Philadelphia Fish House Punch

The high season of outdoor entertaining demands a drink that is equally as social—especially as the day’s get-togethers become the evening’s parties. Enter the fish house punch. Built around the idea that guests serve themselves while they mingle around a centrally located vessel, this recipe serves 10 with minimal effort from the host. It dates back to Philadelphia’s Schuylkill Fishing Company in 1732 where gentleman fished, dined and drank. George Washington, a steadfast diarist, sampled the potent blend during dinner at the Fish House. His journal remained blank for the three days following.

1 1/2c granulated sugar
2qts water
1qt lemon juice
2qts dark rum
1qt cognac
4oz peach brandy

Into a large bowl add the water and lemon juice then stir in the sugar to dissolve. Next add the alcohol and chill the mixture in the refrigerator for two hours or overnight. For a decorative block of ice fill a Bundt pan with water and freeze. A filled water balloon will do in a pinch. To serve, pour the punch into a chilled bowl with the ice ring or in an infusion jar as shown here.