Texas Farmers Market April 3 2020

Lake Austin Fish Shack Punch


Courtesy of David Alan of the Tipsy Texan

Philadelphia Fish House Punch is one of the oldest cocktails in the proverbial book. It dates to colonial times, and was the official drink of a sporting and social club outside of Philadelphia known as the State in Schuylkill. Short on a couple of ingredients, I improvised and found the resulting punch to be more enjoyable than the original. Given its improvised nature, I have named it for those old, understated shacks that used to line Lake Austin, and which are still occasionally visible through the McMansions.

Super easy

Lake Austin Fish Shack Punch


For 1 Batch(es)


  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 (or more) lemons (enough to yield
  • 1 cups fresh lemon juice)
  • 8 ounces aged rum
  • 4 ounces Cognac
  • 3 ounces applejack or Calvados
  • 1 ounces pear liqueur
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 Ice block

Lake Austin Fish Shack Punch Directions

  1. First, prepare what is known as an oleo-saccharum (sugared oil) by placing the sugar in a mixing bowl. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the outermost layer of the lemon rind (zest) from the lemons in strips. Do this over the sugar to capture as much of the essential oils as possible as they are released from the peel.
  2. Using a muddler or wooden kitchen spoon, gently grind the sugar and zest, allowing the abrasion of the sugar to remove more essential oil from the lemon zest. Once abundantly fragrant, allow to rest for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Combine half of the lemon juice with the oleo-saccharum and stir to create a syrup. Strain out the peels.
  4. In a punch bowl, combine spirits, oleo-saccharum and half of the water. Taste and add more water or lemon juice as needed to achieve a pleasing balance. Chill, and keep cold with the ice block.

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