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Behind the Drink: Fish House Punch

Behind the Drink: Fish House Punch


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We’ve all heard of people seceding because of a desire for liberty, a deep political grievance, or out of a sense of ethnic solidarity. Understandable, if sometimes wrongheaded or unwise. But what about seceding just for fun?

That’s what happened May 1, 1732, when a bunch of prosperous Quakers from Philadelphia, the chief settlement of the Pennsylvania Colony, leased a little property from the Lenni-Lenape tribe. There, on the banks of the Schuylkill River a few miles upstream from the city, they built a clubhouse — a castle, they called it — and promptly declared themselves the Colony in Schuylkill, an independent entity with its own governor, lieutenant governor, councilmen, coroner, and sheriff.

In 1782, in keeping with the times, the group shook off the "Colony" and became the State in Schuylkill. It’s had to move a couple times since, but as far as one can tell (its affairs are kept very quiet), the club is still going strong in its current castle, just outside Philadelphia on the Delaware.

The purpose of all this political business? Fishing. Well, that and barbecuing. And, of course, drinking. In the 18th century, it was customary for a gentlemen’s social organization of this character to carouse a fair bit. The fuel for this carousing was invariably a large bowl of punch. Every club had its own version, most of which have been lost to history. But not the recipe the State in Schuylkill always served at its "Fish House," as the castle was informally named. Since at least 1794 (the earliest mention we have of it), the concoction has been pretty much the same: lemon juice, sugar, rum, cognac, and old-school peach brandy — a high-proof, dry, barrel-aged brandy distilled from peaches, as opposed to a sticky-sweet peach-flavored liqueur.

There’s a reason for this longevity: Fish House Punch is one of the most pleasant inebriants known to science. Definitely worth seceding over.

Click here for the Fish House Punch Recipe

— David Wondrich, Liquor.com


Fish House Punch

We’re going to spend some time over the next month or so exploring the big flowing bowl: punches! We’ve featured a few punches before, but we’re going to try to tackle what really makes a punch a success and some of the ways to tweak punches to suit your needs. We’re starting with a spin on a rum punch recipe with the ridiculously named Fish House Punch. –Andrew

Combine everything in a swing bottle and refrigerate overnight. To serve, pour over ice into tiny cups and enjoy! Makes about fourteen two-ounce servings.

This is a heady, rich, boozy punch. (Feel free to dilute it with water or more tea if it’s a little too, ahem, punchy.) There’s a lot going on in this punch, sweet and sours and fruity and funky and spicy, and it’s a great showcase for punch’s ability to incorporate lots of flavors – when you’re working with a big batch, you can start to incorporate small amounts of ingredients, like the apricot, to add subtle notes to each glass.

We made this punch a little smaller than usual for a couple of reasons. First, I was testing out the recipe and didn’t want to mix up a giant bowl, with the risk that a bad recipe would result in a giant bowl of undrinkable punch and several wasted bottles of perfectly good liquor. Second, not every punch needs to be huge. Sometimes, you just want to share a few drinks between friends, or maybe you’re having a party where you want punch but still want some variety. Making it like this gives you flexibility – and it’s a lot easier to transport a bit of punch in a large swing bottle than a whole huge bowl.

Fish House Punch dates all the way back to the 1730s, when a Philadelphia club, known as the State in Schuylkill Fishing Corporation, set up shop and came up with a signature punch. America, or at least its men, used to be much more fond of these clubs and, with them, drinking huge amounts of punch. Progress does not always make things better. This isn’t the original recipe – we’ve added the chamomile, for example, for an added element of spicy complexity, and replaced the now-unavailable peach brandy with some apricot eau-de-vie – but I don’t think anyone from the State in Schuylkill Fishing Corporation would mind the innovation.


Fish House Punch

We’re going to spend some time over the next month or so exploring the big flowing bowl: punches! We’ve featured a few punches before, but we’re going to try to tackle what really makes a punch a success and some of the ways to tweak punches to suit your needs. We’re starting with a spin on a rum punch recipe with the ridiculously named Fish House Punch. –Andrew

Combine everything in a swing bottle and refrigerate overnight. To serve, pour over ice into tiny cups and enjoy! Makes about fourteen two-ounce servings.

