The use of fish as a decorative feature on a punch bowl is not, at first, an obvious choice. Although sometimes drunk with anchovy toasts, salmon, fried whitebait or oysters (in Britain at least), this does not seem to be the reason for fish decorations.
Instead, it appears that the use of fish decorations on British punch bowls was associated with alcohol and the imagery of being as drunk as a fish.
London, Bristol or Wincanton delft blue and manganese punch bowl c. 1750
The expression ‘to drink like a fish’ has long been popular in Britain to indicate drinking a large amount of alcohol. It was first recorded in 1640, appearing in Fletcher and Shirley’s stage comedy The night-walker, or the little theife: ‘Give me the bottle, I can drink like a Fish now, like an Elephant.’ In William Congreve’s 1700 play The Way of the World, he says ‘Thou art both as drunk and as mute as a fish.’
Delftware with a plain manganese exterior with fish
Omer Gazit-Shalev of Bar 223 adding the final ingredient, champagne, to the French Governor cocktail
Last week I was invited to meet Omer Gazit-Shalev manager of Bar 223 in Tel-Aviv, creator of a new cocktail, French Governor, winner of the first national round of the Bacardi Legacy Competition.
This competition seeks creation of an original cocktail with an interesting background story, an appealing drink with the potential to become a classic cocktail. And of course the usual flair preparing and presenting the cocktail. As this competition is sponsored by Bacardi, the main requirement is that the cocktail include one of two staple bar ingredients: Bacardi Superior rum (white) or Bacardi Carta Oro rum (golden).