If you’ve been to the French Caribbean, it’s likely you’ve encountered a very nice after-dinner tradition: the homemade punch.
It’s usually free, a gift of the proprietor for choosing his or her restaurant, and it’s usually delicious — a blend of rhum agricole and some combination of fruits and spices.
We always prefer the coconut kind, typically called Punch Coco, a creamy, rummy delight that takes any dinner of Marlin or magret de canard to a different level.
So we were delighted when we saw that Martinique’s Rhum Clement had launched its own coconut product in the wider US market.
It’s called Mahina Coco, and it’s technically a “Coconut Liqueur,” with an alcohol by volume of around 18 percent. That means something closer to coconut “rums” like Malibu.
The different from those sorts of drinks is that Mahina Coco is, well, superb.
It’s based in rhum blanc agricole, giving it a complexity and authenticity with which larger, industrial flavored rums simply can’t compete.
And it’s simple: white rhum and, as Clement describes, “luscious pieces of young coconut.”
This is a wonderful drink, equally at home neat, on the rocks or in a cocktail with something like pineapple juice.
What Clement has achieved is taken the after-dinner French Caribbean drink and brought it right into your home.
And that’s what’s so terrific about it — it may appear in a slick, beautiful bottle, but it feels like something else: homemade.