This is a heady, rich, boozy punch. (Feel free to dilute it with water or more tea if it’s a little too, ahem, punchy.) There’s a lot going on in this punch, sweet and sours and fruity and funky and spicy, and it’s a great showcase for punch’s ability to incorporate lots of flavors – when you’re working with a big batch, you can start to incorporate small amounts of ingredients, like the apricot, to add subtle notes to each glass.

We made this punch a little smaller than usual for a couple of reasons. First, I was testing out the recipe and didn’t want to mix up a giant bowl, with the risk that a bad recipe would result in a giant bowl of undrinkable punch and several wasted bottles of perfectly good liquor. Second, not every punch needs to be huge. Sometimes, you just want to share a few drinks between friends, or maybe you’re having a party where you want punch but still want some variety. Making it like this gives you flexibility – and it’s a lot easier to transport a bit of punch in a large swing bottle than a whole huge bowl.

Fish House Punch dates all the way back to the 1730s, when a Philadelphia club, known as the State in Schuylkill Fishing Corporation, set up shop and came up with a signature punch. America, or at least its men, used to be much more fond of these clubs and, with them, drinking huge amounts of punch. Progress does not always make things better. This isn’t the original recipe – we’ve added the chamomile, for example, for an added element of spicy complexity, and replaced the now-unavailable peach brandy with some apricot eau-de-vie – but I don’t think anyone from the State in Schuylkill Fishing Corporation would mind the innovation.


Fish House Punch

We’re going to spend some time over the next month or so exploring the big flowing bowl: punches! We’ve featured a few punches before, but we’re going to try to tackle what really makes a punch a success and some of the ways to tweak punches to suit your needs. We’re starting with a spin on a rum punch recipe with the ridiculously named Fish House Punch. –Andrew

Combine everything in a swing bottle and refrigerate overnight. To serve, pour over ice into tiny cups and enjoy! Makes about fourteen two-ounce servings.

This is a heady, rich, boozy punch. (Feel free to dilute it with water or more tea if it’s a little too, ahem, punchy.) There’s a lot going on in this punch, sweet and sours and fruity and funky and spicy, and it’s a great showcase for punch’s ability to incorporate lots of flavors – when you’re working with a big batch, you can start to incorporate small amounts of ingredients, like the apricot, to add subtle notes to each glass.

We made this punch a little smaller than usual for a couple of reasons. First, I was testing out the recipe and didn’t want to mix up a giant bowl, with the risk that a bad recipe would result in a giant bowl of undrinkable punch and several wasted bottles of perfectly good liquor. Second, not every punch needs to be huge. Sometimes, you just want to share a few drinks between friends, or maybe you’re having a party where you want punch but still want some variety. Making it like this gives you flexibility – and it’s a lot easier to transport a bit of punch in a large swing bottle than a whole huge bowl.

Fish House Punch dates all the way back to the 1730s, when a Philadelphia club, known as the State in Schuylkill Fishing Corporation, set up shop and came up with a signature punch. America, or at least its men, used to be much more fond of these clubs and, with them, drinking huge amounts of punch. Progress does not always make things better. This isn’t the original recipe – we’ve added the chamomile, for example, for an added element of spicy complexity, and replaced the now-unavailable peach brandy with some apricot eau-de-vie – but I don’t think anyone from the State in Schuylkill Fishing Corporation would mind the innovation.


Fish House Punch

We’re going to spend some time over the next month or so exploring the big flowing bowl: punches! We’ve featured a few punches before, but we’re going to try to tackle what really makes a punch a success and some of the ways to tweak punches to suit your needs. We’re starting with a spin on a rum punch recipe with the ridiculously named Fish House Punch. –Andrew

Combine everything in a swing bottle and refrigerate overnight. To serve, pour over ice into tiny cups and enjoy! Makes about fourteen two-ounce servings.

This is a heady, rich, boozy punch. (Feel free to dilute it with water or more tea if it’s a little too, ahem, punchy.) There’s a lot going on in this punch, sweet and sours and fruity and funky and spicy, and it’s a great showcase for punch’s ability to incorporate lots of flavors – when you’re working with a big batch, you can start to incorporate small amounts of ingredients, like the apricot, to add subtle notes to each glass.

