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lancastermike

Buying, Making & Using Swedish Punsch

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I was also reading this article (where thirtyoneknots gets a mention!) about the master distiller who created it, Henrik Facile. He apparently has a couple of other formulations including one labeled under his own name. Not available here in the US of course but I might be able to track one down next summer in the UK for a comparison.

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if i come across a bottle, i can calculate the sugar and maybe come up with a conversion to other standards like lillet or sweet vermouth

That would be cool. FWIW, I found it aplenty at Cambridge Wine & Spirits by Whole Foods Alewife, Cambridge, MA, should you be inclined to buy a bottle.

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I was also reading this article (where thirtyoneknots gets a mention!) about the master distiller who created it, Henrik Facile. He apparently has a couple of other formulations including one labeled under his own name. Not available here in the US of course but I might be able to track one down next summer in the UK for a comparison.

I believe the Facile Punsch is no longer produced. Maybe look for Carlshamns if you are overseas.

For anyone looking to make the Havana Cocktail from that article, I obviously couldn't test it out with the Kronan, so you may need a little more lemon (For Dan I'd go equal parts). I think I figured my homebrew to be about 200g/L. Good drink though.


Edited by thirtyoneknots (log)

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I was also reading this article (where thirtyoneknots gets a mention!) about the master distiller who created it, Henrik Facile. He apparently has a couple of other formulations including one labeled under his own name. Not available here in the US of course but I might be able to track one down next summer in the UK for a comparison.

I believe the Facile Punsch is no longer produced. Maybe look for Carlshamns if you are overseas.

For anyone looking to make the Havana Cocktail from that article, I obviously couldn't test it out with the Kronan, so you may need a little more lemon (For Dan I'd go equal parts). I think I figured my homebrew to be about 200g/L. Good drink though.

Could be. Amathus in London has a listing of something that sorta sounds like it so even if it is not produced anymore there may be a few dusty bottles still in stock so I may try to find it. If not my back up plan was to look for Carlshamns as you note which seems to be pretty available in the UK.

I do plan to give the Havana Cocktail a try at some point although I may use Apry. Is that likely to make a huge difference? I would guess it is a bit different from the Orchard Apricot.

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That would be cool. FWIW, I found it aplenty at Cambridge Wine & Spirits by Whole Foods Alewife, Cambridge, MA, should you be inclined to buy a bottle.

Thank you! I will be there tomorrow!

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I do plan to give the Havana Cocktail a try at some point although I may use Apry. Is that likely to make a huge difference? I would guess it is a bit different from the Orchard Apricot.

Apry is significantly sweeter than the Orchard Apricot. Either up the lemon to equal parts, reduce the Apry to 1/2 oz, or cut it half and half with a dry apricot brandy, like Blume Marillen or Barack Palinka. Without messing with it myself I couldn't tell you which of those will give the best results.

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I do plan to give the Havana Cocktail a try at some point although I may use Apry. Is that likely to make a huge difference? I would guess it is a bit different from the Orchard Apricot.

Apry is significantly sweeter than the Orchard Apricot. Either up the lemon to equal parts, reduce the Apry to 1/2 oz, or cut it half and half with a dry apricot brandy, like Blume Marillen or Barack Palinka. Without messing with it myself I couldn't tell you which of those will give the best results.

when looking at the options and averaging the potential sugar contents, that recipe looks to me like it was intended for a dry apricot brandy.

if you cannot get blume marillen or palinka where you are, to keep the tradition alive, you can re-distill an apricot liqueur to concentrate the alcohol and aroma while removing the sugar. the sugars won't caramelize. those that have done it tell me it works well.

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I do plan to give the Havana Cocktail a try at some point although I may use Apry. Is that likely to make a huge difference? I would guess it is a bit different from the Orchard Apricot.

Apry is significantly sweeter than the Orchard Apricot. Either up the lemon to equal parts, reduce the Apry to 1/2 oz, or cut it half and half with a dry apricot brandy, like Blume Marillen or Barack Palinka. Without messing with it myself I couldn't tell you which of those will give the best results.

when looking at the options and averaging the potential sugar contents, that recipe looks to me like it was intended for a dry apricot brandy.

if you cannot get blume marillen or palinka where you are, to keep the tradition alive, you can re-distill an apricot liqueur to concentrate the alcohol and aroma while removing the sugar. the sugars won't caramelize. those that have done it tell me it works well.

That was what I assumed as well, when I first started tinkering with the recipe. The results using Blume Marillen and homemade Punsch were found lacking, but by all means give it a spin with the Kronan. For my own part I found the flavors weren't particularly harmonious, unlike, say, the Culross.

I think Orchard Apricot is a good compromise, being as it is a not-very-sweet liqueur, based on apricot distillate, not grape brandy.

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One thing that surprised me, having no real frame of reference, is that Swedish Punsch is not particularly emphatically flavored. For most cocktails where it's used as a modifier, it really adds just a subtle hint and some background notes rather than anything readily identifiable as "Punsch flavor."

Case in point: I tried making the Havana Cocktail using Andy's formulation with Kronan and Orchard Apricot. For my palate it was a bit too sweet with 2 ounces of sweet against only 1/2 ounce of sour. More to the point, though, I thought the Orchard Apricot almost completely overwhelmed the Kronan. I tried it again with 1.5 ounces of gin and 3/4 each of Kronan and Orchard Apricot, figuring that less sweetness and less overall liqueur might help the Kronan come forward. This was better balanced and it was perhaps a bit easier to detect the Kronan, but the Orchard Apricot was still in front. I can only imagine how Kronan wold be stepped on by something more emphatically flavored like Apry in this drink. I might try it again, with 1 1/2 gin, 1 Kronan, 3/4 Orchard Apricot and 3/4 lemon. Or maybe 1 ounce gin, 3/4 Kronan, 1/2 Orchard Apricot and 1/2 lemon for a smaller drink with a touch more Kronan in the ratio.

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That's kind of frustrating, Sam. I didn't have access to Kronan when I was approached for the story but the stuff I had made, made up of only about 1/6 Arrack, had a subtle but very noticeable flavor. Maybe try going back to the original formula, and trying the Blume Marillen? Something like 3/4 gin, 3/4 Kronan, 1.5 Blume Marillen, 1/4 lemon. The unsweetened apricot brandy might not compete with the Kronan in the same way. Not a Desert Island type drink, but I thought it was a nice showcase for the Punsch, and off the beaten path.

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Andy, I should hasten to add that it was a good drink regardless. And I wouldn't say that the Kronan didn't make any difference at all. Just that to my palate it was a mostly-apricot-flavored drink with a hint of something else.

I have some barack pálinka at home and will give that a go with Kronan tonight. Using a base of barack pálinka helps make more sense of the original proportions for me, because I find that eaux de vie have the effect of making a drink taste drier. If we figure it's a 3 ounce drink, that would give us 1 1/2 ounces of barack pálinka, 3/4 ounce of gin, 3/4 ounce of Swedish punsch and a quarter-ounce to a teaspoon of lemon juice. That doesn't seem like much lemon juice to balance out 3/4 an ounce of Swedish punsch, but my guess is that the barack pálinka will reduce the perception of sweetness making it possible to balance the drink with only a "dash" of lemon juice. Meanwhile, the richness of the Swedish punsch will hopefully provide some mid-mouth feel and keep the drink from being too lean and light (always a difficulty with eau de vie based drinks).

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Andy, I should hasten to add that it was a good drink regardless. And I wouldn't say that the Kronan didn't make any difference at all. Just that to my palate it was a mostly-apricot-flavored drink with a hint of something else.

I have some barack pálinka at home and will give that a go with Kronan tonight. Using a base of barack pálinka helps make more sense of the original proportions for me, because I find that eaux de vie have the effect of making a drink taste drier. If we figure it's a 3 ounce drink, that would give us 1 1/2 ounces of barack pálinka, 3/4 ounce of gin, 3/4 ounce of Swedish punsch and a quarter-ounce to a teaspoon of lemon juice. That doesn't seem like much lemon juice to balance out 3/4 an ounce of Swedish punsch, but my guess is that the barack pálinka will reduce the perception of sweetness making it possible to balance the drink with only a "dash" of lemon juice. Meanwhile, the richness of the Swedish punsch will hopefully provide some mid-mouth feel and keep the drink from being too lean and light (always a difficulty with eau de vie based drinks).

My prescription exactly, though I'm a little skittish on barack palinka--kind of a harsh base to use for cocktails. I await your findings.

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Made 2 Doctor Cocktails last night (2 oz Appleton, 1 oz Kronan, 1 oz lime juice). Quite good. The Swedish Punsch gives the drink a hint of something different, but not really easy to identify. Perhaps a bit smoky? Definitely made a more "manly" cocktail than I usually drink.

