Sunday, November 17, 2019

Bombay Government Punch

This is a terrific punch for all seasons: tart and sweet, rummy and strong, and well spiced. It is more colonial than Tiki, as it's name suggests. According to Chowhound, this punch is one of the regulated punches of colonial Bombay's punch houses. 

It makes use of an unusual ingredient--Batavia Arrack. This is a forerunner to rum; a cane spirit that uses yeast from fermented rice in its mash. It tastes like a cross between rum and tequila with a funky rice note in the finish. My other choice for the rum is Rhum Barbancourt. I love this stuff. It is well aged but light because it is not a molasses rum. It has a fun, funky flavor of fresh pressed cane sugar from Hati. 

The other colonial addition to this punch is the turbinado sugar syrup. You can make this by boiling 2 cups of turbinado sugar, a rich unrefined sugar, in one cup of water and allowing it to cool.
  • 2 cups Demerara or turbinado sugar (turbinado used)
  • 7 cups water
  • 12 limes
  • 16 ounces Batavia arrack
  • 1 quart dark, funky rum Rhun Barbancourt used)
  • Grated nutmeg, for garnish
Make the sugar syrup and allow it to cool. Add the sugar, rums, lime juice and water to a large punch bowl and stir. Refrigerate for one hour before serving. Cut lime slices to float on top for garnishes and grate nutmeg over the bowl. Add large cakes of ice just before serving.

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