Cocktail Project: Winter Milk Punch

This recipe will make quite a bit of punch, so there's an excuse to invite some friends over to enjoy and few glasses and a game of Uno. OK you can skip the Uno. Not the punch. Also, as you will notice, this recipe requires some steps and overnight refrigeration. So make sure to plan ahead.

Colby Zito is the general manager of North River in New York City

Cocktail Project: Winter Milk Punch
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large punch bowl
  • 4 ounces ruby (red) port
  • 8 ounces lime juice
  • 9 ounces lemon juice
  • 7 ounces orange juice
  • 8 dashes Orange Bitters
  • 5 ounces brown sugar
  • 3 ounces white sugar
  • 1 (750 mL) bottle dark rum
  • 1 (750 mL) bottle bourbon
  • 17 ounces water
  • 40 ounces whole milk
  1. Before you get started juicing, take the peels off the limes, lemons and oranges and mash them up with the port, bitters and sugar. Set aside for 15 minutes. Add the bottle of dark rum, the bourbon, water and the citrus juices to the mixture.
  2. Heat the milk in a sauce pot until it just starts to make wisps of steam on the surface. Shut the heat off and add a few tablespoons of the spirit/citrus/water mixture to the hot milk. After a stir, you will notice it start to break into curds and whey. At this point you can add all the ingredients together. The mixture will look very unappetizing. Don’t worry.
  3. Strain through a strainer with several layers of cheesecloth folded over each other and a coffee filter under the cheesecloth. The straining process will become slow after the cheesecloth fills up with curds. That curd should not be removed as it is important in the filtration process. After all the liquid has fallen through the cheesecloth, it will still be cloudy need to be refridgerated for several hours to overnight. The best container is one that is tall, fairly thin and transparent with a large enough opening on top for a ladle. We use quart containers. It is okay to separate the liquid into a few containers.
  4. After settling for several hours you will see a separation between a silt-like substance on the bottom and a larger amount of clear liquid on top. Simply scoop the clear liquid with a ladle into a clean container. Don’t get greedy: if the liquid starts clouding up from the bottom, stop. After you have taken as much of the clear liquid as you can, mix the remainders of each of the cloudy containers and place in the refrigerator to settle again. Repeat process.
  5. Serve the drink over ice, 3 to 4 ounces per serving.
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