Swedish Punsch Cocktail Recipe

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Swedish Punsch Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


Swedish Punsch is a traditional cocktail that originated in Sweden in the 18th century. It was initially created by sailors who brought back arrack, a distilled spirit from Southeast Asia, and mixed it with sugar, water, and spices to create a warming and flavorful drink. The cocktail became popular in Swedish society and eventually spread to other countries.

  • Swedish Punsch was often served at festive occasions and celebrations.
  • The cocktail gained popularity in the United States during the Prohibition era.
  • Today, Swedish Punsch is enjoyed by those who appreciate its unique flavor and historical significance.

How Swedish Punsch Tastes?

Swedish Punsch has a complex, sweet, and spicy taste with a hint of smokiness. The arrack provides a strong, distinctive base, while the sugar and spices add warmth and depth. The citrus notes from the lemon juice provide a refreshing contrast to the rich flavors.

Interesting facts about Swedish Punsch

  • Swedish Punsch was traditionally made with Batavia arrack, a spirit distilled from sugarcane and fermented red rice.
  • The cocktail is often served warm during the colder months, but can also be enjoyed cold over ice.
  • Swedish Punsch is sometimes used as an ingredient in other cocktails, such as the Doctor Cocktail and the Diki-Diki.


Batavia Arrack

A South-East Asian spirit made from sugarcane and fermented red rice. It brings a funky, slightly sweet taste that's the backbone of this cocktail. Not enough? The drink will lack depth. Too much? It can overpower the other flavors.

Alex Green

Simple Syrup

The sweet counterpoint to the citrus and bitters. It's a bar staple for balancing cocktails. Skimp on it and the punch could become a sour slugfest. Overdo it and you're in a sugary swamp.

Mary Mitkina

Lemon Juice

This adds a fresh zesty kick, vital for cutting through sweetness and providing balance. Without it, you'll miss the bright vibrancy that makes the drink pop. Think of it as the zing to your zang.

Emma Rose


Not just for hydration! Water dilutes the mix to the perfect sipping strength. Leave it out and the flavors might feel too concentrated, like a personality too bold to handle.

Alex Green

Angostura Bitters

They're like the spice rack of the cocktail world, adding depth and complexity. Forget these and you'll lose a layer of flavor that rounds out the drink.

Mary Mitkina

Orange Peel

The garnish adds aromatic oils to the nose, elevating the sensory experience. No peel? No problem, but you'll miss the citrus high notes dancing on the rim of the glass.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Swedish Punsch Drink

  1. Combine the Batavia arrack, simple syrup, lemon juice, and water in a mixing glass.
  2. Add the Angostura bitters and stir well.
  3. Fill a rocks glass with ice and strain the mixture over the ice.
  4. Garnish with a twist of orange peel and serve.

Pro Tips

  • Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for a more vibrant flavor.
  • Chill your glass before serving to keep the cocktail cold longer.
  • Experiment with different types of bitters to change the flavor profile.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Swedish or International Smörgåsbord: The citrus notes and bitters in the Swedish Punsch cut through the richness of assorted smörgåsbord items like gravlax, herring, and cheese.
  • Spicy Asian Foods: The sweetness of the simple syrup balances the heat, while the acidity from the lemon juice brightens the overall flavor profile.
  • Charcuterie: The robust flavors of cured meats are a brilliant contrast against this cocktail's sweet and sour characteristics.

Drink Pairings

  • Coffee: Following this cocktail with a cup of coffee can complement the bitter and sweet notes while refreshing the palate.
  • Aqua Vitae: A sip of this traditional Scandinavian spirit between drinks accentuates the cultural experience.

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What you could change in Swedish Punsch

  • Batavia Arrack: Can be substituted with Rum or Brandy.
  • Simple Syrup: Can be substituted with Honey or Agave Nectar.
  • Angostura Bitters: Can be substituted with Orange Bitters or Peychaud's Bitters.

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And of course - twists🍹

Punsch Noir

  • Add a splash of dark rum for an extra kick.
  • Ingredients: 2 oz Batavia Arrack, 0.5 oz Dark Rum, 1 oz Simple Syrup, 0.5 oz Lemon Juice, 1 oz Water, 2 dashes Angostura Bitters, Orange Peel
  • Recipe: Same as the original but pour the dark rum on top for a layered effect.

Punsch Frappé

  • Whip it up with crushed ice to turn it into a slushy delight.
  • Ingredients: Same as original but add ice to your mixture.
  • Recipe: Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled glass.

Punsch Royale

  • Top with a float of champagne for a fizzy lift.
  • Ingredients: Original recipe plus a champagne float.
  • Recipe: After preparing the original, gently pour champagne over the back of a spoon atop the cocktail.

In case you forgot basics how to make Swedish Punsch

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Swedish Punsch

What other beverages can be made with Batavia Arrack?

Batavia Arrack is used in several other cocktails apart from Swedish Punsch, including Planter's Punch and Jungle Bird.

Should I shake or stir this cocktail?

As per the classic recipe of the Swedish Punsch, it's recommended to stir the cocktail rather than shaking it. Stirring helps in preserving the clear, smooth aesthetic of the drink.

Why is the Swedish Punsch typically served in a rocks glass?

A rocks glass maintains the temperature of the drink and allows the aroma to be enjoyed when sipped.

Is there any special occasion to enjoy Swedish Punsch?

Swedish Punsch can make any day special! However, in Sweden, it is traditional to enjoy Punsch on Thursdays with pea soup and pancakes.

What types of bitters can I experiment with for the Swedish Punsch?

Apart from Angostura Bitters, you can experiment with herbal bitters, cherry bitters or even chocolate bitters for a unique twist to your Swedish Punsch.

What does Batavia Arrack taste like?

Batavia Arrack is a unique spirit with a flavour profile similar to a rustic style rum. It has a distinct smoky and fruity flavour with a subtle sweetness.

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