October 25, 2009

Guadeloupe: All roads lead to the Rum

The most popular drink in Guadeloupe is the ti-punch that you drink with friends, usually playing a game of Domino. Guadeloupe makes white rum at 50° or 55 ° (59° in Marie Gallante!).

The origin of the ti-punch is Indian. The word is English and comes from the Sanskrit panch which means five. It was before a drink composed of five elements: tea, green lemon, cinnamon, sugar syrup and alcohol. In the 17th century the French military reduced the drink at three elements: green lemon, sugar cane, cognac or white rum at 50°.

There is no receipt how to prepare the drink. Everyone has his own secret to make the best ti-punch. You start to squeeze the lemon in the glass, add the sugar. After mixing the lemon and sugar, you add the white rum. In the restaurants and bars, they give you all the elements and let you prepare your own drink. They give you the whole bottle so you can reserve yourself. You feel like you’re are at home but you’ll be the only responsible to get yourself drank! Don’t be surprised if someone offer you and your friends a ti-punch.

Lot of people in Guadeloupe start their day at 5 a.m. with a sip of rum. They call it “the take off” and say it’s good for the blood circulation. Some have a glass of water just after the rum, it’s “the shock absorber”. At 11 a.m., they drink a ti-langouste followed by a ti-punch at 12 p.m. At 12:30 p.m., it’s a ti-5% (pure white rum). The ti-pape is drunk at 5 p.m. while playing domino. With the sunset comes “the take off” to spend a good night. Until the next day 5 a.m.

The other ways to drink rum is to mix it with fruits to make delicious punch. Like the punch coco made home, when you start you want to drink the whole bottle! Or you can drink a planteur which is rum with fruit juice.

Even if I’m usually not a big rum drinker, I drank A LOT of rum during my two week holiday. There is always an occasion for a ti-punch. Like when we went kayaking the whole day in the mangrove and stop on a small island to picnic. The guide had brought a bottle of rum and we drank our ti-punch the feet in the water. How cool!!

sugar cane

Rum at 59° in
Marie Gallante

a rum the feet in the water

what you need for a ti-punch
Rhum, lemon and sugar!

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