Fish House Punch Cocktail Drink

Fish House Punch

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

With the Fish House Punch recipe and the right ingredients, you’ll make a drink that’s the toast of any gathering.

Fish House Punch Recipe

The ultimate Fish House Punch recipe! A tasty mix of dark rum, cognac, and peach ensures every sip is a celebration.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

217 kl

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 lemons, juiced
  • 1 cup Dark Rum
  • ½ cup Cognac or Brandy
  • 2 cups cold water or black tea
  • ¼ cup peach Schnapps or peach Brandy
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon slices, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Punch Bowl or Large Mixing Bowl
  • Measuring Cups
  • Stirrer or Ladle
  • Serving Glasses

Instructions

  • Dissolve Sugar: Add ¾ cup sugar and the juice of 3 lemons to the punch bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves completely.
  • Mix Spirits: Pour ¼ cup peach Schnapps or peach Brandy, ½ cup Cognac or Brandy, and 1 cup Dark Rum into the bowl.
  • Add Water: Incorporate 2 cups cold water or black tea, ensuring a consistent mixture.
  • Chill: Add ice cubes to chill the punch to your desired temperature.
  • Garnish: Float lemon slices on top for a decorative touch.

Notes

Substitutes:

From personal experience, I've tinkered with the following changes:
  • Dark Rum: Light rum or spiced rum can be a good substitute. Spiced rum will introduce a more complex flavor.
  • Cognac or Brandy: You can use whiskey, though it will alter the flavor profile. A fruity whiskey works best.
  • Peach Schnapps: In the absence of schnapps, a peach liqueur or even a touch of peach nectar (though reduce sugar if you use nectar) does the trick.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Dark Rum & Cognac Substitute: Use non-alcoholic rum and brandy alternatives. They're available in most specialty stores.
  • Peach Schnapps: Use peach nectar or a peach-flavored syrup. Remember to adjust the sugar content to prevent over-sweetening.

Making it Vegan:

The original recipe is already vegan-friendly. However, be cautious of the sugar you use. Some sugar brands use bone char in their refining process. Opt for organic or unrefined sugar to ensure it's vegan.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
217
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.3
g
0
%
Saturated Fat
 
0.03
g
0
%
Sodium
 
1
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
29
g
10
%
Fiber
 
0.3
g
1
%
Sugar
 
25
g
28
%
Potassium
 
89
mg
3
%
Protein
 
0.3
g
1
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.02
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
0.01
g
Vitamin A
 
5
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
33
mg
40
%
Calcium
 
5
mg
1
%
Iron
 
0.1
mg
1
%

 

Fish House Punch Cocktail Drink

Fish House Punch Recipe

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The ultimate Fish House Punch recipe! A tasty mix of dark rum, cognac, and peach ensures every sip is a celebration.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 217

Ingredients
 

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 lemons - juiced
  • 1 cup Dark Rum
  • ½ cup Cognac or Brandy
  • 2 cups cold water or black tea
  • ¼ cup peach Schnapps or peach Brandy
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon slices - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Punch Bowl or Large Mixing Bowl
  • Measuring Cups
  • Stirrer or Ladle
  • Serving Glasses

Instructions

  • Dissolve Sugar: Add ¾ cup sugar and the juice of 3 lemons to the punch bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves completely.
  • Mix Spirits: Pour ¼ cup peach Schnapps or peach Brandy, ½ cup Cognac or Brandy, and 1 cup Dark Rum into the bowl.
  • Add Water: Incorporate 2 cups cold water or black tea, ensuring a consistent mixture.
  • Chill: Add ice cubes to chill the punch to your desired temperature.
  • Garnish: Float lemon slices on top for a decorative touch.

