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Batavia Arrack


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#1 slkinsey

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 09:37 AM

So, lately some Batavia arrak has been showing up again in NYC stores. It's been Batavia-Arrack van Oosten. A few bottles have come my way lately, and I'm looking for some ideas.

Anyone who has read Jerry Thomas's book will know that Batavia arrack is featured prominently in the punch recipes. For example, we have the Arrack Punch. JT's recipe for three tumblers of puch goes something like this:

<blockquote>Take 2 wine-glasses of Batavia Arrack (old).
3 wine-glasses of Jamaica rum.
Sweeten to taste with loaf-sugar dissolved in hot water.

Lemons and limes are also matter of palate, but two lemons are enough for the above quantity ; put then an equal quantity of water—i.e., not five but six glasses to allow for the lemon juice, and you have three very pretty tumblers of punch.</blockquote>
So, it's 6:3:2:1 water to Jamaica rum to Batavia arrack to lemon juice, sweetened to taste. Leaving out the water, you could do something like this for a single serving:

<blockquote>1.5 oz : Jamaica rum
1.0 oz : Batavia arrack
0.5 oz : fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz : demerara 2:1 simpla syrup (or more?)
1.0 oz : water

Shake with plenty of cracked ice (which should add more water) and strain into a rocks glass containing one large lump of ice.</blockquote>
Anyway, what I'm looking for are good recipes for Batavia arrack, and secondarily advice as to how to adapt large volume punch recipes such as those in JT to single servings.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#2 Splificator

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 09:57 AM

Anyway, what I'm looking for [is]...advice as to how to adapt large volume punch recipes such as those in JT to single servings.

Why in God's name would you want to do that, Sam? Be a sport and have some folks over!


If you absolutely must, here's a recipe for Mississippi Punch (predating Jerry Thomas's by a couple of years) that calls for Batavia arrack; it's damned tasty, IMHO.

Shake well with plenty of cracked ice:
2 oz cognac (VSOP or better)
1 oz dark Jamaican-style rum (I like Coruba in this)
1/2 oz Batavia arrack (the van Oosten works wonderfully well)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 oz rich simple syrup
Pour unstrained into tall glass, garnish with half-wheel of orange and a few raspberries or whatever else is in season. Approach with straw and have at it.
aka David Wondrich

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#3 eje

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 10:07 AM

I still need to get down to the liquor store and pick up a bottle of Batavia Arrack.

But, I've learned that it is used very often in the chocolate industry. In fact, I believe part of Haus Alpenz testing process for the various blends they tried was to use it in a Chocolate Mousse.

In any case, I am really looking forward to trying it in something like this Savoy recipe:

Chocolate Cocktail (No. 1)

1 Teaspoonful of Powdered Chocolate (heaping teaspoon of Scharffen Berger cocoa powder)
1 Egg
1 Liqueur Glass Maraschino (1 oz Luxardo Maraschino)
1 Liqueur Glass Yellow Chartreuse (1 oz)
(dash Batavia Arrack)

Shake well and strain into large glass.
---
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#4 slkinsey

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 10:44 AM

Anyway, what I'm looking for [is]...advice as to how to adapt large volume punch recipes such as those in JT to single servings.

Why in God's name would you want to do that, Sam? Be a sport and have some folks over!

Good point. When are you free? :wink:
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#5 scheer

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 05:12 AM

Here some quite oldies recipies I found :

Swedish Punch: 3 parts liquid sugar ( 1 ltr. water + 600 grams sugar + boiling)
2 parts Batavia Arrack
1 part weinbrand ( Brandy)
colour with madeira or red wijn

Arrack Punch:
1 part Arrack
1 part German Rhein wine
2 part liquid sugar
Lemon juice

Arrack Nogg
1 portglass Arrack
1 fresh egg
put both in a cup already with milk and ice cubes, and shake firmly, you could add some hot milk before serving

Nightcap:
1 liqueur glass of Arrack with hot milk and sugar as you like.



These recipes must have been at least 40 years old or may be even older. They used to be used in Germany at that time.

#6 eas

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 09:08 AM

There are some additional recipes using the Batavia at the Alpenz website under serving/recipes. Given that you can use it to make your own Swedish Punsch in minutes, also consider the cocktail recipes that call for the Punsch as fair game.

More generally, the mixing of rum with Batavia Arrack is questionable. My understanding is that it was done historically for reasons of relative costs and availability. While personal and contemporary taste preferences may lean some towards the sometimes heavy oak/vanilla of Jamaican rums, you can get a conflict with (and sometimes overpower) the teak note found in the Batavia Arrack. If choosing to mix with rum, you may instead want to consider the Demarera rums or skip the rum altogether.

#7 Chris Amirault

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 05:23 PM

Just got a bottle of the van Oosten from LeNell's and gave this a try:

[H]ere's a recipe for Mississippi Punch (predating Jerry Thomas's by a couple of years) that calls for Batavia arrack; it's damned tasty, IMHO.