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Something like 3/4 gin, 3/4 Kronan, 1.5 Blume Marillen, 1/4 lemon.

I enjoyed this, although at the price of Blume Marillen it's an expensive drink. The apricot dominated, with just a touch of juniper peaking through. The punsch lended complexity in a fairly subtle way.

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Something like 3/4 gin, 3/4 Kronan, 1.5 Blume Marillen, 1/4 lemon.

I enjoyed this, although at the price of Blume Marillen it's an expensive drink. The apricot dominated, with just a touch of juniper peaking through. The punsch lended complexity in a fairly subtle way.

Yeah, pour cost is untenable with those types of drinks :(

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photo (2).JPG

Tonight's drink was Have a Heart Cocktail from Vintage Spirits. Really enjoyed this one! 1.5 oz gin (Hendrick's), 3/4 oz Kronan, 3/4 oz lime, 1/4 oz "real pomegranate" grenadine (I used Small Hand Foods version). Again, I can't really say that the use Kronan was identifiable as a specific flavoring.

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Is the sugar content of Kronan consistent with traditional Swedish Punsch? I was hoping to enjoy it straight, but it's way too sweet for my (perhaps overly sensitive) unsweet tooth.

Haven't seen it in Chicago yet, but did get to try the Kronan this evening at Anvil in Houston. Compared to the Carlshamns that I brought back from Europe, the Kronan actually seems less syrupy (though I couldn't say it's less sweet, because it's really sweet). The flavor is vaguely medicinal. There's some hogo there, just enough to make me want to mix it with some agricole.

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I tried a straight forward sour:

1 oz Kronan

1 oz Smith & Cross

1 oz Rhum JM, white

1 oz lemon

1 d sugar-cane based bitters (homemade)

Excellent, although I wish the Punch were a little more forward. To keep the sugar balance, I'd have to do something like 1.5/.5/.5/1.5, which might be worth trying. I used lemon to try to get the punsch to stay "visible".

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I tried the Have a Heart with the same portions as Mukki, but with Bombay Sapphire Gin. All I could taste was lime. Afterwards, I tried two parts punsch to one part lime and nothing else and found it to be too sweet. I then mixed it one to one with a white rum. That seemed to be a better combination. I agree with others that the Swedish Punsch tends to easily disappear in a drink. Next, I may try the Mabel Berra Cocktail from cocktaildb.com

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A simple one I threw together last night; mighty tasty, though, I thought.

Murmansk Convoy

(Christened after the convoys that brought American and British armaments over the top of Norway, Sweden and Finland to the Soviet Union during World War II; one of the most dangerous sea duties there was.)

Shake well with ice:

1 1/2 oz Tanqueray gin

3/4 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice

1/2 oz Kronan Swedish Punsch

Scant 1/4 oz rich simple syrup

1 drop orange flower water

Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Let 2 or 3 drops of Angostura bitters fall on top.

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I tried the Mabel Berra from cocktaildb.com. It's:

3/4 oz fresh lime juice

3/4 oz Sloe Gin

1 oz Swedish Punsch

The drink was nicely balanced. There's a nice tartness from the lime, but it's not overwhelming. The punsh and sloe gin flavor combine nicely together. I'll think I'll have another.

My cousin spoke to a Swedish speaker who confirmed the u is pronounced like the oo in harpoon, not how we normally say punch. It's the only Swedish word I know, so I want to get it right.

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I tried replacing the Sloe Gin with Cruzan Black Strap Rum in the Mabel Berra. It made a great drink

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I tried replacing the Sloe Gin with Cruzan Black Strap Rum in the Mabel Berra. It made a great drink

That's called a Doctor Cocktail. And yes, it's wonderful.

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I went one more step with the Mabel Berra and added a dash of Scrappy's Cardamom Bitters. It overwhelmed the drink. Maybe just a drop of the powerful bitter might do the trick. Any other thoughts on bitters for the Mabel Berra with Black Strap Rum/Doctor Cocktail?

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Had a couple of Volstead cocktails at Clover Club today, and it turned me on, once again, to Swedish Punsch. Now that Kronan's readily available it seems like interest in making your own has waned, but is anyone still playing around with the recipes? For those who used demarara rum, I'm assuming Lemon Hart 151 would be too potent, but would mixing it 50/50 with a lower proof work? The notion of getting some of the LH funk into the Punsch is intriguing . . .

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