Saturday, December 17, 2011

Mishe Mokwa Fishtown Punch With St. Julian's A & G Brandy, New Holland Michigan Amber Rum and Black Star Farms Spirit of Apple Brandy

To honor the Great Bear that gave Michigan its recent “Most Beautiful Place in America” distinction by ABC’s Good Morning America and historic Leland’s “Fishtown”, we present our Michigan take on the classic Fish House Punch – The Mishe Mokwa Fishtown Punch, using St. Julian’s A & G Brandy, New Holland Artisan Spirits’ Freshwater Michigan Amber Rum and Black Star Farms’ Spirit of Apple Brandy.  

The Mishe Mokwa Fishtown Punch is inspired and adapted from Jerry Thomas’ recipe for the Fish House Punch, from How to Mix Drinks, or The Bon Vivant’s Companion.


Mishe Mokwa Fishtown Punch 

8 oz. St. Julian A & G Brandy
4 oz. Black Star Farms Spirit of Apple Brandy
4 oz. New Holland Artisan Spirits’ Michigan Freshwater Amber Rum
6 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
12 oz. Simple Syrup (2:1 ratio)
20 oz. cold water

Stir ingredients together in a large pot, and when ready, pour over large block of ice.



A little history:


According to Chippewa legend, a mother bear and her two cubs fled an enormous forest fire on Wisconsin’s Shoreline of Lake Michigan. After many miles of swimming, the two cubs began to lag behind. When the mother bear reached the shore of Michigan, she climbed on the top of a high bluff and waited. The cubs, exhausted from swimming across the great lake, drowned. The mother bear stayed and waited in hopes that her cubs would finally appear. The Great Spirit, impressed by the mother bear's determination and faith, created North and South Manitou Islands to commemorate the cubs. The legend continues with the wind burying the sleeping bear under the sands of the dunes, where she waits to this day.

Leland is built on the site of one of the oldest and largest Ottawa villages on the Leelanau Peninsula, and it offers trips to North and South Manitou Islands via ferry service. White settlers, who began arriving in the 1830s, also took advantage of the location as a fishing settlement. As early as 1880, commercial fishermen sailed out of the harbor to catch trout and whitefish, building wooden shacks where they processed their catch and serviced their fleet. Up to eight powered tugs once sailed out of "Fishtown," as the buildings came to be known. Today, the historic fishing settlement and two fish tugs, Joy and Janice Sue, are owned by a non-profit organization, Fishtown Preservation Society. Fishtown is home to a working fishery and a thriving charter fishing business. The riverfront is lined by a boardwalk and quaint shacks that have been converted into tourist shops.



Fish House Punch is said to have first been concocted in 1732 at Philadelphia’s fishing club, the Schuylkill Fishing Company, also known as the "Fish House." The Fish House was an august gentleman's society devoted to escaping domestic tribulation, cigars, whiskey and the occasional fishing foray upon the Chesapeake or the Restagoosh River in Nova Scotia. Another version states that the punch originated in 1848 by Shippen Willing of Philadelphia. It was invented to celebrate the momentous occasion of women being allowed into the premises of the "Fish House" for the first time in order to enliven the annual Christmas Party. 

This punch is an elegantly simple recipe that requires only moderately careful adherence to the process of making the punch. Care needs to be exercised while enjoying this tasty libation that has its own poem:
Fish House Punch
There's a little place just out of town,
Where, if you go to lunch,
They'll make you forget your mother-in-law
With a drink called Fish-House Punch.
-The Cook (1885)


Black Star Farms - Spirit of Apple Brandy

Apple brandy was the first spirit produced in America during the Revolution. Following in the Colonial tradition, our small-batch, hand-crafted apple brandy is distilled from a true cider blend of several different apple varieties including Jonagold, Winesap, Rhode Island Greening, Spy, McIntosh, and Jonathan. It is then barrel-aged for three to five years, using both French and American oak. At the precise time, the distiller feels is optimum to showcase the fruit from Leelanau County's bounty, the brandy is bottled - often a single barrel at a time.

Flavor and Aroma:

In this brandy, Black Star Farms strived for a distinctive fruit-driven style when compared to its French cousin, Calvados, which is aged 6-8 years and is typically more oaky. Pale golden amber in color, ours is well balanced with opulent, sweet-wood apple and caramel aromas and mellowed, spicy warmth.

St. Julian A & G Brandy

Aged grape brandy made from Chardonnay, Pinot Gris & Vidal Blanc grapes. The aroma of vanilla, hazelnut & butterscotch intertwined with toast, chocolate, & anise. The palate is soft & smooth with flavors that follow the aromas. 

New Holland Freshwater Michigan Amber Rum

Freshwater Rum is a series of rums inspired by the majestic Great Lakes. Michigan amber rum is distilled from a wash of fermented cane-sugar molasses. Its oak-barrel aging reflects in a caramel color and deep body. A rich and smooth marriage of molasses and oak, Freshwater Michigan is classic rum excellent for classic cocktails or served neat, perhaps with a single ice cube.