Ti'Punch Cup

Words by Simon Difford

Photography by Paul Stevens & Simon Difford

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‘Punch’ usually suggests a cocktail made in volume, or at least a long rather than short drink. To the contrary, a Ti’Punch is little more than a soupcon of a cocktail which traditionally consists of just rhum agricole, sugar and fresh lime. The Ti’Punch Cup challenges bartenders to reimagine the Ti’Punch while respecting its character and identity.

Served to kick-start the day or as an aperitif, the Ti'Punch is far more than a mere cocktail in Martinique, it's an important part of national pride and culture. So as their "Rhum" is so often the heart of this national drink, our friends at Clément launched the Ti'Punch Cup to "celebrate the art of the Ti'Punch".

Bartenders from all over the world have been invited to enter and the global final will be held in Martinique on the 12th-16th March 2018. Who will be those lucky bartenders basking in the Caribbean sun next March?

To decide this, a series of national finals are presently being held around the world and I was lucky enough to join Kiowa Bryan (Rhum Clément's US Brand Ambassador), Peter Holland (from the Floating Rum Shack) and Tiago Semblano (winner of the 2015 Ti'Punch Cup UK final) to judge the UK final and so sample all the Ti'Punch cocktails in contention.

Ti'Punch Cup UK Winners

It was a closely fought contest, but we judged the following three bartenders to have presented the best Ti'Punch cocktails:

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Ashera Goonewardene *WINNER*
from the Beachcomber in London with her

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Retour Chez Moi Ti'Punch
Glass: Vintage Nick & Nora
Garnish: Grapefruit zest twist
Method: Rub grapefruit zest around inside of serving glass. Squeezed grapefruit by hand directly into stirring glass and add other ingredients. Swizzle to mix and fine strain (to remove pulp) into serving glass (no ice). All liquid ingredients should be pre-chilled to ensure a cold Ti-Punch without the need to use ice and so add unwanted dilution.

40 ml Clément Canne Bleue
10 ml Lychi liqueur
5 ml Sirop
20 ml Guava juice

Inspiration: "Having worked with Rhum Agricole for a year I feel I am somewhat drawn to a place even though I haven't touched it's land. I believe Martinique provides more than Rhum, it's an escape from what is our day to day lives. A family, community, a life which breeds colour and soul. The food is hearty and full of spice, family and community seem to thrive amongst each other's energy and everyone comes together for Ti-Punch! It's interactive and sticky. Kinetic and sociable. There aren't any specs for it. It's just home. Let's go back home where there isn't an expectation or a specification, no judgement, just sugar cane! Retour chez moi."

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William Campbell-Rowntree *2nd Place*
from Alvinos Bar in Newcastle with his

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Historic Swizzle Ti'Punch
Glass: Collins
Garnish: Lime wedge, grapefruit slice & bamboo straw
Muddling the lime and grapefruit separately until the correct amount of juice is reached, the fruit must be muddled as the oils from the peel are a key element to the flavour and texture of the drink. As is relatable to a ti punch.
This can then be added to a glass, along with the other ingredients.
Add crushed ice to the glass and swizzle until all the ingredients are mixed and have reached the appropriate dilution and chill.

50 ml Clément Première Canne
10ml Muddled lime juice
10ml Coconut cream
15 ml Muddled grapefruit juice
20 ml Yellow Chartreuse

Inspiration: "My inspiration for this drink is the combination of fruit and tropical flavours, with the bold historic flavours that come from the French tradition of distilling, based on traditional methods, with a kick of new and interesting flavour combinations. Clement and Chartreuse work well together as bold busty flavours. Combining these with more tropical flavours that can be found all over the Caribbean in a style that is easily replicable."

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Alex Taylor *3rd place*
from Pennyroyal in Cardiff with his

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Power of 3 Ti'Punch
Glass: Rocks
Garnish: Spray mango absinthe over drink and garnish with dried mango skin
Method: Stir all ingredients with ice and fine strain into glass over a chunk of block ice.

50 ml Canne Blueu
20 ml Verdejo acid (0.5g ascorbic acid and 0.9g citric acid per 30ml of wine)
15 ml Mango Molasses (mango hearts cooked in bitter molasses and made into a 1:1 syrup)

Inspiration: There are three ingredients in a Ti-Punch, three culturally important rhums being produced at Le Simon, and three nations that fought for dominance in the Caribbean and for Martinique. Having smelt the rum, the first note I picked up on was mango, and I have used the entire of the mango in three parts, whilst ensuring that the slightly saline, vegetal and savoury notes of the rhum remain and are merely tempered by the converse flavours I add."

