Time for a Drink: “Fish House Punch (Fishy Version)

I knew the recipe for the Fish House Punch from Charles Schumann’s bible, American Bar. He lists two versions, one standard and one of his own. I never understood the Fish House reference. Why is there nothing related to fish in this drink?

If you read up on the cocktail of this drink, it was reportedly invented in a fishing club in Philadelphia way back when, hence the name.

But I decided to do a more fishy version of it. And as I usually do not serve a ship’s worth of thirsty sailors and fishermen, but maybe a handful of people, the quantities have been adapted.

The Recipe


  • 5cl of Dashi
  • 3cl of dark rum
  • 1cl of brandy
  • juice of half a lime
  • lime slice
  • sugar as required


Add hot dashi, liquors, lime juice and sugar to a mixing glass and stir (without ice). Fill into small beaker and add lime slice.


For the Dashi, I used some niban dachi (i.e. the second cooking of the dashi ingredients) made of Katsuobushi, anchobis and Kombu. For the niban, I decided to add some shallots and also carrots (I had some to spare available).

As for the alcoholic content, it was Don Papa (a Philipine dark rum) and Veterane 8 anos brandy. Furthermore, I added a little less then half a tablespoon of sugar (it was brown cane sugar, if you must know).


This is not uninteresting. While you would immediately expect a strong, overwhelming taste from the Dashi fish stock, nothing like this happens. In fact, the bite of the rum, sourness of the lime and fish taste seem to balance each other out, resulting in a warm, fruity and strangely saturating taste experience.

This is not a typical punch, it isn’t even a typical cocktail. I honestly don’t know where I would place it in a drink context, or in a food context. One idea might be to serve it instead of a soup course for a small menu. It may also work well as a corpse reviver, which often come with complete protein ingredients. And finally, why not enjoy one when returning all cold from a trip during the cold winter months?

All in all, an interesting discovery, and one I’m bound to revisit, if only during the cold season.




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