Before the Bourbon Milk Punch (made famous in New Orleans), there was English Punch. Don't be afraid of the curdled milk—think of it as a science experiment. A very delicious science experiment.
- For Vanilla Simple Syrup:
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split
- For Rum Mix:
- 1 (750 milliliter) bottle white rum (such as Ron Barcelo)
- 2 tablespoons loose Earl Grey tea
- 1 cup lemon juice from about 8 lemons
- For the Milk Mix:
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 7 whole cloves
For the Vanilla Simple Syrup: Combine sugar and water on medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into syrup and add scraped split pod. Set aside for 1 hour. Vanilla syrup can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
For the Rum Mixture: Combine loose tea and rum in a glass container and allow to infuse for 4 hours at room temperature. Periodically shake the mixture so that it is thoroughly mixed. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and discard leaves. Rum can be stored in a sealed container in a dark, cool cabinet for up to 3 months.
In a large pitcher or bowl, add vanilla syrup to infused rum and stir well to combine. Add lemon juice and stir again.
For the Milk Mixture: In a medium saucepan heat milk, cinnamon stick, and cloves over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 180°F (milk should be steaming with small bubbles beginning to form around the edges). Pour hot milk into the rum mixture.
Set aside until mixture curdles, about 30 minutes at room temperature. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer lined with several layers of cheesecloth. Do not remove the curd while straining as it acts an additional filter. Discard curds. Milk punch can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Strain again before serving if desired. Serve over ice.
1 gallon container, 2 large pitchers or bowls