The other five UK finalists

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Sam Boulton (The Bureau, Birmingham)

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Chris Tanner (The Vault, London)

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Zaneta Leszczynska (ECC Chinatown, London)

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Remy Cousquer (Riverhut, Surbiton)

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Ben Todd (Home, London)

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2018 Ti'Punch Cup

Recipes from the 2017 final held earlier this year.

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The Gentleman's Ti'Punch by Bruno Simons of Mixing Tales Bar, Antwerp, Belgium
Glass: Small stemmed glass
Garnish: Apple peel & cinnamon
Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and strain through an infusion of apple with black cinnamon tea into chilled glass.
50 ml Rhum Clément V.S.O.P.
25 ml Lime juice
25 ml Sugar syrup

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Fleur de Clément by Caspar Mönniche of Mash Bar, Aarhus, Denmark
Glass: Small stemmed glass
Garnish: Edible flower & orange zest
Method: Swizzle all ingredients with crushed ice and fine strain into chilled glass (without ice).
40 ml Rhum Clément V.S.O.P.
15 ml Pink grapefruit juice
15 ml Agave syrup
10 ml Lime juice
Saffron spice

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972 Breakfast Martinique by Nicolas Margeot of Carry Nation Bar, Marseille, France
Glass: Metal mug (camping mug type)
Garnish: Lime wedge
Method: Using ingredients stored and directly removed from a refrigerator (alcohol and bitter included) muddle directly in serving mug, stir and serve.
2 slices of fresh ginger
4 spoons of Muscovado sugar
3 freshly squeezed wedges of lime
60 ml Rhum Clément V.O.
3 dashes Chocolate bitters

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Ti' Time by Marie Picard, Paris, France
Glass: Rocks
Garnish: Orange zest
Method: Pour lemongrass syrup into rocks glass. Add lime and kumquat and muddle. Then add Rhum Clement. Finish by misting drink with June Spirit.
10 ml Monin lemongrass syrup
¼ fresh Lime (cubbed)
1 fresh Kumquat
50 ml Rhum Clément Canne Bleue
3 sprays of Esprit de June

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Vas'y cé bon by Pierre Blin of Le Galion Bar, Cancale, France
Glass: Old-fashioned
Garnish: Serve with a glass of fresh water infused with lemon caviar and green cardamom.
Method: Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice cubes. Swizzle and double-strain into an old-fashioned glass with no ice.
60 ml Rhum Clément Canne Bleue
1 fresh passion fruit
10 ml Sugar syrup

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Breakfast in Martinique by Andreas Giaprakas of Vogatsikou 3 bar, Thessaloniki, Greece
Glass: Tea cup
Garnish: None
Method: Pour all ingredients in a teapot full of ice and stir. Serve in a tea cup with one ice cube.
50 ml Rhum Clément V.S.O.P.
10 ml Falernum (bittertruth)
12.5 ml Dark agave syrup
12.5 ml Freshly squeezed lime juice
3 dashes Peychaud's bitters

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Prunus Punch by Timothy Ching of Bibo Bar, Sheun Wan, Hong Kong
Glass: Golden wood coupe
Garnish: Griottine cherries on wooden stick
Method: Swizzle stick all ingredients in base of shaker. Add ½ scoop cube ice and ½ scoop crush ice and roll shaker 6 times. Strain into a chilled Golden wood Coupe.
50 ml Rhum Clément Première Canne
3 pieces Griottines
3 spoon Griottines juice
2 spoon Icing sugar
2 drops Falernum bitters

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Tea Ti'Punch by Valentina Grilli of Mag Café, Milan, Italy
Glass: Small mug
Garnish: Dehydrated orange slices
Method: Fast percolate 2.5 oz of Clement White Rhum Agricole in Caramel Oolong tea. Dissolve sugar in fresh lime juice. Add a pinch of salt. Strain and filter the Rhum.
Pour 60ml of the spirit in a glass with lime and sugar. Add ice and serve.
75ml Clement White Rhum Agricole 40°
10 ml Caramel Oolong tea
10 ml Panela sugar
20 ml Fresh lime juice
1 pinch Salt

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T-Break by Riccardo Marinelli of Jerry Thomas Speakeasy, Rome, Italy
Glass: Small mug or julep mug
Garnish: None
Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a mug.
40 ml Rhum Clément Première Canne
2o ml Lime juice
20 ml Ginger juice
1 spoon Runny honey
Ginger & lemon grass aromatic tea

