It’s that time again folks. Dust off your swizzle sticks and sip a rhum for inspiration. Yessir… the Rhum Clement Ti’Punch Cup is open for action. Winning the regional heat ensures your ticket to Martinique to compete in the Global Final – which kinda feels like winning regardless of the eventual outcome. A week of exploring the beautiful island of Martinique, with the chance to win all the kudos of a Global Cocktail Competition thrown in.
…and it’s a big but! You need to take a moment to understand ti’punch.
Over the last few years of the competition, I’ve seen and tasted some lovely (and some not so lovely) rhum drinks. But I’ve seen only a few actual ti’punch inspired serves that deserved to go through. Consider the origin of the drink. Consider where it was created in the first place and consider the people who drink them. Then take the simple template of rhum, lime and sugar and add all that amazing creativity that sits lurking in your head and make it your own, whilst staying true to the format that is as tasty as it is simple.
Layers of flavours, the simplicity of the serve and take inspiration from the beautiful island of Martinique. Please do try to think beyond cubed ice – i.e don’t use it. Don’t even think of using crushed ice. Not unless your serve is destined to be heavily diluted in a few seconds. Balance is yours to control in other ways.
Think about the Martinique saying that applies to ti’punch: 'chacun prépare sa propre mort' (which translates to be ‘Each one prepares their own death). The tradition in Martinique is to make your ti’punch your way and so it’s not uncommon to offer the components and let the guest make their own. Obviously, that’s not exactly how cocktail competitions go – but perhaps it could inspire?
I’ve two words for you: Bois Lele! That’s right – it’s a swizzle stick. It’s your new best friend and you should go everywhere with it. Barspoons are for measuring. Not that traditional ti’punch is measured of course. Swizzle sticks are for mixing.
Check list of things you probably won’t need:
Yeap – that’s about it.
This year the global reach increases – a total of fifteen countries will host regional finals, with the winners jetting off to Martinique for the Global Finals which will be run on the 12th to the 16th March 2018.
We asked Emily Reynolds about her experience (she was one of the UK’s finalists) “It's pretty hard to pick my favourite moment of the ti’punch cup. From exploring remote distilleries tucked away in jungles to sailing around the most beautiful bays onboard a catamaran, there were so many memorable experiences”
“But by far my favourite was the people I shared it with. I had never met 99% of the people I met during the ti’punch cup before and many of them I am still in contact with now. It was so refreshing to spend time with so many positive, interesting and passionate people from the industry I love and as with most trips, it really was the people who made it. R(h)um definitely attracts awesome people from all over the world.”