Friday, July 9, 2010
Exhibit #35: Fish House Punch
the picture: The "Castle" of the State in Schuylkill
Fish House Punch $6
A quintessentially American punch. Cognac, rum, lemon juice, sweet lemon oil, sugar, peach brandy, and water. The official tipple of the "State in Schuylkill," the world's oldest dining club. Founded in 1732 near Philadelphia by treaty with the Delaware Indians, the state's official business was angling, hunting, and washing it all down with their potent Fish House Punch. Membership was limited, and the senior members, or "citizens," all held official titles such as governor, lieutenant governor, secretary, coroner, and so forth. Unlike other social clubs, there were no servants, and all participated in the preparation of the feasts, even visiting presidents and dignitaries. There is very little current information, but word is the club still exists and still operates according to the original, colonial period bylaws. Unfortunately we cannot say the same for real peach brandy, a lynchpin in this recipe as well as several key juleps. To compensate, we (and the State) use a smaller amount of the modern, sweet stuff, and increased the amount of regular brandy (cognac). And a few dashes of peach bitters.
See here for a good wiki, and here for a 1905 NYT article on the club.