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Clémentine by Livia Verin of Le Boli Bar (Hotel Simon), Martinique, France
Glass: Martini
Garnish: Lime zest, pepper slice and sugar cane stick
Method: Muddle honey and peppers in base of shaker, add other ingredients and shake vigorously. Strain into chilled glass.
20 ml honey
3-4 Red vegetarian peppers
30 ml Freshly preserved mandarin juice
20 ml Clément Créole Shrubb
30 ml Clement Strawberry

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Genève Ti' Suisse by Cassandra Droz of Apothicaire Cocktail Club, Genève, Switzerland
Glass: Old-fashioned
Garnish: Lime wedge & sugarcane stick
Method: Flame half a cup of marjoram and cover it with the serving glass to trap smoke in glass. In the smoked glass, squeeze the sugar cane and add apricot syrup. In a mixing glass, muddle the rest of the marjoram and fresh apricot. Fill with ice. Add 6oml white rhum. Refresh with a spoon. Double strain into the glass and serve without ice.
60 ml Rhum Clément Première Canne
4 pieces Sugar cane
1 wedge Lime
20 ml Apricot syrup
10 sprig of Marjoram
½ fresh Apricot

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French Creolian by Dirk Hany of Widder Bar, Zurich, Switzerland
Glass: Old-fashioned
Garnish: Small swizzle stick
Method: Shake first 4 ingredients with ice and strain into glass. Float the red wine with a cocktail spoon to form a layer atop the cocktail.
50 ml Rhum Clément Canne Bleue
20 ml Clément Créole Shrubb
10 ml Cane Sugar Syrup
20 ml Fresh lime juice
20 ml French Red wine"

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Tea Cup by Tiago Semblano of Pachamama, London, England
Glass: Tea cup
Garnish: Orange zest twist
Method: Prepare directly the cocktail pouring all ingredient into the glass. Swizzle vigoursly and Voilà!
10 ml honey
10 ml elderflower cordial
2 dash orange bitters
20 ml fresh grapefruit juice
45 ml Clement Rhum Agricole Blanc

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Ti'Pocame by Emily Reynolds of Little Red Door, Paris France (ex The Blue Pig, Manchester, England)
Glass: Old-fashioned
Garnish: Lime zest
Method: Muddle lime, chili and honey. Add rum and Creole Bitters, swizzle with crushed ice to combine. Fine strain, serve straight up.
50 ml Rhum Clément V.S.O.P
2 slices Fresh red chilli
3 wedge Lime (cut punch style)
15 ml Orange blossom honey
2 dash Creole bitters

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Ti'Hydrated Punch by Kayleigh Speck of The Grange bar, Providence, RI, USA
Glass: Rocks
Garnish: Dehydrated lime wheel
Method: In a mixing glass, add rum and dash of coffee bitters. Drop sugar sphere, and mix thoroughly using a swizzle stick. Once sphere is dissolved, ice and stir. Double strain into rocks glass.
60 ml Rhum Clément V.S.O.P
16 gr Brown sugar/lime powder sphere (made by combining 5g brown sugar, with 1g dehydrated lime ground into a powder.)
1 dash Coffee bitters

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There's Always Money In The Banana Stand by Chris Amirault of Otium, Los Angeles, USA (ex -The Corner Door, Los Angeles, USA)
Glass: Old-fashioned
Garnish: Lime zest and sugar cane stick
Method: STIR all ingredients with ice (20 revolutions) and strain into glass over fresh ice.
45 ml Rhum Clément V.S.O.P
7.5ml Lustau Manzanilla Sherry
7.5ml Giffard Banane du Bresil
1 spoon St. Elizabeth's Allspice Dram
1 spoon Fresh lime juice

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Export Elixir by Rob Crabtree of Armadillo Palace bar, Houston, TX, USA
Glass: Old-fashioned
Garnish: Banana disk
Method: Position a key lime vertically, such that its stem end is pointed upwards. Slice 1/3 of the key lime off both sides. Squeeze both key lime segments into a glass and drop the spent lime segments in as well. Add the banana-turbinado syrup and both rhums. Add cracked ice and briefly swizzle. "Drink and repeat... preferably with your toes in the sand."
30ml Rhum Clément Canne Bleue
30ml Rhum Clément Première Canne
22.5ml Banana-Turbinado Syrup (Add 12oz of turbinado sugar to 8 oz of water. Shake to combine. Add the fruit of two bananas sliced into 1/4"" wheels, and let sit at room temperature for 12 hours. Strain.)

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