Saturday, September 27, 2008

philadelphia fish-house punch (variant)

Last night, Andrea and I threw a punchbowl party in honor of the birth of John Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed). Michael Pollan in his book The Botany of Desire dubbed Chapman the American Dionysus for he brought the gift of alcohol to the frontier in the form of fermentable fruit.

Keeping with the theme, we made apple variations of two classic punch recipes, the Philadelphia Fish-House and Columbian Punches. The first one we made was the Fish-House, a punch which one history dates it back to 1732. It was created at a Philadelphia fishing club and gentleman’s society called the Schuylkill Fishing Club, and the punch is best summed up in these lines from a poem, “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.” And yes, the punch is that strong…
Philadelphia Fish-House Punch (variant)
• 1.75 liter Amber Rum
• 750 mL Calvados
• 1/2 cup Peach Brandy
• 7 cups Water
• 2 cups Sugar
• 1 lemon thinly sliced
The original form of this recipe used Cognac instead of my Calvados substitution. My notes say that I used Mount Gay Eclipse rum, Morin Selecion Calvados, and Crème de Peche de Vigne. The rum and apple brandy were placed in the freezer overnight. I made up the sugar as a cold-process simple syrup and placed in the refrigerator for chilling. The refrigeration of the liquids was to avoid the need for ice which would change the shape of the punch over time.


Tiare said...

This looks real tasty and so do the Colombian punch as well! nice picture!

frederic said...

Thanks! The Columbian definitely won out for flavor with the Chartreuse and tea adding some delightful herbal notes. Cheers!

alchemistgeorge said...

I've seen references to aging fish house punch for up to a year before drinking it - anyone know anything about it? We are big fish house punch fans, we only make it on very special occasions - once every three to five years - because everyone (including us) gets smashed regardless of warnings.