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No. 102: ‘Ti Punch

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‘Ti Punch, short for petit punch and best pronounced “tee paunch”, is the boisson préférée en Martinique. I’d never heard of it before this adventure. Superman, a bit more experienced, jumped right into the island vibe and enjoyed one on the Air Caraibes flight over.

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I had hoped to get to one of the rhum distilleries yesterday and learn about the process of making rhum from sugar cane, but oh la vache, our gas tank is still presque à sec, so we are only making short trips here and there, hoping we will have enough gas to make it to the airport.

Even though I’m not a hard alcohol enthusiast, I have come around to enjoying this punch over the last few weeks. It’s a simple and casual drink and it goes down smoothly.

‘Ti Punch is a combination of rhum, lime juice and cane sugar, all of which can be found freshly grown/made in this tiny island paradise. What I like about this easygoing drink is that en famille it is served déconstruit/deconstructed. Meaning, the rhum, limes and sirop de canne or sugar are put on the table and each person mixes their own drink to suit their tastes.

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As my dad used to say: “choose your poison”, or as I heard this week: chacun prepare sa propre mort (each prepares their own death).

Here is a simple recipe to get you started:

‘Ti Punch

2 fingers of Rhum Agricole

½-1 small Keylime, juiced

1-2 tsp cane sugar or cane syrup

Serve over ice and stir with a bois lélé (swizzle stick). Usually served as an aperitif—or, en Martinique, when the spirit moves you. Try spicing up the syrup with a bit of cinnamon or allspice to make it more festive.

Vocabulaire

An nou pran on lagout : Let’s have a glass of rum; créole

aperitif: before dinner drink

bois lélé: swizzle stick, créole

boisson préférée en Martinique: preferred drink in Martinique.

chacun prepare sa propre mort: each prepares their own death

en famille: with family (at a family get together)

oh la vache: holy cow

presque à sec: almost empty (as in the gas tank); literally, almost dry

rhum agricole: rum made from freshly-squeezed sugar cane juice and then distilled

sèk-sèk : a small glass of pure rum, créole.

Shrubb; rum made with marinated orange or tangerine rinds, served at Christmas

sirop de canne: cane syrup

un planteur: fruit juice and rum

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. I love Ti’Punch…it is so delicious. We always have a bottle of Rhum Agricole at home so we can make it whenever we feel like it…Nice post. (Suzanne)

    January 1, 2014
    • Thanks Suzanne. Have things warmed up in Canada? Happy New Year.

      January 1, 2014
      • No, not really. When we left yesterday, the temperature had dipped down to -23C and it was going to be that frigid for a few days. We are glad to be back in Paris where the sky is grey but the temperature is much milder at 10C…Happy New Year to you & your family!

        January 1, 2014
      • Holy Smokes that’s cold! Paris sound balmy compared to that. Enjoy the heat.

        January 2, 2014
  2. Ti-punch! I was in Guadeloupe for five years. Ti-punch helped. I will say Martinique makes some amaaaaazing rhum!

    January 6, 2014
    • The rhum is good. What took you to Guadeloupe for five years? Lots of striking going on there recently. I wish we had had the time to make a short trip there.

      January 6, 2014
      • Always striking or the threat of striking in Gwada. Love brought me there, and now we’re married and in Bordeaux. Each place has its good and not qo good but Guadeloupe for me was not the best. Better for vaction where the goal is to nothing!

        January 6, 2014

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