There is a reason that we live in Western New York, and that is there is a change of seasons. We hear the complaints about how awful winter is here, but what is horrible is having the same weather all the time. A change of season is good. This year, we deemed the summer the year of terrible rain and bugs. Oh, the bugs that were out in the world seemed inhumane. The worst was the mosquitoes. So, it seemed like when the humidity was up, we were crouched in our house, hunkered down and trying to avoid mosquitoes. It was then that we started to look forward to Autumn. In no time at all, the weather broke, the 80 degree days subsided, and the cool temps of Autumn descended on us. The hot days are slowly receding, but it was enough for us to have a Saturday cocktail night with an Autumn theme.
The first gathering of Fall means our yearly foray into Fish House Punch. We have made Fish House Punch our gateway cocktail to the Fall season; discovered in a classic cocktail book, it became an instant favorite. We did this because when our Founding Fathers first invented the drink, they celebrated the end of summer with a Fish House punch bash. If it was good enough for Benjamin Franklin, well, it is good enough for us. This cocktail embodies the true spirit of American ingenuity in that it is full of lots and lots of alcohol but tastes like a harmless punch, which leads to a lot of issues for the novice Fish House puncher.
We paired the sweet cocktail with Apple Sausages, a homemade potato salad with our very own homegrown blue potatoes and a whole stalk of brussels sprouts roasted in the oven. The side dish consisted of slow-cooked applesauce with apples picked the day before. Aside from the apple sausages, everything was grown and harvested within a couple of miles of the house. When celebrating the season, it is good to use what is fresh and local. The flavors are unique, and the quality is better than anything shipped from many states away.
Fish House Punch Recipe
- 2 qt Jamaican Rum
- 1 qt Brandy
- ¾ pt Peach Brandy
- ¾ pt Cherry Brandy
- 1 ½ qt Green Tea freshly made
- 1 pint Lemon Juice
- 1 lb Powdered Sugar (I use Stevia for a lower sugar content)
- 1 bottle of Champagne
Stir together in a large bowl or container. Let brew (2 days is recommended). When ready, pour over ice in a punch bowl and add the champagne.