"A cousin of planter’s punch is the classic Martinique drink called petit punch, which usually comes out sounding like “tee-paunsh.” It can be made with either light or dark aged rum, but is diluted by only two things, a bit of fresh lime juice and sirop, a heavy sugar concentrate that smells of the cane fields. The charm of the “little punch” is enhanced by the traditional, almost ceremonial way in which it is served. A tray is passed around bearing two bottles of rum, light and dark, a small bottle of sirop, a dish of very small wedges of lime, short glasses and a bucket of ice.
Each drinker makes his own, varying the proportions as he likes, but generally pouring about two parts rum to one of sirop, with a few drops of lime juice. Visitors usually take ice to cut the sweetness of the drink, but most Martinincans prefer it sweet, as if to emphasize their pride in the bountiful sugar. (Not too long ago one paid only for the sirop when drinking rum punch in a bar.
The rum itself was left indifferently on the counter and, like the water, was free.) The petit punch goes down very smoothly, and seems almost instantly to enhance the well-being of the group."
Text: Linda Wolfe and the Editors of Time-Life Books, The Cooking of the Caribbean Islands, New York, Time-Life Books, 1970.
NOTE: Today’s challenges are such that I’ve decided to light a candle, rather than curse the darkness. So “tee-paunsh” came to mind.
Time enough to curse the darkness tomorrow. Wish me luck! (Today, I mean.)