Fish House Punch

There's a little place just out of town,
Where, if you go to lunch,
They'll make you forget your mother-in-law
With a drink called Fish-House Punch.

So I'm late. The title of this here blog refers to my, speed, my life. And I'm a fairly busy guy, just like Boudreau....

Anyway, feeling stupid that I didn't get my submission in on time for this month's MXMO, and heading over to, I noticed nobody wrote about Fish House Punch!!! Well well well...

Ted Haigh, aka the wonderful Dr. Cocktail, wrote an evocative piece about Fish House Punch in the September/October edition of Imbibe, so maybe that's why nobody tackled it. Who wants to follow up on Ted Haigh? Me? Not really. For the most part, he nailed it, offering history (the recipe originates in 1732, making it older than the nation itself), personal experience (drinking the punch at a ladies house who eliminated everything but the liquor) and a sense of time and tradition (autumnal rhapsody demands a drink "of ancestors and history").

I don't have that much to add. What I can say is that it is enjoying a healthy renaissance, popping up on cocktail menus around the world (1806, and Death & Co to name two), and that it works as a solo cocktail, too.

Fish House Punch
3/4 oz. dark rum
3/4 oz. Cognac
3/4 oz. peach brandy
1/2 oz. simple syrup
1/4 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice

Shake, strain into ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wheel and a single cherry.

I lifted the above recipe from the 2007 edition of the Food & Wine cocktail guide. I've been serving this at Union for over a year now, and the reception has always been favorable. If you'd like to try it as it's meant to be tried, I give you David Wondrich's adaptation from an 1862 recipe by some dude named Jerry Thomas in his recent book Imbibe.

1 pint fresh lemon juice
1 pound Demerara sugar
3 oz. peach brandy
27 oz. cognac
18 oz. rum
3 quarts water

He also gives his own individual serving along with some great backstory at Esquire.

There are some cocktails dredged up and respected simply because of their age and pedigree, and there are some that have withstood the test of time because, well, they're delicious. Fish House Punch falls in the latter category.

Lavender & Cucumber Sour

Here it is, early September, and I still haven't gotten around to writing about the cocktail that most impressed me at this summers Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans (aside from the refreshing Bud Light I shared with Rocky Yeh and Jeffrey Morgenthaler at the Hotel Monteleone pool). That award goes to Charlotte Voisey's Lavender & Cucumber Sour, sampled at the spirited cocktail pairing at August.

Okay, Charlotte Voisey. Let's get this out of the way, right now. She's beautiful. I can safely say this because I'm a happily married man, but look at her..... She's one of those people who, I think, probably has to fight against her natural good looks in order to be taken seriously in her career. Trying to talk to her, I got the feeling that might definitely have been the case. Anyway, the woman who is also the face of Hendrick's Gin is extraordinarily gifted, and this cocktail deserves to be published and admired on its own merits. Certainly those sitting with me at the table (including such luminaries as Rocky, Dayne and Wendy, and Anita and Cameron) agreed.

Lavender & Cucumber Sour

1 1/2 oz. Hendrick's Gin (what, you were expecting Boodles?)
1/4 oz Domaine de Canton Ginger Liquer
3/4 oz Sonoma Lavender Syrup
1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 egg white
2 slices cucumber
2 dashes lavender bitters

Muddle cucumber with lavender syrup. Add Hendrick's and other ingredients and shake well. Serve over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a cucumber slice and sprig of fresh lavender.