Tag Archives: swedish punsch

Vintage Cocktails #45: The Diki-Diki Cocktail

Reportedly created by bartender Robert Vermiere in 1922, this cocktail’s namesake may be a famous 1920′s circus midget. I’m not really sure why one would name a drink after a midget, but hats off to him for creating this drink as it is wonderful. A simple blend of apple brandy, rum based liqueur, and grapefruit, this drink has both me and my wife longing for the summer. I chose a ruby grapefruit for this drink as it is lighter and sparkles more than white grapefruit. Cheers!

Diki-Diki Cocktail
1 1/2 oz Calvados
1/2 oz Swedish Punsch
3/4 oz Grapefruit Juice

Vintage Cocktails #44: The Modernista

Scotch is infamous for its difficulty in being used as a base for cocktails. I’m not really sure what it is that makes it so hard to get along with, but it sure is. That being said, occasionally a blend of just the right ingredients paired with scotch can give birth to an amazing drink. This can be said for the Modernista cocktail, which I can honestly say is the best scotch cocktail I have ever had. Based upon the Modern Maid cocktail, Ted Haigh adjusts some proportions and adds some Swedish Punsch, making this a flavor packed, well balanced cocktail. Unfortunately, the use of some rarer ingredients and the need for careful measuring means that you will be hard pressed to find a bar around here that can even make this drink, but if you are wanting to try one, let me know the next time you are in my neck of the woods. Cheers!

The Modernista
2 oz Scotch
1/2 oz dark Jamaican Rum
1/2 oz Swedish Punsch
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 tsp Absinthe
2 dashes Orange Bitters

Vintage Cocktails #42: Have A Heart Cocktail

Originally published in Official Mixers Manual (Patrick Duffy, 1934), our next cocktail shares a name with a forgotten movie of the same year. Similar to the Doctor Cocktail, this cocktail also pairs a base spirit with Swedish Punsch and lime juice. Gin pairs excellently with rum, and as such works wonderfully in this drink. The grenadine serves to add a bit of color and some added sweetness. Go with a big bold Gin in this one. Your tastebuds will thank you. Cheers.

Have A Heart Cocktail
1 1/2 oz Gin
3/4 oz Swedish Punsch
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Grenadine

Vintage Cocktails #41: The Doctor Cocktail

The first cocktail using my homemade Swedish Punsch will be the namesake drink of the author of Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, The Doctor Cocktail. There are several versions of this particular drink, this version coming to us courtesy of Trader Vic. This drink is an amazing combination of rum, rum based liqueur, and lime juice. Delicious.

Doctor Cocktail
2 oz Jamaican Rum
1 oz Swedish Punsch
1 oz Lime Juice

Swedish Punsch

In my quest to go through all the drinks in Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails I have had to search out several hard to find ingredients.  However there are several ingredients that are simply not available in the western hemisphere, Swedish Punsch, a traditional Nordic liqueur produced from a blend of arrack, sugar, water, citrus, and spices, being one of them. So, since this ingredient is not available commercially to me, I must make my own. Sounds easy enough right.

Well, while most of the ingredients are easily found in any grocery store, arrack is an ingredient that is difficult to find. Arrack is an alcohol distilled mainly in South East Asia from fermented fruit, grain, sugarcane, or the sap of coconut palms, and not to be confused with the middle eastern Arak, which is an anise flavored liquor similar to Ouzo. There are several versions of arrack being produced around the world, but only one will do for the Swedish Punsch. The particular variety we are looking for is Batavia Arrack. Distilled in Indonesia from sugarcane fermented with red rice cakes, it has a raw, funky flavor profile similar to Cachaça. Luckily for me, the import company Haus Alpenz that has made creme de violette, and allspice dram available, has also been importing Batavia Arrack into the US as well. If you can’t find it in your local liquor store, it can be ordered from hitimewine.net. So with all my ingredients in hand, I set about to make my punsch.

My next step was to decide on a recipe. I looked at dozens of recipes and ultimately settled on Eric Ellestad’s recipe for Tales of the Cocktail 2008. While I used Eric’s recipe, I scaled it back as I didn’t really want to end up with 3 liters of Punsch.

Underhill Punsch–Tales Version

2 750ml Bottles of El Dorado 5 Year Demarara Rum
1 750ml Bottle Batavia Arrack van Oosten.
8 lemons, sliced thin and seeded.
750ml Water.
8 teaspoons Yunnan Fancy China Black Tea.
2 crushed cardamom pods.
4 cups Washed Raw Sugar.
This makes a bit more than 3 litres.

Put sliced lemon in a resealable non-reactive container(s). Pour Rum and Batavia Arrack over lemons. Cover and steep for 6 hours.
Heat water and steep tea and cardamom in it for the usual 6 minutes. Pour through cheesecloth to remove tea leaves and cardamom pods.
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(s). Age at least overnight and enjoy where Swedish Punch is called for.

This makes a great tasting liqueur that I look forward to using in several cocktails. Try it and let me know what you think. Cheers!