There are a lot of delicious drinks out there that should get more play, but maybe none more so than the Fish House Punch.
My first experience with making a Fish House Punch came from the original Dead Rabbit cocktail book. On my first visit to the bar, I had a drink called a Bankers Punch which immediately became one of my favorite drinks.
Since most of the drinks in the books were so complex, I thumbed through the pages trying to find something that seemed doable, and their Philadelphia Fish House Punch recipe was the first one I found that seemed manageable (this being a relative term).
It uses many of the same rums I already had, but the difficult part was making your own oleo saccharum. An oleo saccharum is a process of combining the oils of citrus peels with sugar in order to extract more flavor out of the fruit.
It took some time to make, but the result was fantastic. And is something I’ve made for parties multiple times.
It’s boozier than you expect it to be, has a nice peach flavor from the peach liqueur, and the nutmeg grated over the drink really puts it over the top.
But for the Dead Rabbit version, it takes some time to make. Once you have the syrup/oleo saccharum made, you can cut the recipe down by 1/10ths to make one offs, but it still isn’t a drink you just whip together.
A Simple Fish House Punch Recipe
It was quite a bit different than the Dead Rabbit version using fewer rums, adding cognac, and not having to create a time consuming syrup.
So obviously, it can’t be as good, right?
Upon making the Fish House Punch for the first time I found the drink to be wonderful. It feels less boozy than the Dead Rabbit version (which needs an hour or so on ice in a punchbowl to help dilute), but still retained that wonderful marriage of citrus and peach that makes the drink so good. Oh, and let’s not forget the nutmeg is still there.
Neither of these versions is better than the other, but certainly a bit different. But to have one that only takes 5 minutes to make, and is broadly approachable for basically any guest that comes over – that’s a win in my book.
This summer, I’ve probably served the Fish House Punch more than any other drink at my (socially distanced) gatherings on the back deck, and it will continue to be a favorite for many years to come.
One of the things I’ve found about this drink, is it’s pretty flexible. So close counts with ingredients.
I’ve made it with regular Plantation white rum, Havana Club 7 year, and my normal go to Banks 7. They all work.
I’ve made it with (cringe) bottle lemon juice in a pinch – still tastes great!
One big non-negotiable for having this drink turn out correctly those is the Creme de Peche. It’s one of the dominant flavors in a Fish House Punch, so without it, you’re going to end up with a different cocktail.
Although, I do wonder how it would taste with apricot….hmmmmm.
All that to say, if you’re looking for a drink that will satisfy both those that want something sweet and easy to drink, but also those looking for something more complex and worthy of a cocktail connoisseur, then look no further than this Fish House Punch recipe. There are lots of variations out there, so do some research and try different types if it’s a drink that appeals to you. But even if you go no further than this recipe here, you’ll still be in really good shape.
Be sure to buy the Cocktail Codex book for more easy to make recipes, and if you’re the adventurous type who wants to get more involved in your cocktails? Then the Dead Rabbit Drinks Manual is an excellent addition to your library as well.
Fish House Punch Recipe (Make in 5 Minutes!)
- Cocktail Shaker
- Hawthorne Strainer
- 2 oz Cold Club Soda
- .75 oz Cognac
- .75 oz Blended Aged Rum I use Banks 7 (but there are plenty of cheaper options that will yield similar results)
- .75 oz Creme de Peche
- .75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
- .25 oz Demerara Syrup Regular simple syrup will totally work
- 1 Sprinkle Nutmeg Fresh is best, but bottled is great.
- Combine all ingredients except nutmeg into cocktail shaker
- Shake for 10 seconds
- Double strain over large cube
- Sprinkle or grate fresh nutmeg over the top
Resources Mentioned in This Post
The drinks in this book are a little more advanced, but if you're up for a challenge you'll be WELL rewarded. Do yourself a favor, start with the "Bankers Punch"
Additional Recipes You Might Enjoy
If you liked this Fish House Punch, you may also enjoy these drinks:
- Peach Old Fashioned – Creme de Peche is a “secret weapon ingredient” that can be a great tasting spin on many classics
- Avocado Margarita – Another great patio drink, and one of the best ones I’ve ever created.
- Repossession Cocktail – Another lemon sour drink, made more unique by using sherry and mezcal from the NoMad team.