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Buying, Making & Using Swedish Punsch


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126 replies to this topic

#31 eje

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 11:57 AM

The homemade punch turned out OK, unfortunately, I was using the wrong base spirit for my liqueur.

Swedish Punsch, as far as I can tell, is nearly completely about the distinctive flavor of Batavia Arrack. It might have a tiny bit of citrus and spice, but mostly it is a sweetened Batavia Arrack (and Rum) liqueur.

I started with Sri Langkan Arrack, which has a completely different character than Batavia Arrack. Sri Langkan Arrack is distilled from palm wine.

Batavia Arrack is made by fermenting sugar cane with a red rice starter and then distilling. It has a flavor that is kind of like a combination of rum, sake/awamori, and scotch.

I haven't yet experimented with making my own Arrack Punch using Batavia Arrack. I expect it wouldn't be that hard to make something that is superior to the commercial stuff. They had a very nice house made one at Forbidden Island. Mostly lemon, cardamom, and sweetener. It's just, a friend brought the Flaggpunsch all the way from Sweden, so it's kind of fun for me to use it and be reminded how cool it is to have good friends.
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#32 David Santucci

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 12:10 PM

I expect it wouldn't be that hard to make something that is superior to the commercial stuff.

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I dunno. I've tinkered a little bit with van Oosten, white rum, lemon juice, simple syrup and cardamom -- and nothing has come out even close to as pleasant as Carlshamns. I was hoping it'd work out too, as I've only got a 500ml bottle and it is going fast. I agree that Arrack is the primary flavor (along with sweet), but I think the Arrack they're using in Carlshamns is significantly different than the van Oosten. Or maybe my proportions are just way off.

Anybody else tried this?

#33 David Santucci

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 12:18 PM

Hmm, perhaps I am using the wrong rum. It says here that Dave Wondrich recommends Neisson Rhum Agricole Élevé Sous Bois, a Martinique rum aged 18 months. That would, I'm sure, make a big difference. Sadly, I don't have anything like that lying about, so it will have to wait a while.

#34 Mayur

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 01:31 PM

That probably explains why I vastly prefer a house-made arrack punch to the Flaggpunsch. Arrack is already too far on the sugarcane-funk scale for my tastes; add in the Neisson and you'll get what my good friend cdh calls the "rhong" in rhum.
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#35 slkinsey

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 01:42 PM

The recipe David linked to is still very heavy on the arrack.

2 oz. Batavia-Arrack van Oosten
1/2 oz. Rhum Neisson "Agricole Eleve Sous Bois" Rum
3/4 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
3 oz. Water
A pinch of ground cardamom or nutmeg


[NB. Lists of ingredients are fair use]
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#36 lancastermike

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 04:51 PM

The Chinese liquors I've tried are emphatically not rums, and are indeed an acquired taste (and that's putting it politely). They're the limburgers and Epoisses of the spirits world.


A friend of mine just returned from a business trip to China and brought a bottle home. I've had many kinds of distilled beverages in my time, some of unique quality. This stuff was very, very nasty. It is a taste I would have to work at to acquire.

#37 eas

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 08:38 PM

A number of the Swedish and other punches use tea in lieu of plain water. The sugar by weight in commercial Swedish Punches can range from 30% to upwards of 40%, so a 1/2 oz simple won't do it. The sugar really does help mellow that funk factor and give you something more smoky and delightful. I'll try to dig up another recipe and post.

Edited by eas, 08 February 2008 - 08:41 PM.


#38 Nathan

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 08:27 AM

The recipe David linked to is still very heavy on the arrack.

2 oz. Batavia-Arrack van Oosten
1/2 oz. Rhum Neisson "Agricole Eleve Sous Bois" Rum
3/4 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
3 oz. Water
A pinch of ground cardamom or nutmeg


[NB. Lists of ingredients are fair use]

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I tried this recipe. just didn't work, imo....

#39 Splificator

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 09:20 AM

The recipe David linked to is still very heavy on the arrack.