We made this punch a little smaller than usual for a couple of reasons. First, I was testing out the recipe and didn’t want to mix up a giant bowl, with the risk that a bad recipe would result in a giant bowl of undrinkable punch and several wasted bottles of perfectly good liquor. Second, not every punch needs to be huge. Sometimes, you just want to share a few drinks between friends, or maybe you’re having a party where you want punch but still want some variety. Making it like this gives you flexibility – and it’s a lot easier to transport a bit of punch in a large swing bottle than a whole huge bowl.

Fish House Punch dates all the way back to the 1730s, when a Philadelphia club, known as the State in Schuylkill Fishing Corporation, set up shop and came up with a signature punch. America, or at least its men, used to be much more fond of these clubs and, with them, drinking huge amounts of punch. Progress does not always make things better. This isn’t the original recipe – we’ve added the chamomile, for example, for an added element of spicy complexity, and replaced the now-unavailable peach brandy with some apricot eau-de-vie – but I don’t think anyone from the State in Schuylkill Fishing Corporation would mind the innovation.


Fish House Punch

We’re going to spend some time over the next month or so exploring the big flowing bowl: punches! We’ve featured a few punches before, but we’re going to try to tackle what really makes a punch a success and some of the ways to tweak punches to suit your needs. We’re starting with a spin on a rum punch recipe with the ridiculously named Fish House Punch. –Andrew

Combine everything in a swing bottle and refrigerate overnight. To serve, pour over ice into tiny cups and enjoy! Makes about fourteen two-ounce servings.

This is a heady, rich, boozy punch. (Feel free to dilute it with water or more tea if it’s a little too, ahem, punchy.) There’s a lot going on in this punch, sweet and sours and fruity and funky and spicy, and it’s a great showcase for punch’s ability to incorporate lots of flavors – when you’re working with a big batch, you can start to incorporate small amounts of ingredients, like the apricot, to add subtle notes to each glass.

We made this punch a little smaller than usual for a couple of reasons. First, I was testing out the recipe and didn’t want to mix up a giant bowl, with the risk that a bad recipe would result in a giant bowl of undrinkable punch and several wasted bottles of perfectly good liquor. Second, not every punch needs to be huge. Sometimes, you just want to share a few drinks between friends, or maybe you’re having a party where you want punch but still want some variety. Making it like this gives you flexibility – and it’s a lot easier to transport a bit of punch in a large swing bottle than a whole huge bowl.

Fish House Punch dates all the way back to the 1730s, when a Philadelphia club, known as the State in Schuylkill Fishing Corporation, set up shop and came up with a signature punch. America, or at least its men, used to be much more fond of these clubs and, with them, drinking huge amounts of punch. Progress does not always make things better. This isn’t the original recipe – we’ve added the chamomile, for example, for an added element of spicy complexity, and replaced the now-unavailable peach brandy with some apricot eau-de-vie – but I don’t think anyone from the State in Schuylkill Fishing Corporation would mind the innovation.


Fish House Punch

We’re going to spend some time over the next month or so exploring the big flowing bowl: punches! We’ve featured a few punches before, but we’re going to try to tackle what really makes a punch a success and some of the ways to tweak punches to suit your needs. We’re starting with a spin on a rum punch recipe with the ridiculously named Fish House Punch. –Andrew

Combine everything in a swing bottle and refrigerate overnight. To serve, pour over ice into tiny cups and enjoy! Makes about fourteen two-ounce servings.

This is a heady, rich, boozy punch. (Feel free to dilute it with water or more tea if it’s a little too, ahem, punchy.) There’s a lot going on in this punch, sweet and sours and fruity and funky and spicy, and it’s a great showcase for punch’s ability to incorporate lots of flavors – when you’re working with a big batch, you can start to incorporate small amounts of ingredients, like the apricot, to add subtle notes to each glass.

We made this punch a little smaller than usual for a couple of reasons. First, I was testing out the recipe and didn’t want to mix up a giant bowl, with the risk that a bad recipe would result in a giant bowl of undrinkable punch and several wasted bottles of perfectly good liquor. Second, not every punch needs to be huge. Sometimes, you just want to share a few drinks between friends, or maybe you’re having a party where you want punch but still want some variety. Making it like this gives you flexibility – and it’s a lot easier to transport a bit of punch in a large swing bottle than a whole huge bowl.

