This year we saw the return of the Ti’Punch Cup Competition after two whole years. If you’re not that familiar with the Ti’Punch Cup or even a Ti’Punch for that matter, then here’s what you need to know…
The Ti’Punch is a cocktail made up of three key ingredients: rhum agricole (white, gold or aged rhum), sugarcane syrup or raw sugar and fresh lime. The Ti’Punch is more than just a cocktail, it’s the heart of the culture in Martinique, traditionally served as an apéritif. Historically people used to have a Ti’Punch in the morning, to kick-start their day; better known as ‘décollage’ translated ‘take off’ in English.
So to celebrate the ‘Art of the Ti’Punch’, Rhum Clément launched the Ti’Punch Cup where bartenders from all over the world could enter. The idea of the competition is to create a twist on the classic Ti’Punch, by swapping out/adding in different ingredients to create your very own rendition. It’s a competition well worth entering, if for no other reason than that the national finalists win a 5-day trip to the French Caribbean island of Martinique for the global final, on the 12th-16th March 2018.
This year’s UK final took us to ECC in Chinatown, London. In total there were eight finalists competing for the winning spot, including Sam Boulton (The Bureau, Birmingham), Chris Tanner (The Vault, London), Zaneta Leszczynska (ECC Chinatown, London), Alex Taylor (Pennyroyal, Cardiff), Ashera Goonewardene (The Beachcomber, London), Remy Cousquer (Riverhut, Surbiton), Ben Todd (Home, London) and William Campbell (Alvinos, Newcastle).
The competition kick-started at 12pm sharp and each finalist had ten minutes to make four of their signature cocktail and present it to the judges. Our four lovely judges included Kiowa Bryan Rhum Clément US Brand Ambassador, Simon Difford founder of Difford’s Guide, Peter Holland from the Floating Rum Shack and Tiago Semblano, winner of the Ti’Punch Cup UK final in 2015.
The competition was extremely high, which made it a tad difficult for our judges to pick just the one winner. So without further ado, from third place to first place, our three lucky winners are as follows:
Third place – Alex Taylor from Pennyroyal in Cardiff with his Ti’Punch Power of 3.
Second place – William Campbell from Alvinos in Newcastle with his Historic Swizzle Ti’Punch addition.
So in first place, and the winner of the UK final was Ashera Goonewardene from The Beachcomber in London. Ashera stole the show with her cocktail, Retour Chez Moi, made with Clément Canne Bleue, canne syrup, lychee liqueur and guava juice; twizzle, twizzle, twizzled together then garnished with grapefruit peel… taste heaven. Congratulations Ashera, next stop Martinique!
After a Ti’Punch or two to toast Ashera’s success is was onto Trailer Happiness where the party continued well into the night.
Finally, a big thank you goes out to each of the finalists, our judges and of course ECC for letting us host the final at your fantastic bar.
A job well done!