Milk Punch

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ercalidrondr A Milk Punch is a drink which consists Brandy, Dark Rum, Sugar, and Milk.



  • 1 oz Brandy,
  • 1/2 oz Dark Rum,
  • 2 teaspoons Sugar Syrup,
  • 2 dashes Vanilla Extract,
  • 4 oz Whole Milk.

Shake with Ice, and then strain into an Ice-filled Tall Glass. Garnish with Grated Nutmeg.

Note: You can substitute Vanilla Syrup for the Sugar Syrup and Vanilla Extract.

Historical References

Clarke's Complete Cellarman, by William Clarke, 1830

"Steep the rind of six Seville oranges and of the same quantity of lemons in a quart of rum for a few days, occasionally agitating the mixture; then squeeze the oranges and lemons which you pared, upon three pounds of loaf sugar in a pan, and add a gallon of water, and half a gallon of hot milk, stirring the whole together; after which add the tincture obtained from the lemons and rum. Filter, and the preparation may be taken into immediate use. If you keep it, place it in a cold cellar."

According to David Herpin

This drink is one of the first mixed drinks and is likely to be the first mixed drink. Seems hard to believe a cream based drink would be the first, but don't let the agent fool you, this drink is extremely old. Here is an early printing of this drink:

An address by Cass Gilbert on the presentation of the president's in 1634 page 7

"Punch, eggnog, and the concomitants of good living were freely dispensed by welcoming hostesses as the New Year was celebrated."

Increadibly, a recipe for this drink appears in print as early as: A collection of above three hundred receipts in cookery, physick, and more - Page 113 in 1714

"To make Milk-Punch, two quarts of Water put two quarts of good Brandy, a dozen and a half of Lemons, three quarters of a pound of double refined Sugar and three pints of New Milk ; Mix"

A new theory of physick and diseases, founded on the principles of medicine by Nicholas Robinson - 1725

"The Ingredients are Brandy, Rack, or Rum, Water warm or cold, Lemon, Sugar) sometimes a little Milk is added, which denotes it Milk-Punch."

The complete housewife: or, Accomplished gentlewoman's companion by E. Smith in 1739

"To make fine Milk-Punch. Take two quarts of water, one quart milk, half a pint of lemon juice, and one quart of brandy, sugar to your taste ; put the milk and water together a little warm, then the sugar, then the lemon juice"

This drink at least dates to 1522, but may date much earler, for several reasons. Distillation has been practiced for 8 millennia prior to this. All the ingredients would have been available to france several hundred years prior to this also. It is no shock that there isn't much literature that has survived from 16th century france. This drink originated in the brandy producing regions of france and was used for medicinal purposes and contained at least as then:


Lemon Juice

Milk or Cream

Simple Syrup (sugar and water)

This drink is served hot, and no specified vessel. Modern option: Irish coffee glass, mug or any other heat retaining glass.

Next time you order this one, remember it was around before any of the other thousands of drinks that are being served around the world.

The Practice of Cookery, By Dalgairns, 1830

"The rinds of nine lemons are to be steeped, for eighteen hours, in two quarts of brandy, then mixed with the strained juice of the lemons, one and a half pound of sugar, five pints of water, and one grated nutmeg; one quart of new milk, made boiling hot, being added, it is to be strained through a jelly-bag."

Another way to make Milk Punch.

"In twenty quarts of brandy, the peel of thirty Seville oranges, and thirty-six lemons, are to be infused for twelve hours; thirty quarts of water and fifteen pounds of double-refined sugar are to be boiled, and when cold, the strained juice of the oranges and lemons is to be added to it; it is then to be put into a cask, together with the brandy, strained from the peel; a quart of boiling milk being poured into the cask, it is to be bunged up, and allowed to stand till it become fine, beforebeing bottled. It will be the better for remaining a year in the cask."

Another way to make Milk Punch.

"Eight pounds of refined sugar are to be dissolved in the strained juice of three dozen lemons, and, when quite settled, two gallons of brandy, and two gallons and a half cold water, are to be added, and also the lemon-peel; one gallon of boiling milk being then poured over the ingredients, thet are to stand closely covered for twenty-four hours; when, being skimmed, and run through a very thick jelly-bag, it may be quickly bottled, and will be fit for immediate use; but it improves by keeping."

A Cyclopædia of Several Thousand Practical Reciepts..., By Arnold James Cooley, 1846

"(Milk Punch or Verder.) Yellow rinds of 2 dozen lemons; steep for 2 days in rum or brandy 2 quarts; then add spirit 3 quarts more; hot water 3 quarts; lemon juice 1 quart; loaf sugar 4 lbs; 2 nutmegs, grated; boiling milk 2 quarts; mix, and in 2 hours strain through a jelly bag."

New York Daily-Times, 21st March 1855

"...punish any person who shall pour into any milk pitcher, bowl or basin, any of that "beverage of hell" called rum, for the purpose of making therewith that awful and monstrous liquid called milk punch,"

Cups and their customs, by H. Porter and G.E. Roberts, 1863

"In Cambridge (a town of no mean authority in such matters) Milk Punch is made after the following fashion.

Recipe for Milk Punch.

Boil together a quart of milk, four onces of loaf sugar, a small stick of cinnamon, and the peel of one lemon; then beat together the yolks of three eggs and the white of one; add the boiling compound very gradually, and keep continually stirring the mixture while you pour into it a wine-glassful of rum and one of noyeau. Serve hot."

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