Philadelphia Fish House Punch



  • Skin from 12 Lemons
  • 17 oz. Granulated Sugar
  • 16 oz. Lemon Juice (strained)
  • 20 oz. Cognac
  • 16 oz. Jamaican Gold Rum
  • 12 oz. Peach Brandy
  • 8 cups Water (2 cups boiling/6 cups cold) or 8-cups tea (we use a rooibus tea)
  • 6-8 Fresh/Frozen peach slices and 3-4 fresh thyme sprigs (for the ice ring)

  • The night before, aggressively muddle the lemon skins into the sugar in a glass bowl. Cover and let sit on the counter. Place the peach slices and thyme sprigs into a Bundt pan, fill with water and freeze. In the morning, pour the 2 cups of boiling water into the sugar/lemon oleo-saccharin and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the remaining water, stir briefly, and strain through a colander, discarding the lemon skins. Add the spirits and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. To serve, pour the chilled punch into a punch bowl and add the ice ring. Top generously with grated nutmeg. Makes 1 gallon. Serves 12-16.

Created by the men of the Colony of Schuylkill – a fishing and hunting club founded in 1732 by the followers of William Penn – this concoction is one of the oldest and grandest punches in the Americas. Like many gentleman’s clubs of the era, this gang gathered, to a great extent, to fellowship with each other, and to drink. And this was their drink. The club house (which they called the “Castle”) was situated on the banks of the Schuylkill River – which runs through Philadelphia and drains into the Delaware. Many famous Revolutionary-era gentlemen (including George Washington) visited the Castle to enjoy this quaff, and now you can too. Cheers!


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