Fish House Punch dates all the way back to the 1730s, when a Philadelphia club, known as the State in Schuylkill Fishing Corporation, set up shop and came up with a signature punch. America, or at least its men, used to be much more fond of these clubs and, with them, drinking huge amounts of punch. Progress does not always make things better. This isn’t the original recipe – we’ve added the chamomile, for example, for an added element of spicy complexity, and replaced the now-unavailable peach brandy with some apricot eau-de-vie – but I don’t think anyone from the State in Schuylkill Fishing Corporation would mind the innovation.


Fish House Punch

We’re going to spend some time over the next month or so exploring the big flowing bowl: punches! We’ve featured a few punches before, but we’re going to try to tackle what really makes a punch a success and some of the ways to tweak punches to suit your needs. We’re starting with a spin on a rum punch recipe with the ridiculously named Fish House Punch. –Andrew

Combine everything in a swing bottle and refrigerate overnight. To serve, pour over ice into tiny cups and enjoy! Makes about fourteen two-ounce servings.

This is a heady, rich, boozy punch. (Feel free to dilute it with water or more tea if it’s a little too, ahem, punchy.) There’s a lot going on in this punch, sweet and sours and fruity and funky and spicy, and it’s a great showcase for punch’s ability to incorporate lots of flavors – when you’re working with a big batch, you can start to incorporate small amounts of ingredients, like the apricot, to add subtle notes to each glass.

We made this punch a little smaller than usual for a couple of reasons. First, I was testing out the recipe and didn’t want to mix up a giant bowl, with the risk that a bad recipe would result in a giant bowl of undrinkable punch and several wasted bottles of perfectly good liquor. Second, not every punch needs to be huge. Sometimes, you just want to share a few drinks between friends, or maybe you’re having a party where you want punch but still want some variety. Making it like this gives you flexibility – and it’s a lot easier to transport a bit of punch in a large swing bottle than a whole huge bowl.

Fish House Punch dates all the way back to the 1730s, when a Philadelphia club, known as the State in Schuylkill Fishing Corporation, set up shop and came up with a signature punch. America, or at least its men, used to be much more fond of these clubs and, with them, drinking huge amounts of punch. Progress does not always make things better. This isn’t the original recipe – we’ve added the chamomile, for example, for an added element of spicy complexity, and replaced the now-unavailable peach brandy with some apricot eau-de-vie – but I don’t think anyone from the State in Schuylkill Fishing Corporation would mind the innovation.


Fish House Punch

We’re going to spend some time over the next month or so exploring the big flowing bowl: punches! We’ve featured a few punches before, but we’re going to try to tackle what really makes a punch a success and some of the ways to tweak punches to suit your needs. We’re starting with a spin on a rum punch recipe with the ridiculously named Fish House Punch. –Andrew

Combine everything in a swing bottle and refrigerate overnight. To serve, pour over ice into tiny cups and enjoy! Makes about fourteen two-ounce servings.

This is a heady, rich, boozy punch. (Feel free to dilute it with water or more tea if it’s a little too, ahem, punchy.) There’s a lot going on in this punch, sweet and sours and fruity and funky and spicy, and it’s a great showcase for punch’s ability to incorporate lots of flavors – when you’re working with a big batch, you can start to incorporate small amounts of ingredients, like the apricot, to add subtle notes to each glass.

We made this punch a little smaller than usual for a couple of reasons. First, I was testing out the recipe and didn’t want to mix up a giant bowl, with the risk that a bad recipe would result in a giant bowl of undrinkable punch and several wasted bottles of perfectly good liquor. Second, not every punch needs to be huge. Sometimes, you just want to share a few drinks between friends, or maybe you’re having a party where you want punch but still want some variety. Making it like this gives you flexibility – and it’s a lot easier to transport a bit of punch in a large swing bottle than a whole huge bowl.