2 oz. Batavia-Arrack van Oosten
1/2 oz. Rhum Neisson "Agricole Eleve Sous Bois" Rum
3/4 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
3 oz. Water
A pinch of ground cardamom or nutmeg


[NB. Lists of ingredients are fair use]

View Post



I tried this recipe. just didn't work, imo....

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"Adapted" is a hell of a word. This recipe, which is supposedly adapted from my recipe for Swedish Punch, is in fact adapted from my recipe for Arrack Punch (by "my" I mean I stole it from Jerry Thomas, who stole it in turn from William Maginn's Maxims of O'Doherty). Two different drinks. This one is meant for drinking, not using as a liqueur, although I'd leave out the cardamom (nutmeg's ok) and would use a richer rum than the excellent, but far too lean, Neisson (Lemon Hart or Coruba work well). Oh, and I'd make it with 1 1/2 oz arrack, 1 oz rum and 1/2 oz lime juice. And the simple syrup should be rich. Other than that, it's how I make it.

Made thus, this is one of my favorite drinks.

For Swedish Punch, one should use Jerry Thomas' second recipe for Arrack Punch (the one titled "another method").

Here it is:

Steep in one quart of old Batavia Arrack, six lemons cut in thin slices, for six hours. At the end of that time the lemon must be removed without squeezing. Dissolve one pound of loaf-sugar in one quart of boiling water, and add the hot solution to the arrack. Let it stand to cool. This is a delightful liqueur, and should be used as such....




Edited 'cause I was repeating myself.

Edited by Splificator, 12 February 2008 - 09:34 AM.

aka David Wondrich

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#40 slkinsey

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 09:29 AM

Nice! Nothing like putting your name on something completely different from what you wrote.
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#41 eje

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 09:48 AM

Check page one of this topic, where you'll find both Thomas' Imperial Arrack Punch, United Service Punch recipes, and a practical procedure for a sort of hybrid of the two...
---
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#42 Nathan

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 09:58 AM

ah...ok.

both of those look a lot better....

#43 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 09:59 AM

Thinking about this today and wondered, idly, if the folks at Liqueurs de France could be convinced to carry commercial Swedish Punsch, or if items like that are even available in the rest of Europe. They have, in the past, been such a great source for out of the way items like absinthe and creme de violette.
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#44 eas

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 01:02 PM

Back in the kitchen today and prepared a fresh batch of Punsch liqueur. The commercial variations made in Sweeden all have a Brix ranging from 35 to 42; today's batch clocked out at a Brix of 37. It's flavor profile is in the style of the Facile Punsch. Clock yourself, it should take no more than ten minutes. If you don't have or can't be bothered with the spice, it's still great.

Punsch "Josephine" Liqueur, 375ml @ ~24%

180ml Batavia Arrack
100ml Water
135g Sugar (Bakers)
3/4 tsp Natural Vanilla Extract (Penzey's)
6g Tea Leaves (Assam; equiv to 2 typical teabags)
Lemon peel, fresh ground cardamom

Prepare the cardamom: open the pods and crush the seeds. Either add to loose tea leaves or, if you want minimal sediment, place into a tea bag/sachet.

Prepare the tea with the cardamom and lemon peel - by this amount it should brew to twice normal service strength. After 4 minutes, remove the cardamom, tea leaves/bags and peel and mix together with the sugar, stir until syrup-like, then add the Batavia Arrack and vanilla. Give a quick stir to further dilute then immediately bottle.

#45 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 01:12 PM

Highly excellent. Anyone have handy a web source of Batavia Arrack though?
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#46 TheSwede

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 01:46 PM

Just to add a genuine Swedish recipe:

Makes 2,25 litres (three bottles)

8 dl water
11 dl sugar
9 dl 40% neutral alcohol (vodka)
35 cl Batavia Arrak
37 cl white wine
(or lemon juice to taste)
1 dl strong tea

Dissolve sugar in water while heating. Let cool. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Taste while adding wine/lemon juice/tea. Bottle, let rest for a couple of weeks.

