If you’re the type of traveler who has a Caribbean bucket list, chances are the phrase “rum tour” appears at least once. If it doesn’t, you need to reconsider your island activities, because in a region like the French Caribbean, people are so proud of their rum that the presentation of its history and creation makes for a fascinating experience—oh, and you get to taste the rum, too, which is always a bonus.
The thing about French Caribbean rum (or rhum) is that it’s nothing like the mainstream rum you know and love. When I recently visited the Guadeloupe Islands, I did a taste test of two local rhums, Dark Sail and Damoiseau Rhum Vieux Agricole VO, and I’m not sure why I was expecting them to smell like suntan lotion. The notes, smoke and strength blew me away—I was an instant fan, and I’m not even a big rum drinker. So, when someone recommended I try a Ti’ Punch with my dinner, my response was a resounding, “Oui!”
When you hear the word “punch,” you probably imagine a delicious blend of fruit juices and, if mentioned in the context of cocktails, some kind of rum. But if someone offers you a Ti’ Punch, especially when you’re visiting the Guadeloupe Islands or Martinique, where it is the national cocktail, don’t be surprised when the first sip lands like a literal punch. That’s not a bad thing at all, just a warning that this can be a strong drink, so make sure you tinker with this recipe accordingly.
Ti’ Punch from the Guadeloupe Islands
- 1 teaspoon of cane sugar1 fresh lime
- 2 oz of White Rhum Agricole from one of the nine distilleries scattered across the Guadeloupe Islands
- 2 ice cubes (optional)
How to Make It:
Mix cane sugar with squeezed lime, leaving the lime coin in a rock glass. Stir gently with a bar spoon until the sugar is dissolved. Add rum. Ice cubes will make it more refreshing for enjoying outdoors, but it should also be enjoyed without ice for the full appreciation of the Guadeloupe rhum.