Notes

Substitutes:

From personal experience, I've tinkered with the following changes:
  • Dark Rum: Light rum or spiced rum can be a good substitute. Spiced rum will introduce a more complex flavor.
  • Cognac or Brandy: You can use whiskey, though it will alter the flavor profile. A fruity whiskey works best.
  • Peach Schnapps: In the absence of schnapps, a peach liqueur or even a touch of peach nectar (though reduce sugar if you use nectar) does the trick.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Dark Rum & Cognac Substitute: Use non-alcoholic rum and brandy alternatives. They're available in most specialty stores.
  • Peach Schnapps: Use peach nectar or a peach-flavored syrup. Remember to adjust the sugar content to prevent over-sweetening.

Making it Vegan:

The original recipe is already vegan-friendly. However, be cautious of the sugar you use. Some sugar brands use bone char in their refining process. Opt for organic or unrefined sugar to ensure it's vegan.

What is a Fish House Punch?

Fish House Punch is a rum cocktail with cognac, peach schnapps, and citrus flavors. Historians trace its origins back to Philadelphia’s elite fishing clubs in the 18th century. The name likely stems from these exclusive gatherings at waterside retreats.

A side shot of a Fish House Punch cocktail in a low ball glass on a wooden board placed on a white cloth on a grey surface surrounded by three lemons, sugar cubes and a jigger.

What is a Fish House Punch made of – The ingredients

To prepare a Fish House Punch, gather these items:

  • Dark Rum: Provides a strong backbone and deep flavor.
  • Cognac or Brandy: Adds depth and warmth with its rich, fruity profile.
  • Peach Schnapps or Peach Brandy: A sweet peachy note infuses the punch.
  • Lemons (juiced): Brings in a tangy zest that balances out the sweetness.
  • Sugar: Sweetens the mixture and complements the alcoholic components.
  • Cold Water or Black tea: Dilutes the punch to the desired strength, ensures it’s refreshing and in the case of black tea it adds complexity and aromas. 
  • Ice Cubes: Chills the punch, enhancing its refreshing quality.
  • Lemon slices (optional for garnish): Adds a visual touch and a hint of citrus aroma.

Dark Rum, Cognac, Peach Brandy, sugar cubes, water and lemon laid out on a white bar table.

How do you make a Fish House Punch?

To make the best Fish House Punch, follow our easy guide:

1
<p>Start by adding sugar to the punch or large mixing bowl.</p>

Start by adding sugar to the punch or large mixing bowl.

2
<p> Incorporate lemon juice to the punch.</p>

Incorporate lemon juice to the punch.

3
<p>Pour peach schnapps to the mix.</p>

Pour peach schnapps to the mix.

4
<p>Add cognac or brandy to the mix.</p>

Add cognac or brandy to the mix.

5
<p>Pour dark rum into the punch.</p>

Pour dark rum into the punch.

6
<p>Mix the ingredients well to ensure a harmonious blend.</p>

Mix the ingredients well to ensure a harmonious blend.

7
<p>Incorporate cold water or black tea to achieve the right balance and consistency.</p>

Incorporate cold water or black tea to achieve the right balance and consistency.

8
<p>Add ice cubes to chill the punch, adjusting the amount to your desired temperature.</p>

Add ice cubes to chill the punch, adjusting the amount to your desired temperature.

9
<p>Float lemon slices on top of the punch for added aroma and visual appeal.</p>

Float lemon slices on top of the punch for added aroma and visual appeal.

Why is it sometimes called a Philadelphia Fish House Punch?

Adding “Philadelphia” to the title emphasizes the drink’s origin. It’s a direct nod to the city where this concoction first made waves, specifically at the elite State in Schuylkill fishing club. So, when you come across “Philadelphia Fish House Punch,” it’s less about a difference in ingredients and more about paying homage to the punch’s birthplace.

