Thursday, March 31, 2016

Word of the day: Ti' Punch

The word of the day is Ti' Punch:

Down in Martinique and Guadeloupe, rhum agricole country, the preferred way of absorbing the daily ration is in a Ti' Punch -- ti' being how you say petit in the Creole they speak down there. Any drink that has "little" in its name, watch out -- it's like the guy they call Tiny, the one standing over by the keg whom you mistook for a piece of earthmoving equipment. Like the Cuban daiquiri or the Brazilian caipirinha, this do-it-yourself classic (a lot of joints just put the ingredients out and let you have at 'em) uses lime and a cane-based sweetener to take the edge off the hooch. The difference is in the form of the sweetener: For a true Ti' Punch, you need cane syrup, the raw juice of the cane boiled down until thick. This is richer and mellower (and less sweet) than the refined white sugar usually used in drinks, yet not as heavy and sulfurous as molasses; in any case, it's the perfect foil for the rhum. Also -- you're supposed to knock it back in one shot. In the morning.


"Each of the country’s eighteen regions sponsors an area highlighting its gastronomy. Slurp down some oysters in Arcachon, grab some choucroute in Alsace, and then turn a corner and you’re in Martinique, drinking Ti’ Punch."

 - Lauren Collins, "Come to the fair: the food-and-booze fest that is France's national agricultural exhibition", 4 April 2016 The New Yorker (

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