I haven't made this particular recipe, so beware, although it looks perfectly fine to me. Note that the recipe both contain acid (wine or lemon juice) and some bitterness (tea) which I think is common characteristics of swedish punch.

My mother sometimes made punch, but I think her recipe is lost. I'm quite sure her recipe contained an extract of some bitter herb instead of tea.

#47 tikibars

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 05:41 PM

A bartender here in Chicago made me a drink with some Saturnus brand Swedish Punch last year. The bottle also said Arraks in big letters.

Went to find some on line, and bookmarked these two links:

http://www.saturnus....korextrakt.html

http://www.marinamar...m/beverages.htm

The first is the maker's web site, and the second is an importer who appears to carry it in the US.
Their order system is a little dodgy but you can get a small bottle (35cl) for $5.25 plus shipping.
I haven't tried to order any yet.
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#48 eje

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 11:35 AM

I will just point out that there are a couple non-alcoholic swedish punch type things on the market.

The idea being, of course, that you add the alcohol and make the punch when you get it home.

I hate to be too much of a food snob, but the content declaration of the Saturnus Arrack Punch doesn't make it sound particularly appealing:

Water, sugar, invert sugar, glucose-fructose syrup, aromas, lemon juice, food colouring (E150a), preserving agents (E202, E211), antioxidation agent (ascorbic acid), acid (citric acid)


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If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
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#49 JMT

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 06:36 AM

You might want to consider sending a email to the swedish consulates in the US and see if they know of a importer.
http://www.swedenabr...es____7492.aspx
No idea how helpful they will be.
Otherwise Q&A at the maker of punsch says to ask systembolaget ( the state monopoly ) for questions regarding buying in the US, systembolagets Q&A naturally directs back towards the maker :(
The major importer from vsgroup ( vin&sprit ) in the US is futurebrands.
http://www.futurebrandsllc.com
I doubt they import punsch though.
Here is a place ( that I have never used that sells essences, might be good or they might not be, no idea ) It is not the saturnus essence.
http://www.partyman.se/

#50 TheSwede

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 07:36 AM

I will just point out that there are a couple non-alcoholic swedish punch type things on the market.

The idea being, of course, that you add the alcohol and make the punch when you get it home.

I hate to be too much of a food snob, but the content declaration of the Saturnus Arrack Punch doesn't make it sound particularly appealing:

Water, sugar, invert sugar, glucose-fructose syrup, aromas, lemon juice, food colouring (E150a), preserving agents (E202, E211), antioxidation agent (ascorbic acid), acid (citric acid)

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These types extracts are (or used to be) quite popular here in Sweden, although not necessarily because of their great taste. Rather because high alcohol taxes made home distilling something of an (illegal) national sport.

Our membership in the European Union has made the import of alcohol significantly easier and thus lowered prices, so it is less of an issue nowadays.

I think my mother sometimes made punsch from that particular extract. It was not that bad, but not nearly as good as the real stuff made from arrak.

#51 JMT

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 08:21 AM

To some extent I think it also depends on the alcohol base you use. I think some oak barrel rum would make it closer to the real thing than vodka which is what most good moonshine resembles closest.
Also don't forget to put the stuff in the freezer, I think punch is best served cold. Carlshamn flaggpunch is 26% alcohol just so you know what to aim for if you get some essence.

#52 tikibars

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 11:20 PM

I hate to be too much of a food snob, but the content declaration of the Saturnus Arrack Punch doesn't make it sound particularly appealing:

Water, sugar, invert sugar, glucose-fructose syrup, aromas, lemon juice, food colouring (E150a), preserving agents (E202, E211), antioxidation agent (ascorbic acid), acid (citric acid)

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Yeah, I actually agree - I hadn't seen the ingredients list.
Looks sketchy.


