RECIPE: Frozen Bourbon Milk Punch
 What’s better than Bourbon Milk Punch on a hot day? Frozen Bourbon Milk Punch, with ice cream instead of half and half (photo © Bourbon House | NOLA).
This recipe was a big hit this weekend chez nous (we add the French in homage to the heritage of New Orleans, which was founded in 1718 by the French as Nouvelle-Orléans).
This recipe is from one of the popular restaurants of the Brennan family, Bourbon House.
Bourbon milk punch is a local specialty in New Orleans. When the restaurant opened in 2002, Dickie Brennan and his team set wanted to create a noteworthy versopm pf Bourbon Milk Punch.
“Through much trial and the occasional error,” says the website, “the Frozen Bourbon Milk Punch was born.” [Editor’s lament: Why don’t we ever get in on these trial and error tastings?]
The Bourbon House inspiration: add vanilla ice cream to create Frozen Bourbon Milk Punch.
The final recipe combined house-made vanilla gelato and Old Forester Bourbon in a frozen daiquiri machine.
Where Magazine New Orleans included the drink on the list their “30 Favorite Things About New Orleans.” Tales of the Toddy has voted it the “Best Milk Punch.”
And now, the Bourbon House team invites you to create it drink at home, using your blender. The regular milk punch version from Brennan’s restaurants is below.
Another time to celebrate: June 14th is National Bourbon Day.
Ingredients For 4 Servings
Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into rocks glasses and garnish with nutmeg.
For a taller, colder drink, add ice cubes to a collins glass.
This, and other cognac-based milk punches, often use Napoleon brandy, a designation for brandy or cognac aged at least five years. Feel free to use VSOP; with all the cream and sugar, the nuances of the Napoleon will be covered up.
If you don’t like or don’t have brandy, you can substitute bourbon, rum, whiskey, and even tequila.
Ingredients Per Drink
1. COMBINE the ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
2. SHAKE vigorously and pour into a chilled old-fashioned glass. Garnish with nutmeg.
*We prefer less sweetness, so we reduce the simple syrup by half. We also had homemade cinnamon simple syrup on hand, a nice added twist.
MILK PUNCH HISTORY
Milk punch is in the category of drinks made with milk or cream: Brandy Alexander, Classic Ramos Gin Fizz, Grasshopper, Irish Coffee, Mudslide, Pink Squirrel, White Russian, and many others (hey—another idea for a themed cocktail party: cream-based cocktails).
The recipe combines brandy or bourbon with milk, sugar, and vanilla extract, and a typical garnished of grated nutmeg.
Milk punch was popularized in the 17th century by Aphra Behn, one of the first English women to earn her living by her writing. At the time, all types of punch were served from a punch bowl.
The milk punch of the era was made with cream curdled with lemon juice. Those recipes gave way to milk punches that use(d) fresh milk or cream, like egg nog—which is a milk punch enriched with eggs.
Milk punches—egg nog or other—became holiday and celebratory traditions (for example, Mardi Gras).
In modern-day New Orleans, milk punches vie as brunch drinks with the Bloody Mary, created in 1940 in New York City (Bloody Mary history).
There are as many recipes for milk punch as for anything else, but for Mardi Gras, we serve up the recipe from Brennan’s, a favorite New Orleans restaurant since 1946.
For a 17th-century-type recipe, try Benjamin Franklin’s recipe. He used brandy and included lots of lemon juice (which curdled the milk).