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
Fish House Punch
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.
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Glassware by Liquorary
Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper