We are smack dab in between two different series and it is time to stop and make a cocktail. Specifically, we are going to make Milk Punch today. If you follow along in our series, you know that I love the book Imbibe! by David Wondrich and this book is a great way to explore old cocktails. Well, I have been fascinated with a few different milk recipes and I decided just to try one for the blog. I chose a strong, simple, dairy-based cocktail called Milk Punch and that is what we are going to make today! Go Straight to the recipe.
This recipe really is akin to Egg Nog, but it does not contain eggs, nor is it ever heated. Milk Punch does provide a nice creamy, rich flavor that gives it the feeling of egg nog and that sort of Christmas-ey touch. It also is topped with nutmeg, so that element really adds a holiday aspect to the drink.
Cognac vs Brandy
This recipe calls for cognac, but I do understand that it can get a little pricey (as it is imported from France). Many brandies would work great for this drink, but I keep with the tradition of the cocktail by using Cognac. For those of you who are wondering the difference between the two, they can be wide. Brandy is any distilled spirit from a fruit. Hence, you can have apple brandy or any other variations of brandy. Cognac is white wine that has been twice distilled and has some fairly stringent location rules around it. So, it comes from wine, but the wine must be from specific regions in France. All Cognac is brandy, but not all brandy is cognac.
Imbibe! Recipe vs Mine
My recipe is slightly different than the one in David Wondrich’s book (which takes from Professor Jerry Thomas’s famous book). The original recipe calls for shaved ice. I decided to use the ice straight from my ice maker. I tried both and thought they were both tasty. In fact, I thought the ice acted as a nice agitator for when I shook the drink and helped create a frothier cocktail.
Of course, you should use fresh nutmeg if you can. If you don’t have it or don’t want to get it, use the stuff from your spice rack. I would rather you take some time to make this reachable craft cocktail than not because you don’t have this one ingredient. I am sure some people will poo poo on this idea, but I want you to know that you can make this drink without it! When you want to level up your game, get that whole nutmeg!
Santa Cruz Rum Vs Other Rums
One thing that I found interesting is that Dr. Jerry Brown indicated a specific kind of rum… Santa Cruz Rum. This is a location-specific rum. My understanding is that it is the same as St. Croix rum made in the US Virgin Islands. I chose as best I could and moved on! Pick up a lighter St. Croix rum and you should be good to go.
A Lighter Drink?
Yes, you can make this lighter. Half the amount of cognac and rum. The recipe was perfect for me, but it was far too strong for Ashley. We halved the booze and she thought it was better. They even mention this in the book, so I think you are safe and keep within the spirit and tradition of the cocktail!
Products Used in this Recipe
Milk Punch RecipePrint
This Milk Punch is luxurious, creamy, and a taste of history. If you like trying classic cocktails, this is a great Fall or Winter cocktail to try and it is straight from the illustrious Professor Jerry Thomas.
- 2 teaspoons fine white sugar
- 2 teaspoons water
- 2 ounces cognac
- 1 ounce of Santa Cruz Rum
- 4 ounces milk
- nutmeg, to top
- Fill 16 Ounce glass half full of ice
- Add sugar and water to shaker
- Dump ice into shaker
- Add cognac and rum to shaker
- Add milk to shaker
- Cover and vigorously shake for fifteen seconds
- Dump contents of shaker into glass
- Grate nutmeg on top
Keywords: milk punch