Used under a Creative Commons License from

Batavia-Arrack is a unique spirit. Indonesian in origin by way of the Netherlands, it is different than just about anything else on the market.

Last night I had the pleasure of playing around with a bottle of Batavia-Arrack. My co-conspirator on this blog recently picked up a bottle in Boston and last night was the first time we’d really busted it out.

So what does it taste like?

Unlike just about anything I’ve ever tried. It’s definitely a sugar-cane spirit. That much is clear. It’s got that sweetness and sugar cane bite that is characteristic of any rum. But it also definitely isn’t a rum. It’s maltier and deeper than any rum. Closer to a cachaca  than a classic white rum. It’s also identifiably Asian. You can really tell there is rice in it. It has that dryness and slight funk that is more like a sake or shochu or other rice spirit.

So what do you do with Batavia-Arrack?

That wasn’t initially clear. I knew that it is traditionally used in Swedish Punch and in other Punch recipes, but I didn’t really want to go through a big production making a ingredients and doing research, so I basically decided to do twists on some classic rum drinks and see how this funky spirit would play.


My first try at an Arrack cocktail was a daiquiri.

  • 2 oz Batavia-Arrack
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 3/4 oz Simple Syrup

This work really well. It has all the structure of a classic daiquiri but with a unique twist. It is a little deeper and a little more raw, but the Arrack gives it a very nice bite.


Arrack cocktail number 2 was a twist on a Caribbean rum punch, prepared according to the classic rhyme.

  • One of sour (Lime Juice)
  • Two of Sweet (Simple Syrup)
  • Three of Strong (Batavia-Arrack)
  • Four of Weak (Water, added in the shaking.)
  • Dash of Angostura Bitters
  • Fresh Nutmeg on top

This sucker worked even better. I can really see why Arrack is a classic in punches. It’s more assertive than classic white rum and so it punches through the sweetness of this ratio better than just rum would. Also, it’s maltier funkiness plays very nicely with the spice notes of the Angostura and nutmeg in this cocktail.

Coming up next with the Batavia-Arrack: Swedish Punsch


~ by Remy on July 13, 2010.

One Response to “Batavia-Arrack”

  1. Nice write up, and thanks for giving me credit on the photo!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: