Feeling Punchy

Another oddball bottle, resurrected from the vault

One thing is certain: Swedish punsch travels well.

Recently reintroduced to the American market by booze-revivalist Eric Seed of Haus Alpenz, Swedish punsch was originally served as a palliative during long journeys overseas.

The liquor is a descendent of Batavia arrack, a rice-and-sugar-cane-based spirit that was produced in Southeast Asia. Swedish sailors returning from Asia in the 18th century would mix the Batavia arrack with sugar and spices during their trips home.

Called Kronan ($35; click here to buy), this version is one of the few punsches that is actually produced in Sweden. The spirit may seem obscure, but its rich flavor makes mixing drinks incredibly simple.

Use it as the base for a new class of two- or three-ingredient cocktails. The most classic, called Dr. Cocktail, includes just the punsch, rum and lime juice. Even simpler than that is the Hesitation, a concoction from the Boston bar Deep Ellum, which has been making its own version of the punsch for a few years.

Just combine equal parts of rye whiskey and Kronan, stir, and serve the cocktail up.