Still, this stuff was pretty good in a drink I once had... but then again I'd had three drinks at Nacional 27 first, so who knows what sort of shape I was in...
-James

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#53 Tiare

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 01:57 PM

I have received a few requests if i can find an old recipe for homemade Swedish punsch and here are a few. I have never tried these recipes myself so i don`t know the result..

SWEDISH PUNSCH RECIPE
About 2,25 litres
8 dl water
11 dl sugar
9 dl 40% spirit
35 cl "Extra Fine Batavia Arrak"
37 cl white wine or lemon juice according to taste
simple syrup
1 dl strong tea.

Heat the water and dissolve the sugar. Cool. Mix the simple syrup, spirit, arrak and wine or lemonjuice.
Add some tea for color.

RECIPE FROM ABOUT 1950
1,5L water
1 kg sugar
3 tbslp dark sugar
1 tsp citric acid
6 tblsp vinegar (15%)
1,4L vodka or spirit 96%
350 ml extra fine Batavia Arrak
350 ml dark rum
350 ml dry sherry (ex amontillado)
60 ml good cognac


Take a large pot and add 1 1/2L water.Add the sugar and the dark sugar,citric acid and the ättikan.The citric acid and the vinegar adds a bit of tartness and that special yellowish color so nessesary for a true Punsch.
Bring to a quick boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Leave to simmer for a couple of hours. Leave to cool before adding the spirits.
Stir real good for at least 20 min before bottling.

RECIPE FROM 1755:
"Boil water in a tea pot and pour the hot water in your Punsch bowl and add lemonjuice and sugar and then the Arrak."

Start adding the sugar in the bowl, then add lemonjuice and hot water.Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the Arrak and stir.
Add the peel of a fresh lemon. Cool before bottling.

7 dl arrak
2 l water
3,5 dl clear strained fresh lemon juice
700 g sugar

ANOTHER RECIPE
2 oz. Batavia-Arrack van Oosten
1/2 oz. Rum
3/4 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
3 oz. Water
A pinch of ground cardamom or nutmeg.


OLD PUNCH COCKTAIL RECIPE

Doctor": 1/3 gin, 1/3 punsch, 1/3 pressed fresh lemon juice.
www.amountainofcrushedice.com

Tiki drinks are deceptive..if you think you can gulp them down like milk you´re wrong.

#54 drcocktail

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 06:48 PM

I sent Eric Seed samples of the Swedish Punsch brands I own quite some time ago: Cederlund's (once the most famous in America - pretty anemic stuff), Carlshamn's (very nice, stronger - available after Cederlund's retraction from the market in the States), and Grønstedt's Blau (in my view, the best Swedish Punsch out there; smokey & rich.) Wouldn't you know - the Grønstedt's broke. I will say the Facile Punsch E.S. sent me a sample of was maybe even better than Carlshamn's to my tastes. So I know that Eric knows what good Swedish Punsch tastes like, but for a while (and as observed via DW in this thread) I was having difficulty making clear the difference to him between what HE thought Swedish Punsch was supposed to be (the Arrack Punch beverage) and the honest-to-god liqueur that we are discussing.

I think he gets it now. For instance, I'm very disinclined to believe there is lemon juice in the liqueur. If there was, well....let me put it this way: I have a full 1930s bottle of Cederlund's and it still has total clarity. You can see through it. Note what happens to cordials and alcoholized syrups that DO have juice in them...think about that 20 year old bottle of Rose's Lime you have stashed away....clear still? Not so much. I AM cheered to see someone cite tea an ingredient. I admit I didn't realise it, but as soon as I read it I KNEW it was right.

The Van Oosten Batavia Arrack is, of the 3 brands I have messed with, the best I have EVER tasted. It will make a superb base for Swedish Punsch. I firmly believe Eric will toil away until he gets it right. He's been a hero to us all already!

--Doc.

Edited by drcocktail, 04 March 2008 - 07:56 AM.


