Sazerac Milk Punch

I was getting a bit low on the previous Milk Punch, so it seemed like it was time for another batch.  Hmmm…  What if I use some of the same ingredients typically found in a Sazerac?

Sazerac Milk Punch

Ingredients:

750ml Old Overholt Rye
750ml Wild Turkey Rye
375ml Smith & Cross Jamaican rum
7 Lemons
1 1/2 cups water
3 cups Sugar Florida Crystals Natural Sugar
1 Puerh Tea Disk
1 Quart Straus Farm Whole Milk
Absinthe

Method:

Steeping Peels

Combine the spirits in a container large enough to hold them and a little extra. Peel and juice 5 of the lemons. Add juice and peels to spirits and let stand for 2 days.

Puerh Tea

Steep tea in hot water for 5 mins and add sugar. Stir to dissolve. Strain out tea leaves and cool.

Milk Solids

Strain Peels out of booze mixture. Add tea syrup to booze. Squeeze juice from remaining lemons and add to mixture. Heat milk to 145 degrees and add too mixture. Let stand for 30 minutes undisturbed.

Milk Solids

Filter through cheesecloth, removing curdled milk solids.

Absinthe

Add absinthe until you can just begin to taste it.

Sazerac Milk Punch

Bottle in clean resealable containers and chill until you are ready to serve.  Makes about 3 liters. To serve, pour over ice and top with 1 part soda to 2 parts punch.

Mrs. Flannestad remarked, “If you meant to make this taste boozy, you have succeeded.”  Not sure if it really tastes much like a Sazerac, but it does taste like a delicious Rye Whiskey Milk Punch. I was going to bring this along to tonight’s Savoy Cocktail Book event, but clearly that would be very, very wrong with the new paradigm being enforced by the California Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control.

Are My Favorite Bartenders Going to be Sent to Jail?”

ABC Crackdown on Infused Liquors

Your Favorite Cocktail Could Get A Bartender Fined

State warns Bay Area bars not to infuse drinks

Illegal Infusions: The Word Gets Out

And the best commentary I’ve seen so far, from Dinah and Joe over at Bibulo.us: Echoes of Prohibition. Well, Joe is an actual Lawyer…

So let me get this straight, Sangria is illegal!!??  Don’t tell the Spanish!  Any pre-prepared Punch forbidden?  Jerry Thomas turns over in his grave and David Wondrich gets incrementally grayer!  Any house made liqueur, tincture, or bitters is now verboten!?  I’m so glad that vile commercial products made with corn syrup, artificial flavoring and artificial color are just fine and I can’t make an infusion with actual fruit!!!

Basically any alcoholic mixture not mixed a la minute or involving an alcoholic ingredient not purchased through the distribution chain is against the rules?

Time to join the punch making, spirits infusing, speakeasy underground!

‘Sconnie Milk Punch

Been making variations on Jerry Thomas’ California Milk Punch since last June.

Most recent variation executed in my home state of Wisconsin for a New Year’s gathering with some friends.

Sconnie Milk Punch

‘Sconnie Milk Punch

6 Lemons
4 Cara Cara Oranges
1 bottle Korbel VSOP
1 bottle Appleton V/X
1/2 bottle Batavia Arrack von Osten

4 bags Twinnings Darjeeling Tea
2 1/2 cups water
3 cups Natural Cane Sugar
1 stick Cinnamon
4 Whole Cloves
4 Allspice Berries

1 pint Whole Milk

Peel 4 lemons and 4 oranges.  Combine Brandy, Rum, and Batavia Arrack.  Add strained juice of 4 oranges and 4 lemons.  Steep citrus peel in booze mixture for 48 hours.

Heat water and add spices and sugar.  When it is at a simmer, remove from heat and add tea bags for 5 minutes.  Remove tea bags and cool.

Remove peels from booze, remove spices from syrup.  Combine.  Add juice 2 more lemons.  Scald milk mixture and add to booze and citrus base.   Allow to stand for 25 minutes without disturbing.  Filter milk solids off through fine strainer or cheese cloth.  Allow to stand overnight in a cool area.  Remove clear punch from settled out solids. Makes about 3 quarts.

Chill well and serve by combining with equal parts fizzy water.

Without some of my usual spices and pineapple, this was a little more citrus heavy than other versions.  Still, quite tasty.

Described by Rich, “Tastes like Orangina, but kicks your ass.”

Where did the beer go?

BOTW–Modernist Punch

To continue with the punch, maybe I should compare the beer making and punch making processes, and see if I can find parallels.

