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lancastermike

Buying, Making & Using Swedish Punsch

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Erik, how do you mean "contacting the folks at The Northerner"?  It looks like they're set up as a straight e-commerce site, and you should be able to order their Carlshamns Flaggpunsch Original online and have it shipped directly to you.  When I did a dummy purchase they seemed to be charging around 14 bucks a bottle.  So 35 bucks for a bottle of Swedish punsch isn't cheap, but it would be nice to have around.

Yes, you can add it to your basket.

However, when you try to go through the checkout process, the punsch will be removed from your basket, "due to customs reasons". Or at least that's what has happened the last few times I've tried.

I sent them enquiries using their online feedback system, and they've never replied.

What you describe is exactly my experience with them.

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If you are unable to buy the Swedish Punsch in your travels or somehow online, you'll find it's easy to make with the Batavia Arrack (once available). Most will mix the Arrack with rum, sugar, water and citrus. Some include spice(s); I prepare at home with cardamom.

If looking for more cocktails using the Swedish Punch, the Hollinger & Schwartz "Art of the Drink", published last winter has 2 or 3 cocktails well worth a try. I'm not sure which Punsch they used.

Arrack Punch is very much alive on the island of Bali, where it is mixed with some of the local exotic fruit juices.

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Well, I've said before that I can send some punsch to the US but didn't succseed to do it I feel that i have to help you with some recepies.

First of all, I don't drink punsch but I've tried to find some stuff in swedish and translate it here.

1: (this is a HUGE recepie, you'll have to calculate for yourself)

55 liter arrak 60%

46 liter sprit 96% (plain alcohol)

78 kg socker (sugar)

157 liter vatten (warm water)

4 liter rhenvin (rhenwine)

kulör (some foodcolour)

2:

2.6 liter hett vatten (warm water)

0.66 liter arrak

2 hg socker (sugar)

5 - 6 citroner (lemon)

"Härpå rifwes muskått" (old swedish for nutmeg)

this is old punsch, in the recepies it says around 1750.

I'll try to get some more up to date soon. but right now I Have computerproblems.

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For those attending the "Lost/Rare Ingredients" session at Tales of the Cocktail, the Swedish Punsch you'll taste was prepared with the following, approximately:

800 ml Batavia Arrack (at 50% - 65% ABV, mix of three varieties at hand)

560 ml Water

350 g Cane Sugar, standard refined

20 ml Fresh lemon juice

20 ml Pusser's Navy rum

mix of spices, freshly crushed

The level of sugar was fit to balance these Arracks and the citrus, though by comparison seems less than found in the Cederlunds and Facile Punschs. The consistency is that of a light liqueur.

Rum is found in most of the commercial punschs and many historic Arrack recipes. I've so far found that any rum of character tends to stand out and compete with the Arrack, whereas light rums do little more the dilute. I suspect that, then as now, its inclusion is largely an economic decision. In this preparation, the minor amount of Pusser's adds its accent, though doubt I'd use it again.

The spices are traditional to Nordic pastries, and may be the only other element aside from local consumption that makes this Swedish.

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--moderator note: merged topic--

Apologies if you've touched on this before, but what did you think of your homemade arrack punch vs. commercial swedish punsch? Is it even close enough to bother with?

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

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?

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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.

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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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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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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.

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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 (log)

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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]

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

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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]

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

"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 (log)

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

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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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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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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.

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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.

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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.se/eng/produkter/likorextrakt.html

http://www.marinamarket.com/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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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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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.swedenabroad.se/Consulates____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/

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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)

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.

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