Cocktail Party

Clarified Milk Punch

February 22, 2023
1 Ratings
Photo by MJ Kroeger
  • Prep time 48 hours 5 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 5 minutes
  • serves 15
Author Notes

The origins of clarified milk punch are as cloudy as you don’t want your spirit to be. Some attribute the original 1700s recipe to playwright Aphra Behn—who mentioned it in one of her late 1600s plays—whose resume also includes being a playwright and a spy for King Charles the II (rad), but Mary Rockett was the first gal to actually pen the recipe to paper in 1711, thus solidifying her fame as the creator of milk punch. She strained her concoction through a flannel shirt, and the rest is history. This recipe is a version of hers, modified for the modern bartender and kitchen. (Also, sans flannel. Unless that’s your thing then, by all means!) If you’d like, feel free to play with the spices and herbs in your milk punch; I’m keeping it simple and true to Rockett’s 1711 recipe, but stalky herbs—like thyme—would be a great addition here.

If you balk at the idea of spending two days chasing this clarified spirit, there are also great bottled options on the market. My favorite is Rockey's, created by Eamon Rockey, the former General Manager of Betony Restaurant in NYC and milk punch aficionado. With notes of green tea, ripe citrus, and florals, I prefer this milk punch mixed with a citrus-forward gin, a tequila, or a Japanese shochu.
Joanna Carpenter

What You'll Need
  • 2 lemons, peeled and juiced to get 3 ounces
  • 1 quart V.S. or V.S.O.P Cognac
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 pint whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated nutmeg
  1. Infuse the cognac: Put the lemon peels in a sealable, 2-quart, heat-safe glass container and pour Cognac over them. Cover and let sit for 48 hours at room temperature.
  2. Add sugar and lemon juice to the lemon-infused Cognac.
  3. Once the Cognac has infused, finish the milk punch: In a small pot, heat milk on medium-high until scalding hot, stirring occasionally (when small bubbles start forming around the edge). Remove from the heat and add the cognac mixture. Stir until the milk curdles. Stir in the grated nutmeg and let the punch sit for 1 hour.
  4. Strain through fine cheesecloth or coffee filters, and bottle. Refrigerate for up to 2 months. To serve, pour from chilled bottle into cocktail glasses or over ice, paired with your favorite spirit.

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