How to make:
Traditionally the limes used to make this drink are not cut into slices or wedges. Instead a round disc is cut from the side of the fruit. These are cut large enough that some of the fruits pulp backs the peel on the disc.
POUR the rum and sugar into glass. Then SQUEEZE the lime disc between finger and thumb before dropping into the drink. This expresses the oil from the skin and little of the juice into the Ti’Punch. Lastly SWIZZLE (stir) and consider adding ice - either one of two large cubes depending on glass size or preferably a small chunk of block ice.
The lime disc in the drink is garnish enough but consider expressing a lime zest twist over the drink and then discarding.
This drink only works when made with authentic rhum agricole and pressed sugar cane juice cane boiled down to make thick and syrupy or demerara sugar syrup (rather than sugar syrup made from refined sugar). Rhum Agricole is a style of rum distilled from fermented cane juice, in contrast to most other styles of rum which are made from fermented molasses.
As the name suggests – this drink is punchy – the rhum agricole tends to be 50% alc./vol. and even if you choose to add ice then dilution is negligible. However, the all-important sugar cane juice adds flavour and smooths the rum, so yes, its punchy but it’s also very pleasing to drink.
Ti’Punch varies tremendously depending on who is making it, but there are four key elements that make a Ti’Punch a real Ti’Punch – best remembered by 5 x S’s as follows:
Swizzle - the ingredients are mixed in the glass in which the drink will be served using a swizzle stick. Such swizzle sticks tend to be used to mix long drinks with crushed ice, but the Ti’Punch is a very short drink often served without ice. The use of a swizzle stick is simply a quick way of ensuring sugar rum and lime are properly mixed in the base of the glass. A Ti’Punch should never be shaken, blended or even stirred in a mixing glass.
Short - Ti’Punch is a very short drink with a liquid volume of less than 2oz /60ml. While a Ti’Punch is basically the size of a shot and often served without ice, it should never be served in a shot glass. The perfect Ti’Punch glass is a very small tumbler with a brim slightly larger than the base so allowing the drinker to appreciate the fragrant aromatics.
Simple - the Ti’Punch is an incredibly simple drink – classically with just three ingredients.
Self - in the Caribbean it is common for bars to serve a Ti’Punch as a shot of rum in a glass with discs of lime and sugar on the side so the drinker can combine exactly to their own tastes. In Martinique they say, “Chacun prépare sa propre mort”, which translates as “prepare your own death”.
Spoon - due to the above, it is also common for Ti’Punch to be served with a small spoon.
Sunrise/Sunset - on the French islands of the Caribbean, a Ti’Punch is often served for breakfast in a similar manor to grappa and espresso in Italy. The Ti’Punch is also served with lunch and dinner – indeed from sunrise to sunset. It’s usual to use rhum blanc (unaged white agricole rum) during the day and rhum vieux (aged agricole rum) during the evening.
Named “Ti”, Creole for the French word 'petit', this is literally a small rum punch and unlike most rum punches, it is not lengthened with water or juice – and often without ice, despite the warm climate from where it originates.
It is the national cocktail of the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe where “Ti” is pronounced ‘Tee”. It is also popular in Réunion, Maurice, Haiti, French Guiana and other French-speaking Caribbean islands. On these islands, it's often drunk straight without adding ice and chased by a large glass of chilled water (called a 'crase' in Martinique).