Best Rum for a Fish House Punch

 The choice of rum can elevate your concoction from good to unforgettable. Dark rum is the go-to for this punch, bringing depth and character. If you’re scouting for quality, Mount Gay, with its rich Barbadian roots, offers a smoothness that complements the drink’s fruity notes. Another standout is Gosling’s Black Seal, a Bermudian beauty that delivers a hint of molasses magic to the blend. However, I’d tip my hat to Appleton Estate’s Jamaican offerings for a Fish House Punch that truly sings. Its aged profile and warm, spicy undertones make it the star player in this historic drink.

A Fish House Punch cocktail, shot from above, in a low ball glass on a wooden board placed on a white cloth on a grey surface surrounded by three lemons, and three sugar cubes.

Can I use Gin for a Fish House Punch?

 Introducing Gin can be a refreshing twist. Gin, with its herbal and botanical notes, can add a layer of complexity to the punch. While you might be tempted to reach for any gin, not everyone is equal to this mix. Tanqueray, with its crisp juniper bite, can stand up to the strong flavors of the punch. Beefeater, another renowned brand, offers a balanced blend of botanicals to enhance the drink’s depth. But if I had to place a bet on a gin that harmonizes beautifully with the Fish House Punch, I’d pick Bombay Sapphire. Its subtle citrus undertones and aromatic profile play well with the fruity elements of the punch, making each sip a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation.

A side shot of a Fish House Punch cocktail in a low ball glass on a wooden board placed on a white cloth on a grey surface surrounded by three lemons, and a jigger.

History and Origin of the Fish House Punch

The Fish House Punch holds a storied place in American cocktail history. Its roots trace back to the 18th century in Philadelphia, specifically to an elite gentlemen’s fishing club known as the State in Schuylkill, sometimes called the “Schuylkill Fishing Company.” Founded in 1732, the club members initially concocted this punch as a communal drink for their gatherings.

The club, which dubbed itself “The State in Schuylkill,” was not a state but an exclusive society. They often met at their clubhouse along the Schuylkill River, a place they fondly named the “Fish House,” hence the punch’s name.

The Fish House Punch’s reputation quickly grew beyond the club’s confines. By the time of the American Revolution, many notable figures, including George Washington, reportedly enjoyed the punch. Some even say that Washington occasionally indulged too much in the drink, which speaks to its potency.

The punch’s enduring legacy, combined with its potent blend of rum, cognac, and peach brandy, has cemented its place in cocktail lore. Today, it remains a popular choice for large gatherings and celebrations.

A Fish House Punch cocktail, shot from above, in a punch bowl on a white marmol table surrounded by a water bottle, a cognac bottle, a peach brandy bottle, sugar cubes, two lemons, and a Dark Rum bottle.

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FAQ

How many calories are in a Fish House Punch?
A typical serving of Fish House Punch contains approximately 200-250 calories, which can vary based on specific ingredients and proportions.
How strong is the Fish House Punch regarding alcohol content?
The Fish House Punch generally has an ABV (Alcohol by Volume) of around 20-30%, translating to 40-60 proof, but this can vary based on the specific ratio of ingredients used.
What types of alcohol are used in a Fish House Punch?
The primary alcohols in the drink are dark rum, cognac, and peach schnapps or peach brandy.
In which type of glass should you serve Fish House Punch?
Fish House Punch is traditionally served in a punch bowl and ladled into individual cups or glasses.
What does the Fish House Punch taste like?
The cocktail boasts a harmonious blend of sweet, fruity, and slightly tart flavors, primarily showcasing dark rum, peach, and citrus notes.
What is the typical ratio of ingredients in a Fish House Punch?
While recipes vary, a common ratio is 2 parts rum, 1 part cognac, and 1 part peach schnapps, with added lemon juice and sugar for balance.
How is the Fish House Punch typically served in terms of preparation?
It is usually served over ice in individual glasses, ensuring it remains chilled as guests enjoy it.
Is Fish House Punch suitable for large gatherings?
Absolutely! Its communal nature makes it a favorite choice for parties and celebrations.
How important is the peach component in the punch?
Peach is a defining ingredient, providing a unique sweetness and fruity note that distinguishes the punch.

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