Milk Punch (+ Japan)

We’re all trying to figure out how to write about food after what has happened in Japan. Ruth Reichl’s tweets are getting more and more bizarre. We’re struggling. There isn’t an answer. We are unbelievably fortunate to be alive, and to have our homes, friends and family safe. Even this internet that brings me to you is such a privilege. My hope is that we are all appreciating our good fortune, and finding ways to help those that are suffering. And I hope that someday everyone will have the luxury of caring about the food they eat (or whatever else) as much as we do.

In the meantime, we will continue on as best we can. Awkwardly. And in that spirit,  I present to you an ice cold glass of milk punch.  The season for this milk punch is almost behind us. I like it best in the fall and winter, but early spring works too. It is almost eggnog—no egg, plenty of nog. Some people serve their punch on ice, but I like the Canal House suggestion of freezing it for a few hours to turn it a little slushy. It is so incredibly delicious and will make you wonderfully tipsy and happy.

Use the best milk you can possibly find, it will make all the difference. And as always, use bourbon that you like to drink. Remember, alcohol doesn’t suddenly taste better when you mix it with something else. I love this with a good Kentucky bourbon, but whiskey or brandy will work too. We’ve been using Eagle Rare Single Barrel 10 Year (look at all of those medals!)

Milk Punch (recipe from The Canal House)

  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1½ cups bourbon (or whiskey, or brandy)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Ground nutmeg (for garnish)

Put the milk, half-and-half, booze, sugar, and vanilla extract into a pitcher and stir well. Put the pitcher into the freezer and chill the milk punch until it is quite slushy, 3–4 hours. Stir well and serve in pretty chilled glasses, garnished with a dash of nutmeg.

23 comments to “Milk Punch (+ Japan)”

  1. Comfort by the milky glass.

  2. Hey, You guys might be interested in this simple way to help the recovery efforts in japan:

  3. very “warming” (the punch, and the words). Doing what we do with an extra awareness and appreciation is a great way to thank life.

  4. …Mmmm, this on a bowl of Cheerios. Whatta way to start the day! ;o) I’m kidding, I’m kidding, seriously… :o)

    …Thank you for the recipe! My Mom used to make a bourbon slush at Christmas that was spectacular. I will try this and I will check out that Bourbon you mentioned as well…

    …Blessings to you and to those in Japan – our thoughts & prayers are with you…

  5. your eloquent words truly resound with this very sensitive posting on the tragic japan events.
    you are a very remarkable person…thank you tim.

  6. Well said, Tim. It’s made the last two days seem so surreal. I love the idea of freezing this for a few hours. I’m going to try that with the next punch I make, because I bet it would be fantastic with any kind of boozy drink.

  7. very well said.

  8. Loved what you said about Ruth Reichl’s tweets – I’d noticed that myself. I’ve never had milk punch, but your photos have me craving a glass right now.

  9. Exactly what Linda said and (awkwardly) I am looking forward to trying milk punch.

  10. I’m a little scared of milk + booze, but this looks so pretty I may have to try it. Maybe I’ll make it an Irish!

  11. Laura, nothing to be scared of, really! You’ll love this.
    Kimberley, yes to freezing other punches. I even do it with juice sometime, this weekend we had slushy grapefruit juice.

  12. uhm, that Eagle Rare Single Barrel is like the Kim Zmeskal of whiskey bourbons!! thanks for making me LOL this afternoon!

  13. I can’t stop watching the CNN coverage of this travesty, and instead of becoming immune, I’m more horrified with every new piece of footage. Our thoughts and prayers are with those suffering in Japan and around the world.

    And, as thankful as I am for being safe and secure, I am also thankful for your milk punch. :o)

  14. I have been waiting for a nice spring afternoon to make this! (Or a late, boozy morning.) Thanks for reporting back!

  15. I think a lot of us who write about food are in the same spot-do we keep tweeting/writing recipes about food we eat or is that completely selfish knowing what is going on right now? I think you handled it in the correct way. I think Ruth Reichl’s tweets are doing them the wrong way—but I stopped following her long ago due to her obliviousness to the rest of the world.

    Thanks for saying what we’re all thinking, and keep up the good (and heartfelt) work.

  16. louella sims says:

    March 15th, 2011 at 10:44 am

    I like your unique tribute to Japanese earthquake victims. By the way, I love those glass mugs! Pray tell where I can procure some for meself.

  17. Well said, Tim. (And I can’t wait to try that punch.)

  18. A really lovely post – and another delicious-looking recipe. Your blog is always a pleasure to read.

  19. Every day, I seem to find myself stopping every few hours and think about Japan for a few minutes. I do believe this milk punch will be a good distraction this evening.

  20. Very very well said. And that punch looks amazing.

  21. I made this Milk Punch at a recent Mardi Gras party. So, so delicious. Like egg nog, but much lighter.

  22. Go Kentucky! And Japan.

  23. i like the way you make the milk liqueur, you can make a milk punch in a similar manner, up the citrus, and the strong liquor, should curdle and you can have a transparent punch after a few days.

What do you think?