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Batavia Arrack

Traditional cane spirit of the Dutch East Indies


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Old 07-28-2008, 02:14 PM   #41
bunnyhugs
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I finally got a change to try Eric Seed's arrack in San Francisco while passing through on my way to Tales. I spied a bottle on the shelf in Beretta (nice bar by the way) and asked the bartender to mix me something with it. To my surprise he was very unkeen on the idea. He basically said all of their bartenders had played around with it and eventually concluded it was unmixable. This guy had just made me a good Pisco Punch so I figured I'd just respect his judgment.

He gave me a sample of the arrack though. To me it just seemed like a funky and interesting tasting rum. It didn't seem all that weird, or like it should be unmixable. It reminded me a little of a Demerera, and maybe a little of an Agricole - it had that aromatic quality. It was very flavorsome and interesting anyway. I will have to get hold of a bottle at some stage.
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Old 07-28-2008, 02:22 PM   #42
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At the "making your own ingredients" session at Tales (don't know if you were in that one or not), they made a big deal about the fact that the arrack is pretty much only used for punches - especially Swedish Punch.

I believe on the "Flowing Bowl" panel the punch was made using arrack as well. It has a rather unrefined, strong flavor to it that I think really needs the sweeter, more refined mixers. Fruit juices and cognacs and the like.
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Old 07-28-2008, 02:28 PM   #43
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Yeah, I know its main application is punches. But how hard is it to whip up a punch in a glass? The guy had just made me a single serving of Pisco Punch.

The bartender seemed unfairly prejudiced against Batavia Arrack.

Having said that he gave me a free sample of the stuff so I can't complain. I thought it had a ton of potential. I'm sure it could find a home in the right Tiki drink.
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Old 07-28-2008, 03:45 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bunnyhugs View Post
Yeah, I know its main application is punches. But how hard is it to whip up a punch in a glass? The guy had just made me a single serving of Pisco Punch.

The bartender seemed unfairly prejudiced against Batavia Arrack.

Having said that he gave me a free sample of the stuff so I can't complain. I thought it had a ton of potential. I'm sure it could find a home in the right Tiki drink.
I don't know if you do the Tiki Drink thing, or not, but in several recipes calling for Okolehao (no longer available), I use the Batavia Arrack. Here's the thing, the BA tastes nothing like the Okolehao. But, the ti plant component of the Oke makes it a spirit which cannot be duplicated. So, why not use an ingredient as unique as the one it replaces? The BA is like nothing which I haqve ever tasted. I tried the substitution to great results. What I ended up with a new Tiki drink, and, a unique tasting drink, at that. BTW, try it with a splash of dry vermouth and dash of Fee's lemon bitters with a some ice! Now, I playing around with Mehkong, "the spirit of Thailand...". It's a rum-like variant made from 95% sugar cane and 5% rice. There's some other spices, too. Mind you, it's not in the same league as the BA, IMO, though..
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:23 PM   #45
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I think mostly Batavia Arrack has just not been available for bartenders to play with long enough for them to get a handle on its uses.

It's not unmixable, but it takes some getting used to.

It's easier to approach it as an accent in a cocktail, using it similarly to a dash of bitters or strongly flavored liqueur.

Make a nice, old fashioned grog, and add a 1/4 ounce of Batavia Arrack.

I've never had Okolehau, but sometimes think Batavia Arrack is to Rum as Mezcal is to Tequila. If you just make a Mezcal Margarita, it's going to be pretty undrinkable. On the other hand, a dash of Mezcal in a Tequila Margarita is pretty interesting.

~Erik
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:30 PM   #46
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To use BA instead of Oke..well THAT was interesting! knowing very well what Oke is but never having tasted it i realise these 2 are very different but the idea you have is brilliant! which Tiki drinks did you make with it? I`m ready for some experimentation with my BA!

BA can also mix in some vintage cocktails.

While in Thailand i did try the Mekong, lots of it and i found it interesting but a bit harsh though. But interesting to play with, maybe i should go and get myself a bottle, really i should.

You have some good ideas, keep them coming!
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:51 PM   #47
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Here is a yummy cocktail i made up for a booze write up featuring BA, and if you prefer your drinks a touch sweeter exchange the Aguardiente with X'Tabentun..:

Orangutan

2 Oz Batavia Arrack
3\4 oz Aguardiente (1 oz if you use X'Tabentun)
3 Cardamom pods (crushed fresh, or a pinch of ground cardamom)
1/4 Lemon (squeeze it hard and drop the whole thing into the shaker)
1 Tablespoon of Passion Fruit Syrup (for extra sweetness add more of this!)

Shake vigorously, double strain into
Old Fashioned Glass with several ice cubes

i like the austere subtlety of an Old Fashioned Glass with a Few big rocks, but it you go for a sweeter version i would say cracked or crushed ice in a Hurricane glass (or a pint, or a zombie--- hell feel free.)
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:58 PM   #48
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It looks good..just don`t have any Aguardiente..what else would you sub it with?
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:17 PM   #49
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Quote:
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It looks good..just don`t have any Aguardiente..what else would you sub it with?
Do you have any mild ouzo?
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:05 AM   #50
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Quote:
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Do you have any mild ouzo?
Yes i do..
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