Monday, December 16, 2013

Bourbon Milk Punch

Let’s finish off the year with a glass full of holiday cheer. I wrote (here) that 2013 offered a score of outstanding cookbooks. A number of my favorites preached the gospel of new Southern cooking, including Edward Lee’s Smoke & Pickles and John Currence’s Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey. Buy both of these books, and you get a double helping of pickles.

You will also get some outstanding cocktail recipes, especially for bourbon fans. Lee serves up Jalapeño-Spiked Bourbon Julep, Bourbon Sweet Tea, The Rebel Yell and The New-Fashioned. Currence likes his brown water as well; he shares recipes for New Old-Fashioned, Spiced Cider and, the star of this post, Bourbon Milk Punch.

Currence writes “[u]nbeknownst to most folks, Bourbon Milk Punch (or Brandy Milk Punch, depending on who’s making it) is the choice beverage of the gentlemen who work the floats on Mardi Gras day on St. Charles Avenue and ply the masses with plastic beads and aluminum doubloons.” While often served during Mardi Gras, Milk Punch is no stranger to Christmas gatherings. So let’s make some! Currence’s recipe serves 1.

4 ounces whole milk
2 tablespoons half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2½ ounces Buffalo Trace bourbon
4 teaspoons confectioners’ sugar
Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish

Pour the milk, half-and-half, vanilla, and bourbon over cracked ice in a cocktail shaker. Spoon in the sugar, and shake vigorously. Pour into a large old-fashioned glass, sprinkle nutmeg over the top, and serve.

As 2013 comes to a close, I wish happiness and good health to all in the New Year!