Friday, March 24, 2017

Bourbon Milk Punch - A Short History

Frozen Bourbon Milk Punch from Bourbon
House New Orleans. Image by Alison Gootee

"...Benjamin Franklin’s 1763 mention of his milk punch recipe..."

(A short history of the Bourbon Milk Punch, drank by Benjamin Franklin and Queen Victoria. Made iconic by New Orleans bartenders. See the recipe.)

Bourbon Milk Punch - A Short History

Recently "Garden and Gun" magazine posted a recipe for “Frozen Bourbon Milk Punch.” The Milk Punch image by Alison Gootee brought memories of when I was a kid and my parents had Sunday lunch soirees. Their friends arrived mid-day, and tossed back potent Bloody Mary's, Old Fashioned's and Milk Punch's, this last a blend of milk and Bourbon topped with nutmeg. In its more decadent version, the Milk Punch included brandy.

My memory and the magazine's image inspired me to look into the history of the Milk Punch. Here is some of what I learned. Warren Bobrow writing for “The Alcohol Professor” said the bourbon milk punch dates back to the pre-colonial era of Benjamin Franklin. New Orleans writer Ned Hémard locates the drink in an 1862 bartenders’ manual, and notes Benjamin Franklin’s 1763 mention of his milk punch recipe in correspondence.

Like many things in New Orleans, the milk punch can actually be traced back to Ireland. There exists a 1405 historical record of whiskey mixed with milk, sugar, honey, cinnamon and nutmeg. Centuries later Queen Victoria enjoyed the drink. It was probably perfected by New Orleans bartenders.

Bourbon House Recipe - Frozen Bourbon Milk Punch - Ingredients: 4 cups vanilla ice cream, 1 cup Old Forester bourbon, ½ tsp. vanilla, 1 tsp. simple syrup. Blend ingredients. Top with grated nutmeg.

Drink recipe is from Bourbon House in New Orleans.

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