Farm and Fish House Punch
Maybe no one follows the subtle shifts of the seasons more closely than Danny Childs, the bartender and beverage manager at the Farm and Fisherman Tavern in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Childs also runs the Instagram SlowDrinks, where he develops drinks from produce he buys and forages. This cocktail, a fall version of the signature Farm and Fisherman punch, leans on Laird’s Applejack, a nationally available spirit that’s made not far from where Childs lives. It pairs nicely with bourbon and rum, giving it an autumnal, dark liquor flavor.
The base of this drink is an oleo-saccharum, made by steeping lemon peels with sugar and spice overnight before dissolving the sugar in lemon juice. It’s stronger than it tastes, thanks to the apple cider vinegar—perfect for sipping around the fire after a long afternoon hike. Once prepared, the punch stays good for up to six weeks and can be served hot or cold. Childs recommends seeking out a funkier, pot-stilled Jamaican rum variety for the drink, like Smith & Cross or Plantation Xaymaca, though Appleton Estate or replacing the rum with more bourbon also works.
1. To make the oleo-saccharum, peel the lemons, being careful to leave the white pith on the fruits. Place peels in a medium bowl along with demerara sugar. Grind the cinnamon, star anise, clove, and coriander in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle and add to the bowl along with the lemon peels and sugar. Mix well and muddle to release the oils from the peels. Cover the bowl with a towel or plate and let sit at room temperature for at least eight hours, or overnight. Juice the peeled lemons and refrigerate juice in an airtight container.
2. The next day, use a silicone spatula to scrape the oleo-saccharum into a medium saucepan along with the lemon juice and gently heat until all sugar dissolves. Pass through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl (this strained liquid is called a “sherbet”), being sure to squeeze as much liquid from the peels as possible. It should yield about 2¼ cups. Discard the solids after straining.
3. Add the apple cider, Laird’s, rum, and bourbon to the sherbet and stir well to combine. Funnel into airtight bottles or containers and refrigerate. It will keep in the fridge for at least a few months.
4. To serve the punch communally, pour into a punch bowl over a large block of ice and garnish with grated nutmeg. For an individual serving, pour 3.5 ounces into a rocks glass with a large ice cube and garnish with nutmeg.