Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cocktail Wednesdays: Milk Punch

Milk Punch

As we enter the holiday season, it's about time for me to get over my fear of adding milk to cocktails. You won't be seeing any possets or syllabubs here, because curdled milk scares me. On the other hand, as Irish cream shows, not all dairy drinks have that issue.

Last night's choice was milk punch. I first encountered this drink on Smitten Kitchen, where Deb was feeling pretty obsessed with it last winter. For some reason, I remembered it as being something I had read about on Four Pounds Flour, so I had a bit of trouble finding the recipe post I had originally read. Ok, I say "for some reason", but I know exactly why. Four Pounds Flour is a cooking blog where Sarah Lohman documents her historical gastronomy research and experiments she conducts in her tiny New York apartment, or at the museums where she demonstrates, such as the Lower East Side (Jewish) Tenement Museum. Deb of Smitten Kitchen also makes all of the dishes she writes about in her tiny New York kitchen, and she often posts Jewish dishes from her family; additionally, she linked to Ben Franklin's milk punch recipe and talked about it a little in her post, so it's no wonder my memory was fuzzy. I thought about history and a New York cook, so my mind immediately had me searching Sarah's blog. Recently, 12 Bottle Bar posted a recipe for milk punch, which helped bring it to the forefront of my list of drinks to try during cold weather. During my search, I also found 12 Bottle Bar's brandy milk punch recipe, and a recipe on Cocktail Hacker. Ultimately, I decided to go with the recipe that involved only milk, no half-and-half, because we don't keep half-and-half on hand.

Milk Punch

1 oz Brandy
0.5 oz Dark Rum
0.5 oz Simple Syrup
2 dashes (1/4 tsp) Vanilla Extract
4 oz Whole Milk

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass
Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with shaved or crushed ice
Garnish with a grated nutmeg

The verdict: This was a nice wintery tipple to drink in front of the fire. It's a bit like eggnogg, but not so dense, with a frothy top. I really liked the way the vanilla extract and the vanilla qualities in the rum played with the milk. I was a accidentally bit heavy handed with the nutmeg on my glass, and I must agree with Sarah Lohman that large quantities of nutmeg is a bit of a 19th century flavor, but somehow wintery weather by the hearth with a fire made it seem just right to have a bit of Victorian flavor.

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