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Philadelphia Fish House Punch

  • 5 3/8 oz Raw Sugar (5 oz, 2 tsp by volume)
  • 16 oz Lemon Juice
  • 16 oz Water
  • 32 oz Aged Jamaican Rum
  • 16 oz Cognac
  • 4 oz Peach Brandy

First, make an oleo-saccharum from peel of 3 lemons and the sugar.  Put the oleo-saccharum in a large bowl, heat 1 cup of the water and stir into the oleo-saccharum to dissolve the remaining sugar.  Remove the peel and suspend above the bowl in a strainer.

Add the remaining water and all other ingredients to the bowl through the peel.  Discard the peel and stir the punch to combine.  Check for sweetness and adjust if necessary.  Serve on the rocks at this point, or chill the punch and serve without ice.  The punch improves with some time in the fridge.

Prep Time 2 minutes
Servings 16
Category Punch
Tags 1600-1775 (Punch Age), Classic
Proof 46.1
Strength 2.1 standard drinks
Glass Old Fashioned or Rocks Glass
Temp Cold

This is pretty much the grand-daddy of punch and has been around since the late 18th century.  

Notes on ingredients

For the rum, Appleton 12 Year is a good choice.  If you find yourself without Jamaican rum, use whatever aged rum you have that has the most funk.  Or if you have it you can "Jamaicanize" the rum mixture by adding a few ounces of Smith and Cross.

You can also reverse the Cognac and rum proportions if you wish, or use equal parts.

The peach brandy is a difficult one.  The original ingredient back in the 1700's was a peach brandy distilled on the pits and then aged in wood.  It disappeared around the outbreak of World War II.  With our ongoing cocktail renaissance, we now have some serviceable substitutes.

  • Rothman & Winter Orchard Peach - though technically listed as a liqueur, this stuff is made from peach eau-de-vie and so has quite a bit more depth than your run of the mill peach liqueur.  Since it is sweeter than peach brandy, try 3-4 oz of it and adjust as necessary.
  • Kuchan Barrel Aged Peach Brandy - here you something closer to what was originally used in the Philadelphia Fish House Punch.  I have not tried it yet, but if you have, please comment below.  You can use more of this since it is a brandy, perhaps 8 oz or more.

Notes on technique

To make the oleo-saccharum, combine the lemon peel and sugar in a covered bowl and let sit out on the counter overnight.  If you are in a time pinch, you can get by with an hour of sit time.  

Concerning the sugar, you can use normal white granulated sugar.  But I think this punch improves with raw sugar lending some depth to the concoction.  

This punch will improve with a little time to blend.  Make it in the morning and it will hitting its stride by late afternoon.  It will even keep in the fridge, bottled, for several days.

Ingredient Profile

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