Brandy Milk Punch

July 29th, 2008  |  Published in brandy, MxMo, recipes, rum  |  9 Comments

It seems like it can’t possibly be the end of July already, and yet here we are with another Mixology Monday to prove it. Paul selected this month’s theme, New Orleans, knowing that those of us who attended Tales would already be thinking about going back. It took approximately three days of traffic and smog to kill whatever happy-to-be-home feelings I had, and I’m ready to head back to the Big Easy and relax a bit more.

Since that isn’t going to happen, I thought I’d conjure a little NOLA at home with the ubiquitous Brandy Milk Punch. Nearly every restaurant or bar we entered would make you a Brandy Milk Punch, but sadly I was unable to enjoy one in New Orleans (Brandy Soymilk Punch just doesn’t have the same ring to it). Despite that sad blip on my drinking record, I grabbed the blender and Microplane at home and set about recreating one in LA. Keeping with the Los Angeles/New Orleans/Tales theme, I used the recipe featured in Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails by Tales veteran and cocktail encyclopedia Ted Haigh.

Interestingly, the milk punch as a class of drinks came up in no fewer than three programs I attended at Tales. Jeff Berry touched on punches briefly when discussing the history of tiki cocktails, we were served variations on milk punches in a few seminars (damn you, missing soymilk!), and David Wondrich discussed the milk punch in “The Flowing Bowl.” Interestingly, the invention of the milk punch is credited to Aphra Behn—author, spy, bon vivant and general hell-raiser—a woman who lived a life fantastic enough to have created a punch that is so at home in colorful New Orleans.

1 oz brandy
½ oz dark rum
2 tsp simple syrup
2 dashes vanilla extract
4 oz unsweetened soymilk

Mix all ingredients together over shaved ice, grate some fresh nutmeg on top and serve in a tumbler.

Those of you who have had a Brandy Alexander will have a fair idea of what a Brandy Milk Punch tastes like. It’s not really hard to imagine what brandy, rum, milk and nutmeg taste like, but it is definitely good. Sipping one of these makes me want to eat a huge brunch outdoors on a wrap-around porch, or perhaps to curl up with a book by a fire on a cold night—neither of which are a bad idea. Regardless, the rum adds a little sugary funkiness to the brandy and milk, while the vanilla adds a little sweet flavor without making the drink taste like a glass of melted ice cream. If you have it available, definitely go with grating fresh nutmeg over the top; it adds an aromatic kick that ties everything together.

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  1. The Cocktail Chronicles » MxMo New Orleans Wrapup: Two-fisted style says:

    July 29th, 2008at 3:43 pm(#)

    [...] good friend Marleigh at SLOSHED! also hits the milk punch, lamenting that she was unable to enjoy one while in New Orleans for Tales [...]

  2. J for Kitchen Confit says:

    July 30th, 2008at 6:15 am(#)

    I love milk punch. It is one of the things I miss most about New Orleans. Great photos!

  3. Marleigh says:

    July 30th, 2008at 6:54 am(#)


    Thanks! Milk punch is really great. It’s too bad more places don’t serve it outside of New Orleans.

  4. Dr. Bamboo says:

    July 30th, 2008at 8:10 am(#)

    I’m having a great time going back and reading through all your TotC reportage. I love your detailed blow-by-blow accounts (as opposed to my lame random wrap-up).

    In any case, I wanna make this recipe for sure. It’s going to the top of my list!

  5. Hillary says:

    July 30th, 2008at 11:09 am(#)

    Very interesting concept…milk punch. This looks delicious though!

  6. Marleigh says:

    July 30th, 2008at 12:45 pm(#)

    Dr. B,

    I liked your random wrap-up! By the time I finished typing that last post I was ready to scrap it all and do a two-sentence post: Tales fun. Go next year.

    I want to give the milk punch a go with some nut milk next time. While I don’t mind soymilk, it really doesn’t have the same full-fat punch as, say, macadamia nut milk.


    It is delicious. You should give it a try!

  7. Bruce Tomlinson says:

    July 31st, 2008at 2:53 pm(#)

    Thank you for the Tales coverage.
    I’m with you on the “more bars need free wifi.”
    I will be having a Brandy Milk Punch soon and I think I will give your macadamia nut milk idea a try. Sounds intriguing.

  8. Marleigh says:

    July 31st, 2008at 3:38 pm(#)


    Macadamia nut milk is like ambrosia. It’s wonderful.

  9. Jake says:

    October 15th, 2008at 7:41 pm(#)

    actually tried it without rum-
    perfect for just before bed!

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