This historic clarified milk punch recipe originates from a 1711 British recipe, but The Varnish's Max Seaman made some modifications for the modern day drinker. It's a rich, citrusy drink that will easily be the star of your holiday party.
Notes: To make turbinado syrup, dissolve 1 pound of turbinado sugar (about 2 1/4 cups) in 3 cups hot water.
- Peeled zest of 6 lemons plus 1 1/3 cups juice from a total of about 10 lemons
- 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
- 2 quarts (1/2 gallon) whole milk
- 1 3/4 cups turbinado simple syrup (see note)
- 2 cups cognac, such as Pierre Ferrand 1840
- 1 quart demerara rum, such as El Dorado Five-Year
- Garnish: freshly grated nutmeg
Place peeled zest in a non-reactive bowl or container. Add superfine sugar and muddle until the sugar starts to pull out the essential oil in the peels, about 5 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight. After it sits, the peels will shrivel and the oils and sugar will combine into a fragrant syrup, called the oleo-saccharum.
Heat milk in a large saucepan, stirring constantly, until steaming but not boiling. Off heat, add the oleo-saccharum (with the zest), lemon juice, simple syrup, cognac, and rum. Stir vigorously until the curds and whey have separated. Strain mixture though a fine mesh strainer to remove curds and zest. Add more syrup or dilute with water to adjust sweetness. Serve warm or cold, topped with freshly grated nutmeg.
Large saucepan, fine mesh strainer, muddler, punch bowl for serving