Friday, September 14, 2018

Swedish Punsch

I have only just assembled the ingredients for Swedish Punsch, a rum-based lemon and spice cocktail that is designed to be enjoyed warm. This isn't surprising because the Scandinavian countries have a lot of hot drinks to battle the cold climate. What is surprising is that a Duch and East Indian spirit is integral to this particular punch drink.

Batavia-Arrack isn't a North African Arrack like those anise flavored grain spirits similar to Metaxa and Ouzo. Batavia-Arrack is a cane sugar distillate that uses fermented rice to kick off the fermentation. It is close to cachacas from Brazil, which are also cane sugar rums, in that it is a little funky and sweet. There's almost a rice-like bitterness in the Batavia-Arrack which I have to think has to be a part of the reason it is included with Jamaican rum, which is also very flavorful.

Batavia-Arrack is hard to find. I searched many specialty shops before finding this bottle.

So after looking at a lot of recipes that vary in size from a single serving to a whole liter, I decided to go full on and make a big batch with lots of Arrack because I'm not going to use the Arrack for much else. Swedish Punsch is useful in many recipes that will appear soon.

This is my recipe, a combination of the strong points of three I looked at:
  • 1 1/2 cups Batavia Arrack
  • 1 cup Appleton Estate rum
  • 1 cup strong black tea (Trader Joe's Irish Breakfast used)
  • 2/3 cup demerara sugar
  • 2 lemons sliced and de-seeded
  • 12 cardamon pods crushed with shells removed
  • 5 cloves
  1. Make 1 cup of strong black tea and dissolve the sugar into it until it is a thick black tea simple syrup. Refrigerate until well chilled.
  2. Slice lemons and place them in a large container that can be sealed air tight.
  3. Add crushed cardamon and cloves and pour Arrack and rum and tea simple syrup over the ingredients. Seal and store for 24 hours. 
  4. Remove the lemons from the container and strain the liquid to remove spices. Store sealed for up to five months.

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