. But what’s missing is, of course, the Cachaça. A Ti’ Punch is all about Rhum Agricole!
5-6 cl Rhum Agricole
3 lime quarters
2 bar spoons of brown sugar
Preparation: Add lime quarters and sugar to your glass and gently press them with your muddler so the juice and sugar can combine. Add Rhum Agricole and stir. Serve with ice in a separate glass.
Buying sources: In most supermarkets you will probably look in vain for Rhum Agricole, so you may have to visit a specialized retailer or simply order everything you need online.