Fish House Punch dates all the way back to the 1730s, when a Philadelphia club, known as the State in Schuylkill Fishing Corporation, set up shop and came up with a signature punch. America, or at least its men, used to be much more fond of these clubs and, with them, drinking huge amounts of punch. Progress does not always make things better. This isn’t the original recipe – we’ve added the chamomile, for example, for an added element of spicy complexity, and replaced the now-unavailable peach brandy with some apricot eau-de-vie – but I don’t think anyone from the State in Schuylkill Fishing Corporation would mind the innovation.


Fish House Punch

We’re going to spend some time over the next month or so exploring the big flowing bowl: punches! We’ve featured a few punches before, but we’re going to try to tackle what really makes a punch a success and some of the ways to tweak punches to suit your needs. We’re starting with a spin on a rum punch recipe with the ridiculously named Fish House Punch. –Andrew

Combine everything in a swing bottle and refrigerate overnight. To serve, pour over ice into tiny cups and enjoy! Makes about fourteen two-ounce servings.

This is a heady, rich, boozy punch. (Feel free to dilute it with water or more tea if it’s a little too, ahem, punchy.) There’s a lot going on in this punch, sweet and sours and fruity and funky and spicy, and it’s a great showcase for punch’s ability to incorporate lots of flavors – when you’re working with a big batch, you can start to incorporate small amounts of ingredients, like the apricot, to add subtle notes to each glass.

We made this punch a little smaller than usual for a couple of reasons. First, I was testing out the recipe and didn’t want to mix up a giant bowl, with the risk that a bad recipe would result in a giant bowl of undrinkable punch and several wasted bottles of perfectly good liquor. Second, not every punch needs to be huge. Sometimes, you just want to share a few drinks between friends, or maybe you’re having a party where you want punch but still want some variety. Making it like this gives you flexibility – and it’s a lot easier to transport a bit of punch in a large swing bottle than a whole huge bowl.

Fish House Punch dates all the way back to the 1730s, when a Philadelphia club, known as the State in Schuylkill Fishing Corporation, set up shop and came up with a signature punch. America, or at least its men, used to be much more fond of these clubs and, with them, drinking huge amounts of punch. Progress does not always make things better. This isn’t the original recipe – we’ve added the chamomile, for example, for an added element of spicy complexity, and replaced the now-unavailable peach brandy with some apricot eau-de-vie – but I don’t think anyone from the State in Schuylkill Fishing Corporation would mind the innovation.


Fish House Punch

We’re going to spend some time over the next month or so exploring the big flowing bowl: punches! We’ve featured a few punches before, but we’re going to try to tackle what really makes a punch a success and some of the ways to tweak punches to suit your needs. We’re starting with a spin on a rum punch recipe with the ridiculously named Fish House Punch. –Andrew

Combine everything in a swing bottle and refrigerate overnight. To serve, pour over ice into tiny cups and enjoy! Makes about fourteen two-ounce servings.

This is a heady, rich, boozy punch. (Feel free to dilute it with water or more tea if it’s a little too, ahem, punchy.) There’s a lot going on in this punch, sweet and sours and fruity and funky and spicy, and it’s a great showcase for punch’s ability to incorporate lots of flavors – when you’re working with a big batch, you can start to incorporate small amounts of ingredients, like the apricot, to add subtle notes to each glass.

We made this punch a little smaller than usual for a couple of reasons. First, I was testing out the recipe and didn’t want to mix up a giant bowl, with the risk that a bad recipe would result in a giant bowl of undrinkable punch and several wasted bottles of perfectly good liquor. Second, not every punch needs to be huge. Sometimes, you just want to share a few drinks between friends, or maybe you’re having a party where you want punch but still want some variety. Making it like this gives you flexibility – and it’s a lot easier to transport a bit of punch in a large swing bottle than a whole huge bowl.

Fish House Punch dates all the way back to the 1730s, when a Philadelphia club, known as the State in Schuylkill Fishing Corporation, set up shop and came up with a signature punch. America, or at least its men, used to be much more fond of these clubs and, with them, drinking huge amounts of punch. Progress does not always make things better. This isn’t the original recipe – we’ve added the chamomile, for example, for an added element of spicy complexity, and replaced the now-unavailable peach brandy with some apricot eau-de-vie – but I don’t think anyone from the State in Schuylkill Fishing Corporation would mind the innovation.


Watch the video: Double Indemnitys Fishhouse Punch. How to Drink (July 2022).


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