My rough understanding of the beer making process:

1) Grains are malted, which means they are allowed to sprout and begin to transform complex carbohydrates into sugars for use by the growing plant.

2) Malted Grains are dried and milled.

3) Malted Grains are slowly cooked in water to form a sweet solution (aka Wort). 

4) Solids are removed from the solution, and the boil is continued. Hops, or other flavoring agents, may also be added to this solution at various points, for flavor and alleged preservative qualities.

4) Microorganisms (typically yeast) are introduced to the solution.

5) Microorganisms consume the sugars producing flavor, Carbon Dioxide, and, more importantly, alcohol.

6) The solution is racked off, maybe fined or filtered, and bottled in sealed containers, where it continues to ferment and produce alcohol, flavors and now most importantly, Carbon Dioxide.  The Carbon Dioxide, with nowhere else to go, pressurized the containers and dissolves in the beer producing carbonation.

Pop the top!  I’m thirsty!

Anyway, the whole Malting, Milling, and filtering off solids process is too much of a pain for most home brewers and many commercial brewers.  They instead buy “Malt Extract” or “Malt Syrup” and start at step 4.

Punch Making Process:

1) A sweet flavored solution, also known as sherbet, is created by macerating and steeping flavoring agents in sugar and hot water.

2) The sherbet is combined with booze and citrus and allowed to mingle for a period.

2a) If this is a Milk Punch, the combined booze, sherbet, and citrus mixture will be fined by adding warm milk to the solution.  The milk solidifies into curd, which is then removed, leaving the elements of the milk whey behind in the punch.

3) The punch solution is chilled.

4) The punch solution is diluted with water, soda, or champagne and served over ice.

As I mentioned, my e-quaintance Rob DeNunzio had previously experimented with making what he hoped would be a cocktail-like beer.

In addition, the theme of the upcoming dinner is “Italian Modernist” brewers.  Italian brewers who are re-inventing what might be considered beer by many folks.  Chestnut flavored beer, beers made with flowers and herbs, beers that nearly resemble negronis in their flavor profiles.

When Alex pestered me about making punch for the dinner, I think he just wanted some serious booze at a very beery party.

But when I started thinking about it, what could I do that would be in fitting with the theme?  Stretch the idea of punch?

The first thing that occurred to me was beers like Chouffe‘s N’Ice, practically a beer punch already, with its candy sugar, coriander, and curacao orange peels.

What if I went about it from the other direction?

Starting from my Bernal Heights Milk Punch I made some beer-like substitutions.

First I’m going to infuse (dry hop) the booze with hops. I’m also going to replace the tea in the sweetening syrup with hops. I’ll replace a portion of the sweetener with Barley Malt. Last, I’ll skew the flavoring spices towards those often used in some Belgian beers.

Cali-Belgique Pisco Punch. (with apologies to Stone Brewing)

750ml Marion Farms Biodynamic Pisco Style Brandy.
750ml Barbancourt White Rhum.
375ml Batavia Arrack.
1 Pineapple, chopped
6 lemons, peeled and juiced.
1 Quart Straus Family Creamery Whole Milk.
1 Pint Water.
8 teaspoons Cascade Hops.
4 pieces dried Clemetine Peel.
20 Whole Coriander Seeds, crushed.
8 Whole Cloves, crushed.
1/2 stick Cassia Cinnamon, crushed.
1/2 Pound Sugar.
1/4 Pound Malted Barley Syrup.

Place lemon peels in sealed container with rum and batavia arrack. Infuse for 48 hours.

Place pineapple in sealed container with Pisco and juice 4 lemons. Infuse for 24 hours.

For Alex.

Add 4 teaspoon hops to pineapple mixture and shake. Infuse for another 24 hours.

Hops?

Boil water to a simmer and pour over 4 teaspoons hops, dried clementine peels, cloves, and cinnamon. Dissolve sugar and barley syrup in spiced solution. Cool and allow to stand for 24 hours.

Hop and Barley Malt Syrup.

Bring milk to 140-150 degrees F. Pour Pisco off of pineapple, attempting to squeeze as much juice/booze out of the fruit as possible. Pour warm milk into flavored Pisco, cover, and allow to stand for a half an hour or so.

Floating Curds.

Disturbing curd as little as possible, pour milk and pisco through a fine sieve.

Curd Closeup.

At this point it will look kind of like “louched” absinthe. Filter again through a double layer of cheesecloth.

Filtered.

Remove peels from rum mixture and pour into pisco. Pour flavored syrup through fine sieve into mixture.

