IF YOU love the rhums agricoles of the French Caribbean, you know that the famous Ti’ Punch isn’t just a cocktail – it’s a religion.
That’s certainly the case in the archipelago of Guadeloupe, one of the rum-production centres of the region, where you’ll find a different preferred Ti’ Punch in almost every commune.
But there’s only one ingredient that ever changes: the rhum, which, along with a quarter lime and some fresh cane sugar makes up the French Caribbean’s most popular mix.
Either way, the rhum used is always a powerful rhum blanc, or white rum, typically with an alcohol by volume of more than 50 percent.
For this edition of Rum Journal, we tasted Rhum Montebello, which is made at Distillerie Carrere in the area of Petit-Bourg on the lush island of Basse-Terre.
In contrast to some other rhum blancs from Guadeloupe, Montebello is noticeably less floral, with a stronger character and more powerful notes of raw sugar cane and citrus.
When placed into the Ti’ Punch, it fuses rather well with the lime and sugar (particularly due to the already-present citrus notes), while never ceasing to remind of its bold, pure identity.
We recommend it with some sugar, lime and, preferably, near some palm trees in Basse-Terre.