Fish House Punch
There's a little place just out of town,
Where, if you go to lunch,
They'll make you forget your mother-in-law
With a drink called Fish-House Punch.
|An early-known print reference to Fish-House Punch is in "The Cook" (1885)
is a strong, rum
containing containing rum
, and peach brandy
. The drink is typically served over an ice block in a punch bowl and garnished with lemon slices.
This most venerable of American flowing bowls is held to have been first concocted in 1732
at Philadelphia’s fishing club, the Schuylkill Fishing Company
also known as the "Fish House". The Fish House was an august gentleman's society devoted to escaping domestic tribulation, but also to cigars, whiskey and the occasional fishing foray upon the Chesapeake
or the Restigouche River
in Nova Scotia
. Another version states that it was created in 1848
by Shippen Willing of Philadelphia
, to celebrate the momentous occasion of women being allowed into the premises of the "Fish House" for the first time in order to enliven the annual Christmas Party. It was supposed to be just something to please the ladies' palate but get them livelier than is their usual wont
This punch — containing rum, Cognac, and peach brandy — is potent, so to bring it down it is normally diluted with cold black tea, a common mixer for this particular punch, or with seltzer water, for a bit of fizz. Some punch bowls may not be big enough to accommodate the large size ice block called for, and though the block is a classic part of this recipe, it can, of course, be simply served in a pitcher over ice cubes.
- 1 cup sugar
- 3½ cups water
- 1½ cups fresh lemon juice (6 to 8 lemons), strained
- 1 (750-ml) bottle Jamaican amber rum
- 12 oz Cognac (1½ cups)
- 2 oz peach brandy (¼ cup)
- Garnish: lemon slices
Stir together sugar and 3½ cups water in a large bowl or pot until sugar is dissolved. Add lemon juice, rum, Cognac, and brandy and chill, covered, at least 3 hours. Put half-gallon ice block in a punch bowl and pour punch over it.