Think of it as an easy, no-egg eggnog. Or think of it as a classic Southern tipple, with an alluring blend of sweetness and richness, and a deep-flavored kick. However you approach the milk punch, just be sure to think of it sometime during the holiday season.
I had a great time sipping one of these on a July morning in New Orleans, but with its fullness of flavor, its silky texture and its nutmeg finish, the milk punch seems particularly well-suited to this time of year. Classically made with a combo of brandy and rum, the milk punch also works well with bourbon in the place of either or both. And while it's lovely to drink the punch when poured into a glass full of crushed ice, you can instead serve it hot, for a rich and potent warmer. Either way, this drink that dates back to horse-and-buggy days has a way of slowing everything down, taking the edge off a hectic holiday season if only for an hour or two.
About the author: Paul Clarke blogs about cocktails at The Cocktail Chronicles and writes regularly on spirits and cocktails for Imbibe magazine. He lives in Seattle, where he works as a writer and magazine editor.
- 1 ounce brandy (or bourbon)
- 1 ounce dark rum (or bourbon)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 dashes vanilla extract (optional)
- 4 to 6 ounces whole milk, to taste
Stir well with ice and strain into a large goblet over fresh crushed ice (or, pour everything into a mug and add hot milk). Sprinkle with nutmeg.