Punch has its origins in India. It is thought to have been brought to Europe in the 16th century and would have made its way across the Atlantic shortly thereafter.
A long and colourful history has seen punch change its contents, size and serving many times - from being drunk by a gathering of gentlemen with plenty of time on their hands to being served by the glass to those in need of a tipple on the go. Books could be written recording the infinite number of variations to this drink. However, for this article I will share a favourite of mine.
The Fish House Punch is equally as delightful for its flavours as for its history.
The Schuylkill Fishing Company in Philadelphia in what is now the USA, also known as the Fish House, was founded in 1732 as a club for gentlemen who wanted to take the occasional fishing trip in Chesapeake Bay or further north to the French territories, now Canada. It was also a place to get together to smoke cigars, drink whiskey and leave domestic troubles behind. It was here that the Fish House Punch was first concocted.
It was traditionally served over a large block of ice and garnished with slices of lemon.
Whether you are preparing a bowl for a gathering of friends or ordering a thirst-quencher at the bar, this punch is worth a try.
For bar teams, I urge you to create your own signature summertime punch recipe, always remembering that the key is in the flavour balance, the base spirit and the conviviality around the "punch-time" occasion.
FISH HOUSE PUNCH
(as listed in the Savoy Cocktail Book)
• 300ml lemon juice
• 200g caster sugar
• 300ml brandy
• 150ml peach brandy
• 150ml Jamaican rum
• 1.5 litres soda water
Mix the ingredients with ice in a punchbowl. Serve and enjoy.
Gustaf Pilebjer, intern,
020 7091 7492
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