By now, you're probably familiar with how excitable we become when we discover a liqueur or spirit we've never tried before. That's just what happened the other day when we walked into our local wine shop and sampled a bit of Kronan Swedish Punsch. No, that is not a typo, do not adjust your screen -- we're talking "punsch," not "punch."
Swedish punsch was a popular ingredient in cocktails in America until Prohibition, after which it just kind of disappeared. But thanks to Kronan, it's back. A sugarcane-based spirit, Swedish punsch also contains rum, sugar and spices. Where did this sweet liqueur come from? We happen to be rather partial to Serious Eats' description:
Swedish Punsch started as a grog to make sailors shut up during spice-hunting trips for the Swedish East India Company, but it soon became the hot thing for fancy rich people to drink because consuming imported things showed everyone how fancy and rich they were.
Now, you need neither be Swedish, rich nor fancy to try punsch, and we are pretty happy about it. This stuff is sweet to be sure, but served (as recommended by cocktail nerds we trust) over ice with a squeeze of lime, it becomes almost an instant Planter's Punch. Guys, "instant Planter's Punch" is really exciting, because Planter's Punch includes a lot of ingredients and is kind of a pain to make. Kronan has a collection of great recipes for cocktails that call for punsch on their website.
Although U.S. distribution is still limited to a handful of states, you can also order Kronan Swedish Punsch from DrinkUpNY.com for about $30 a bottle.
Skål, everybody (that's "cheers!" in Swedish)!