Shake well with plenty of cracked ice:
2 oz cognac (VSOP or better)
1 oz dark Jamaican-style rum (I like Coruba in this)
1/2 oz Batavia arrack (the van Oosten works wonderfully well)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 oz rich simple syrup
Pour unstrained into tall glass, garnish with half-wheel of orange and a few raspberries or whatever else is in season. Approach with straw and have at it.

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I agree that it's damned tasty, though I bumped up the arrack because I used the Cruzan blackstrap rum and wanted to be sure I tasted it; I also think I got more than Dave intended from my half-lemon (probably an ounce, though I wasn't measuring). I'll give this a more careful treatment next time.

What else are people drinking their arrack in?
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#8 Friend of the Farmer

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 08:49 PM

I've done variations on the Raffles Cocktail shown on the importer's website, there listed as equal parts 3/4oz Batavia and Fresh Lime with 3oz ginger ale on the rocks in a highball. A variation of this using Canton and Velvet Falernum is or was on the menu at Gramercy Tavern.

The Bombay Government Punch served at Tales was fantastic. I made it once more at home but seem to have since misplaced the recipe card.

#9 slkinsey

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 07:57 AM

Phil's got some nice cocktails at D&C that use Baravia Arrack as the base spirit, if you can believe that. One that I tried, the "Arraquiri" (get it?) was more or less a Juniperotivo made with van Oosten instead of Junipero. It's interesting and approachable.
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#10 phlip

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 08:30 AM

Its quite tricky as a base. I prefer it as a modifyer. One drink which it adds a beautiful accent to is:
D.W.B.
2 La Favorite Blanc
.75 lime
.5 cane syrup
.25 Batavia
Shake serve up

But I find half an ounce does wonders in drinks. For example use .5 of it and 1.5 of say Appleton V/x as the base of an old fashion. Such also works with Tequila. I actually find it has quite an affinity with the agave spirits including the smoky Mezcals. I'm going to give another recipe here but please don't laugh until after you made it and tasted it. If you still want to laugh then go ahead, even try and find my phone number and laugh at me. We have a saying about driving drinks off the cliff, well as I came up with this one I was thinking this was one hell of a car crash if I'd ever seen one. It was all Avery Glassers fault. He was in from Boston and requested something using the things he liked that he hadn't had for awhile or some such and needless to say I got Carried away. I call it the Airbag Cocktail because it seemed a car crash in which no one died and (don't laugh until you try it) is actually really tasty.

1 El Tosoro Reposado
.5 Batavia Arrack
.5 Los Amantes Joven Mezcal
.75 Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
.25 All Spice Dram
.25 Benedictine
Dash or so of Avery's Choclate Bitters
Stir serve up

While drinking remember less is more but even an idiot is right every once in a while.

We should probably start a thank you Eric Seed thread for all the things he has done for the cocktail world the last few years.

#11 slkinsey

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 08:32 AM

I've had the Airbag! The ingredient list looks crazy, but it's quite good. :smile"
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#12 daisy17

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 11:10 AM

1 El Tosoro Reposado
.5 Batavia Arrack
.5 Los Amantes Joven Mezcal
.75 Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
.25 All Spice Dram
.25 Benedictine
Dash or so of Avery's Choclate Bitters
Stir serve up

View Post


Well, everything else in there sounds delicious, so I suppose I would try this. I have a serious problem with arrack - I just can't stand the stuff. I've dubbed it "the cilantro of spirits." Which I am well aware means that I just need to drink enough of it to get over my aversion.

#13 bostonapothecary

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 08:38 PM

after a certain hour... i drink huge amounts of arrack sours. i like mine with egg whites when i can get them plus some bitters. apricot is a good flavor contrast but i usually like something sweet and random contrasted with an equal amount of lemon juice. if you drink enough of it, arrack becomes really comforting. i like its masochistic flavor appeal. but definitely only after a certain hour. i think i like the cape verdean rum so much because i really like arrack...
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#14 phlip

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 10:42 AM

Daisy17 will one day like arrack......Daisy17 will one day like arrack........Daisy17 will one day like arrack......Daisy17 is starting to like arrack..................................................

#15 Chris Amirault

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 04:41 PM

I grabbed some Looza passion fruit juice today and, fortuitously, spied a recipe on the vO bottle for "Bali Passion." Stupid name, but a great tiki-esque sour. Because the Looza is a bit tart, I sweetened the following up with a dash of cane syrup:

2 oz passion fruit juice
1 oz Batavia arrack
1 oz demerara rum (Lemon Hart)
1 oz lime juice
dash Angostura

I served it over rocks in a tiki mug with a big straw. Yum.
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#16 eas

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 05:27 PM

My eyes rolled on the name too, but such are not uncommon at the island resorts - a nod to the contemporary - but the end result earned it's perch.

#17 bostonapothecary

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 09:44 PM

I grabbed some Looza passion fruit juice today and, fortuitously, spied a recipe on the vO bottle for "Bali Passion." Stupid name, but a great tiki-esque sour. Because the Looza is a bit tart, I sweetened the following up with a dash of cane syrup:

2 oz passion fruit juice
1 oz Batavia arrack
1 oz demerara rum (Lemon Hart)
1 oz lime juice
dash Angostura

I served it over rocks in a tiki mug with a big straw. Yum.

View Post


that sounds so my style... i have everything but the looza... whole foods?
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#18 Nathan

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 01:19 PM

Is there any source for this in Texas? I'm almost out of my current bottle. Specs and Grapevine have nice bourbon and tequila selections but suck at almost anything else.

#19 eas

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 02:17 PM

It should be with the TX Class A level distributor by late May / early June. PM me for details.

#20 Chris Amirault

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 07:44 PM

I grabbed some Looza passion fruit juice today and, fortuitously, spied a recipe on the vO bottle for "Bali Passion." Stupid name, but a great tiki-esque sour. Because the Looza is a bit tart, I sweetened the following up with a dash of cane syrup:

2 oz passion fruit juice
1 oz Batavia arrack
1 oz demerara rum (Lemon Hart)
1 oz lime juice
dash Angostura

I served it over rocks in a tiki mug with a big straw. Yum.

View Post


that sounds so my style... i have everything but the looza... whole foods?

View Post


Ocean State Job Lot. Seriously.
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#21 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 11:05 PM

Is there any source for this in Texas?  I'm almost out of my current bottle.  Specs and Grapevine have nice bourbon and tequila selections but suck at almost anything else.

View Post


If you are desperate before June I could spot you some should you find yourself in the B/CS area.
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#22 Nathan

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 08:44 PM

Is there any source for this in Texas?  I'm almost out of my current bottle.  Specs and Grapevine have nice bourbon and tequila selections but suck at almost anything else.

View Post


If you are desperate before June I could spot you some should you find yourself in the B/CS area.

View Post



thanks! but I think I have enough to last me until then....

#23 Snowy is dead

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 11:31 AM

You can get the Looza stuff at whole foods. Top shelf, glass bottles.

#24 FireAarro

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 12:21 AM

I just read today that Batavaia Arrack is distilled from palm sap...

Does this make it the same as the Arak that can be found in Indonesia, generally also distilled from palm sap? I was just in Bali a few months ago and found the local arak pretty interesting, but didn't bother to bring any back home.

~~~~EDIT: nevermind, my source about the Batavia Arrack was from the Art of Drink article which seems to be incorrect. Batavia Arrack is apparently not made from palm sap. Does anyone have any idea where I could obtain Batavia Arrack in Australia?

Edited by FireAarro, 04 October 2009 - 01:09 AM.


#25 Chris Amirault

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 06:18 PM

I've got a nice bottle of lavender honey tea syrup that I've been playing with, and I came up with this funky work in progress:

1 oz Batavia arrack van Oosten
1 oz rum (I used 10 Cane; see below)
3/4 oz lemon juice
3/4 oz lavender honey tea syrup
1/4 oz gum syrup
1/4 Luxardo Maraschino
1 T egg white
5 drops Fee's OF bitters

Dry shake everything with a Hawthorne strainer coil; add ice; shake; strain. Dust with nutmeg.

I think that this needs a stiffer, darker rum; I'll use my precious Inner Circle green next time, and I think Smith & Cross would be terrific. But it's worth working out the final tweaks, as it has all those great elements of tea-based pun(s)ches.
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#26 Troy Sidle

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 01:03 AM

Hank at The Violet Hour has a flip with Batavia Arrack, Cynar, and brown sugar coffee syrup.

It's disturbingly good.

#27 Chris Amirault

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 02:38 PM

Ratios? Very interesting....
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#28 Troy Sidle

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 10:23 AM

1 oz Batavia
1 oz Cynar
.75 oz brown sugar coffee syrup
1 whole egg
1 oz cream
hard dash orange bitters

Shake with KD, and strain into a small glass with no ice.

Garnish with 3 drops Fee's Old Fashioned Bitters

#29 KD1191

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 10:48 AM

.75 oz brown sugar coffee syrup


This the same stuff that's used in the Winter Sazerac (brown sugar simple that's had ground coffee steeped in it, I think)?

Wondering about this stuff lately, pros/cons of making a syrup with brewed coffee/espresso instead of infusing a water-based syrup... Any thoughts?

ETA: I guess I got some bad info on the process for that syrup...

Edited by KD1191, 26 February 2010 - 11:19 AM.

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#30 Chris Amirault

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 10:51 AM

I think it's what was in the Tribune a while back: 1 tablespoon each espresso and water plus 1/2 cup brown sugar, all mixed and allowed to marry up nicely.
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