My go-to holiday beverage this year
This weekend, in a last-ditch attempt to get in the holiday spirit, I plan to finally purchase and decorate a Christmas tree, make lots of insanely sweet cookies and watch a few classic Christmas films that are sure to annoy my husband. All this merrymaking will require the perfect accompaniment, and I've got just the thing—milk punch!
The recipe I chose comes from the book "Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails" by Ted Haigh and calls for a combination of rum, brandy, milk, vanilla extract and simple syrup. Topped with fresh nutmeg shavings, the concoction actually reminded me of a lighter, egg-less version of eggnog and rum.
According to The Massachusetts Historical Society, the boozy drink has roots dating back to the 18th century—Benjamin Franklin even had a recipe he shared with friends. The modern adaptation of Franklin's recipe can be found here. I'm tempted to try it someday, but the Historical Society describes the drink as lemony and medicinal, not really what I was looking for during my holiday festivities, but maybe another time.
There are several online variations of milk punch that are quite appealing, but since this was my first time indulging, I opted to keep it simple and go with an original–Haigh writes that this verson is close to the classic recipe, which included Virgin Islands rum. Whether or not it's authentic, the drink was certainly delicious and will make an excellent partner during my cookie-making-holiday-movie-tree-decorating extravaganza.
Other variations I plan to try include a recipe with bourbon, instead of the rum/brandy combo, and a Pecan "Milk" Punch from Southern Living.
Milk Punch Recipe (makes one drink)
From Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails
1 ounce brandy
1/2 ounce dark rum
2 teaspoons simple syrup
2 dashes vanilla extract
4 ounces whole milk
Shake the ingredients all together in a cocktail shaker with cracked ice. Strain into a tumbler half full of shaved ice. Grate or shake nutmeg on top.