Milk punch

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Milk Punch
Glass of eggnog.jpg
Egg milk punch, or eggnog
TypeMixed drink
Standard garnishNutmeg
Standard drinkwareCollins glass
Commonly used ingredientsBrandy, whiskey, or bourbon[1]
PreparationCombine liquor and sugar with ice. Shake well. Strain and ice and milk.[1]
Ingredients to make a version of milk punch[2]

Milk punch is a milk-based brandy or bourbon beverage. It consists of milk, the spirit, sugar, and vanilla extract. It is served cold and usually has nutmeg sprinkled on top.[3]

The drink was first recorded in William Sacheverell's 1688 travelogue of the Scottish isle of Iona. Later accounts attributed its spread, if not its origin, to Aphra Behn. The earliest recorded recipe for milk punch dates to a 1711 cookbook.[4]

Originally served in a punch bowl, early recipes resembled posset and syllabub in the use of curdled, strained cream, leaving only lactic acid.[5][6] This technique aimed at food stability,[3] a quality that made it popular as a bottled drink.[4] Curdling could be accomplished through the addition of alcohol or acid, by heating, or both, such as in a recipe recorded by Benjamin Franklin in 1763 that used brandy and lemon added to hot milk.[5]

The beverage reached the height of its popularity in the middle of the 18th century. Because of its shelf stability, it was popular as a bottled drink. Queen Victoria issued a royal warrant in 1838 to the company of Nathaniel Whisson as "purveyors of milk punch to Her Majesty".[4]

Modern versions are often served in a glass and made with fresh milk or cream.[3]

It is common in New Orleans and traditional on holidays throughout the Deep South.[7]

Eggnog is a variation of milk punch, sometimes called egg milk punch.[3]

Milk punch also refers to a hot Irish drink, scáiltín [ga], made of equal parts whiskey and milk. It may be flavored with melted butter, sugar, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Bob Sennett (1993). Complete World Bartender Guide. p. 223. ISBN 055329900X.
  2. ^ "Milk Punch". Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  3. ^ a b c d Wondrich, David (2007). "Milk Punch". Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to "Professor" Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar. Penguin. pp. 82–3. ISBN 0399532870.
  4. ^ a b c Wondrich, David (2 November 2010). "Milk Punch". Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl. Penguin. pp. 133–. ISBN 978-1-101-44512-9.
  5. ^ a b "Benjamin Franklin's milk punch recipe". Massachusetts Historical Society. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  6. ^ Simmons, Krista (July 14, 2014). "Current Obsession: Faith & Flower's English Milk Punch Cocktail From The 1860s". LAist. Gothamist.
  7. ^ "Brandy Milk Punch". New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. Retrieved 4 September 2014.

Further reading[edit]

  • Johnson, Harry (1888). "Egg Milk Punch". The New and Improved Illustrated Bartenders' Manual; Or: How to Mix Drinks of the Present Style. New York: Self-published. p. 65.