#55 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 02:04 PM

For Swedish Punch, one should use Jerry Thomas' second recipe for Arrack Punch (the one titled "another method").

Here it is:

Steep in one quart of old Batavia Arrack, six lemons cut in thin slices, for six hours. At the end of that time the lemon must be removed without squeezing. Dissolve one pound of loaf-sugar in one quart of boiling water, and add the hot solution to the arrack. Let it stand to cool. This is a delightful liqueur, and should be used as such....



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Historical authenticity aside, does this recipe produce something resembling the modern commercial product? Most of the other recipes contain tea; this does not.

The kindness of a co-worker travelling in NYC has yielded two bottles of Batavia Arrack van Oosten...I'd like to proceed with some Swedish Punsch, but I've only got one shot at it. This certainly looks easy enough, but it's significantly different than the other recipes given...has anyone made this and compared?


-Andy
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#56 eas

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 08:24 PM

There is such variation even within the commercial punches, I'd highly encourage you to scale down the recipes. They are easy to make.

The modern commercial products have a great deal of variation. The Facile Punsch may have the most complex (think vanilla and tea) flavor. The Grønstedt's is much more forward with the Arrack's smokyness, and for that you'll want to experiment in the sugar world. I've recently tried a variation using carmelized sugar, and it made quite a positive impact to the profile.

And now that you have some Batavia Arrack, don't forget to make some chocolate mousse.

#57 Tiare

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 04:17 PM

And now that you have some Batavia Arrack, don't forget to make some chocolate mousse.

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Finally managed to get one! chocolate mousse..mm
www.amountainofcrushedice.com

Tiki drinks are deceptive..if you think you can gulp them down like milk you´re wrong.

#58 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 09:01 AM

Last night I went ahead and made an attempt using this recipe, using Mt Gay Eclipse for the rum, as per eje's suggestion, combining everything this morning. I couldn't resist a taste, and when I did I surprised by the intensity of the lemon rind flavor; before sweetening it was quite bitter, and afterwards it was still very prominent, though I am willing to accept that I was focusing on that aspect due to having tasted it unsweetened. I'm not sure it was still bitter after sweetening, just very rind-y. Did I do something wrong, or will the rind aspect mellow, or is that just part of the flavor of Swedish Punsch?

-Andy
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#59 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 10:41 PM

Last night I went ahead and made an attempt using this recipe, using Mt Gay Eclipse for the rum, as per eje's suggestion, combining everything this morning. I couldn't resist a taste, and when I did I surprised by the intensity of the lemon rind flavor; before sweetening it was quite bitter, and afterwards it was still very prominent, though I am willing to accept that I was focusing on that aspect due to having tasted it unsweetened. I'm not sure it was still bitter after sweetening, just very rind-y.  Did I do something wrong, or will the rind aspect mellow, or is that just part of the flavor of Swedish Punsch?

-Andy

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Ok so I gave it another taste and it's much more mellow and integrated, the lemon rind flavor moving to the background and I can only assume it will continue to do so as it rests. Very peculiarly flavored stuff, can't wait to give it a spin.
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#60 eje

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 08:43 PM

Thomas' Arrack Punch Variation II

1 cup Appleton V/X Rum
1/2 cup Batavia Arrack
1 cup hot extra strong tea (2 tsp Peet’s Lung Ching Dragonwell tea brewed in 1 cup water)
1 cup sugar
1 lemon sliced thinly, seeds removed
1 lime sliced thinly, seeds removed

Put sliced lemon and lime in a resealable non-reactive container large enough to hold 4 cups of liquid. Pour Rum and Batavia Arrack over citrus. Cover and steep for 6 hours.

Dissolve sugar in hot tea and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate.

After 6 hours, pour rum off of sliced citrus, without squeezing fruit.

Combine tea syrup and flavored rum. Filter and bottle in a clean sealable container. Age at least overnight.

---

Tried this room temp, straight and found the bitterness of the lime a little overwhelming.

On the rocks, however, it was pretty darn tasty.
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA