First, just a reminder that tonight, Sunday, October 31st, 2010, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails on this blog have captured your fancy, stop by after 6 and allow the skilled bartenders (and me) to make them for you. It is always a fun time.
As a special celebration of the evening, I am bringing along the following fall inspired variation on my Bernal Heights Milk Punch.
Great Pumpkin Punch
1 Bottle Weller 12 Year Bourbon.
1 Bottle Landy Cognac.
1/2 Bottle Batavia Arrack.
4 Small-ish Sweet Potatoes, washed and roasted.
4 Oranges, Zested.
4 Lemons, Zested.
2 Sticks Cassia Cinnamon.
16 oz Water.
1/2 Pound Piloncillo.
1/4 Pound Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds), crushed.
1 quart Straus Family Creamery Whole Milk.
Zest citrus and add zest to Brandy, Bourbon, and Arrack. Juice Oranges and 2 Lemons, strain, and add to aforementioned liquid. Slice Roasted Sweet Potatoes and add to aforementioned liquid. Add Cinnamon and Cloves. Allow to infuse for at least 48 hours.
Heat water and add Piloncillo and Pepitas. Simmer below a boil for 10 minutes and refrigerate over night.
Carefully strain peels, Potatoes, and Spices out of Liquid, trying not to crush potatoes. Juice other two lemons and add to Flavored Booze Mixture. Heat milk to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Add to Flavored Booze Mixture. Allow to stand undisturbed for 30 minutes and filter through cheesecloth, removing milk solids. Filter Pumpkin Seeds out of Syrup, pressing to remove as much liquid as possible, and combine with Flavored Booze Mixture. Cool and allow to stand for a couple days. Rack liquid off of any accumulated sediment into clean bottles and chill well before serving. Makes about 3 quarts.
I will note that at this point, even though some solids have dropped out, this Milk Punch hasn’t cleared up as much as other I have made. I think some of the oils from the pumpkin seeds are in suspension, leaving a louche, like when you add water to orgeat (almond syrup).
I was a bit worried that this would be a horrible mistake, and I would have to throw the whole batch away as a failed experiment. Even some early tastes of the infusion left me worried. However, having tasted the final product, all I’ll say is I couldn’t stop laughing. Totally nailed pumpkin pie in punch form.
Interestingly, once I moved this punch to the refrigerator, the solids began to drop out of the liquid much more rapidly. It would appear chilling aids the “milk fining” process to work more effectively, something I hadn’t really been aware of before.