Filtered.

Pour all off into clean sealable containers and allow to stand at least 24 hours.

Milk Solids.

Rack punch off of any settled milk solids and filter through coffee filter or similar.

Bottle in clean sealable containers and chill.

Filtered and Bottled.

Serve over ice or with a splash of soda.

In a Glass.

About half way through this process, it occurred to me that I was making a compounded, flavored malt and alcohol beverage.  Oh wait, isn’t that what Zima was?

I mentioned this to Rob and his reply was, “And just think? If it does turn out like Zima, you’ll be filling the sad vacuum it left behind.”

Well, it doesn’t taste like Zima, that’s for sure.

The longer steep time for the spices put those out front. A slight underestimation of the sweetening power of Malted Barley tips this punch towards the sweet side. The use of lighter alcohol makes this seem like, “wait, does it actually have any alcohol?” I could have sworn I put some in…

Oh right, the legendary dangerously drinkable Pisco Punch. See you next week.

Modernist Punch One

When I last saw Alex he bugged me about making punch for an upcoming beer and food dinner we are both attending.

My initial intention was simply to make a batch of the Bernal Heights Milk Punch I’ve been making, but with Pisco instead of Brandy.

However, when I was thinking about the theme of the dinner, I remembered that the host had previously experimented with creating a beer that shared some characteristics with cocktails.

Old-fashioned Home Brewing

Gold Fashioned

Which got me thinking, isn’t turn about fair play?  What if I made a punch that shared some of the characteristics of beer and brought it to the dinner?

I have hops purchased with the intention of creating a hop bitters.

I have barley malt due to my obsession with obscure and unusual sweeteners.

Aren’t there some beers that share the characteristics of Punch?

Punch allegedly is a similar word to the Hindu word for “5” or “hand”.  Supposedly “five” or “hand” signifies the 5 elements of punch:

  1. Strong (booze!)
  2. Sweet (sugar)
  3. Sour (citrus)
  4. Weak (tea, water, wine, and/or ice)
  5. Spice (usually coriander, clove, cinnamon, or cardamom)

Wait a sec? I could almost be describing a Belgian Beer!  Well, OK, a belgian beer and a shot.  But still.

There might be something there!

Milk Punch Questions

Got a question regarding the Rum Hibiscus Milk Punch.

Hey brother!

I’d like to ask you about Rum Hibiscus Milk Punch. I made it exactly according to the recipe, but it came out cloudy.

Has this ever happened to you?

Do you think the milk wasn’t curdled enough? I let it sit for 40 minutes. Does the fact that it was pasteurized make a difference?

Do you think it might have been the strainer I used? What type do you use? I used a fine mesh strainer, then even put cheescloth layers inside. Didn’t help. It’s as cloudy as a louched absinthe, but no visible sediment or clumps.

Do you think it’s still good to drink? Any other ideas to save it?

hmm….

The Milk step can be finicky.

The punch should be fine, though I would keep it in the fridge.

I put it first through a fine mesh strainer, then through cheese cloth. Then after it sits for a couple days when the remaining milk solids settle out, I rack it off.

I haven’t played around with commercial vs. less commercial milk. I always use the straus family creamery whole milk. My guess is the problem might be homogenization, not pasteurization. Straus Family don’t homogenize their milk.

When I make milk punches, the milk solids and fats always fall out of solution after a couple days, leaving it quite clear. This may not happen as readily with homogenized milk.

Bernal Heights Milk Punch, July 2009

Bernal Heights Milk Punch, July 2009
2 750ml bottles Osocalis Brandy.
1 liter Appleton V/X Rum.
1 liter Coruba Rum.
750ml Batavia Arrack von Osten.
Peel 12 organic lemons.
Juice 12 organic lemons, strained.
2 organic pineapple, chopped and crushed.
12 whole cloves, crushed.
2 cinnamon stick (cassia), crushed.
10 Green Cardamom Pods, Crushed.
12 teaspoons Chinese Green Tea (Peet’s Hubei Silvertip).
48 oz Water
1 # Demerara Sugar
1/2 # Florida Crystals Natural Sugar.
1/2 Gallon Straus Family Creamery Whole Milk.

Peel lemons and add to Brandy. Juice 8 lemons and crush pineapple. Add to rums (including Arrack). Allow both to infuse for 48 hours.

California Milk Punch-1

Heat water and add spices and tea. After it has steeped for 10 minutes, strain. Add sugar, stir to combine, and cool.

Juice other four lemons and add to pineapple, lemon, and rum mixture. Heat milk to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Add to Rum, lemon, and pineapple mixture. Allow to stand for 30 minutes and filter through fine strainer.

California Milk Punch-4

Strain brandy mixture off peels. Combine Rum mixture, brandy mixture, and tea syrup. Cool, bottle in clean containers, and chill over night.

California Milk Punch-7

Filter again through coffee filters, leaving any sediment which has collected in the bottom of the containers behind. Bottle in clean sealable containers. Makes about 7 liters.

Evil plan moves ahead.

“But, Erik, why on earth would you bottle punch in used 2 liter soda bottles?”

I’ve wanted to carbonate some sort of booze since hearing that Eben Freeman was carbonating some of his drinks while at WD-50.

A few times, I’ve mentioned this idea to Daniel Hyatt while we were working together at Alembic, and we both thought it a cool idea.

In June we made punches for Savoy Night and it went over well.

Some time after the June Savoy night, I was talking to Jesse Friedman (of Beer and Nosh) and he said, “Hey, you should make a big batch of punch next time and I’ll carbonate it.  Just give it to me in 2 liter soda bottles and I’ll hook it up to my kegerator.”

For the rest of the story, check out Jesse’s blog post: Savoy Sunday

Next step in my evil plan: Punch on tap!

Shopping List

Shopping List for today

2 Bottles Osocalis Brandy.
1 Bottle Appleton V/X.
1 Bottle Coruba Rum.
1 Bottle Batavia Arrack von Osten.
12 Lemons.
2 pineapples.
Florida Crystals Sugar.
2 quart Straus Family Creamery Whole Milk.
Sealable non reactive glass jars big enough to hold more than 4 Liters.

Milk Punch No. 1

You may remember that a couple weeks ago I made a Hibiscus Milk Punch based on a recipe I read on another blog.

The whole thing was a bit of a leap of faith, given I’d never made anything similar or even tried it.

However, it turned out so well, I thought I should turn back the clock a bit further and investigate an older recipe for Milk Punch. So when Daniel Hyatt suggested we make some punches for one of our Savoy Cocktail Book night at Alembic, I thought I would make Savoy Milk Punch No. 1. Upon investigation, it turns out it is based on a recipe from the 1862 version of Jerry Thomas’ Bartenders Guide.

The recipe from Mr. Thomas is as follows.

California Milk Punch.
(For Bottling.)
Take the juice of four lemons.
The rind of two lemons.
½ pound of white sugar, dissolved in sufficient hot water.
1 pineapple, peeled, sliced and pounded.
6 cloves.
20 coriander seeds.
1 small stick of cinnamon.
1 pint of brandy.
1 pint of Jamaica rum.
1 gill of Batavia Arrack.
1 cup of strong green tea.
1 quart of boiling water.
1 quart of hot milk.

Put all the materials in a clean demijohn, the boiling water to be added last; cork this down to prevent evaporation, and allow the ingredients to steep for at least six hours; then add the hot milk and the juice of two more lemons; mix, and filter through a jelly-bag; and when the punch has passed bright, put it away in tight-corked bottles.

This punch is intended to be iced for drinking. If intended for present use filtering is not necessary.

California Milk Punch

Using Mr. Thomas recipe as a starting point:

Bernal Heights Milk Punch
1 qt Osocalis Brandy.
1 pt Appleton V/X.
1 pt Coruba.
1 pt Batavia Arrack von Osten.
Peel 4 lemons.
Juice 6 lemons, strained
1/2 pineapple, chopped and crushed.
6 cloves.
1 cinnamon stick (cassia).
5 Green Cardamom Pods, Crushed.
4 teaspoons Lung Ching Dragonwell Tea.
16 oz Water
1/2 # Florida Crystals.
1 quart Straus Family Creamery Whole Milk.

Peel lemons and add to Brandy.  Juice 4 lemons and crush pineapple.  Add to rums (including Arrack).  Allow both to infuse for 48 hours.

Heat water and add spices and tea. After it has steeped for 10 minutes, strain. Add sugar, stir to combine, and cool.

Juice other two lemons and add to pineapple, lemon, and rum mixture. Heat milk to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Add to Rum, lemon, and pineapple mixture. Allow to stand for 30 minutes and filter through cheesecloth. Strain brandy mixture off peels. Combine Rum mixture, brandy mixture, and syrup. Cool, bottle in clean containers, and chill over night. Filter again through coffee filters, leaving any sediment which has collected in the bottom of the containers behind.  Makes about 3 quarts.

Perhaps not so oddly, I misremembered the recipe and used Cardamom instead of Coriander. But I really like the clove/cardamom nexus, so not a bad thing.  I needed some pineapple and pineapple juice for another cocktail this week, so only used half for the punch.  More pineapple wouldn’t hurt.  The initial division of the infusions was just a result of the size of my containers, but actually seemed to help with getting a firmer curd from the milk solids.  If I had to do it again, I’d do it the same way.

The water amounts didn’t really make sense to me for starting with 80 proof booze. My guess is Thomas was working with cask strength liquors, to require that much dilution. So I adjusted a bit. Perhaps a bit too much, as according to Mrs. Flannestad, this ended up a bit strong and boozy.  Depending on your perspective, that may be bad or good.

Very good response to the punch at Alembic’s Savoy Cocktail Book night last Sunday, so if you’re feeling adventurous give it a try.  I don’t think you’ll regret it.  We just served it over ice with a splash of soda.  It would make a fantastic highball!

Even though I can now cross this off the list of Savoy punches I need to make, I have a feeling I’ll be making this Milk Punch again some time soon.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

Rum Hibiscus Milk Punch

Hibiscus Milk Punch

Continuing with my series of photos deemed “too dark” or “poorly composed” for tastespotting.

;-)

Le Sigh.  I will attempt to move on from my bitter, bitter disappointment at having all my photo submissions rejected by tastespotting.  If they don’t want them, so be it.

This is a follow up to the Rum Hibiscus Milk Punch post of a few days ago.

The general consensus is Drink’s Rum Hibiscus Milk Punch is very tasty.  It’s ridiculously drinkable.

Almost no one can identify the dairy character before being told the “secret ingredient”.  After being told they are usually able to identify the slight lactic acid tang and smell.  My boss at work thought we should make it for the week that sommeliers gather in San Francisco for some exam, just to screw with them.  “Looks like Rose Wine, tastes like, uh, delicious punch.”  “But can you tell us the secret ingredient?”

About all I’d say is I get a bit tired of it after a couple glasses.  It’s complex, but kind of unidirectional.  I think it would be significantly improved by using a Rum with more character than the El Dorado White.  Maybe the Barbancourt White, some portion of White Rhum Agricole, or even Wray & Nephew Overproof.

Rum Hibiscus Milk Punch

A friend, and coworker, of mine recently wrote about a curdled milk experiment of hers on this post: Whey

Being, uh, a competitive sort, I couldn’t let this sort of thing go unchallenged.

Well, not really.

I’d read these sorts of “Milk Punch” recipes for a long time now, and always wanted to try one.  I just didn’t know if they were good or just weird.

I’d also recently read on Lauren Clarke’s blog, (Milk Punch,) that bartenders at Drink in Boston (well, Fort Point,) were experimenting with a Hibiscus Milk Punch. Frederic from Cocktail Virgin Slut also recently wrote up Milk Punches on their post: Hibiscus White Rum Milk Punch

With all these people making Milk Punches, there’s no way I could not experiment with one. I more or less followed the recipe from Drink.

1 bottle (750 ml.) White Demerara Rum
Pared rind of 1 orange
Pared rind of 2 lemons
1/4 cup tablespoon dried Hibiscus Flowers (Also called “Jamaica” or “Sorrel”. Available at Latin American and Caribbean stores.)
1 1/2 cup 2-1 Simple Syrup made from Natural Cane Sugar
1 cup fresh Lime juice, strained
2 cups Straus Farms Whole Milk
1/2 stick Mexican Cinnamon, crushed
4 whole Cloves, crushed

Place citrus peels in rum for 24 hours. Add Hibiscus flowers and let sit for another 24 hours.

Add cinnamon and cloves to Milk and heat to 180 degrees.

Strain citrus peels and hibiscus out of rum.

Add sugar syrup and lime juice to rum.

Add heated milk to rum and let stand until it curdles (1/2 hour or so).

Curdled

Set a strainer over stainless container and line with layers of cheese cloth. Strain mixture through cheesecloth and then bottle in a clean container. I am not sure what to do with the curdled milk solids. It is more or less boozy, sweet, cottage cheese.

Freshly Strained

The next day, more milk solids will likely settle out.

Detritus

Pour the clear liquid off, leaving the solids behind. Strain through a coffee filter or similar and bottle. The resulting liquid will be pretty clear and look more or less like Rose Wine.  The recipe makes a bit more than a liter of punch.

Racked Off

The folks at Drink suggest serving this in a small sherry type glass.