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).


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.


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.

Corpse Reviver, Revisited

When I wrote about the Corpse Reviver No. 2, I explored the variation with Swedish Punsch instead of Lillet (or Cocchi Americano) and found I preferred the version with Cocchi Americano.

However, recently a friend mentioned they’d been enjoying the same cocktail with the version of Arrack Punch I made for Tales. I wanted to revisit same.

So when Brian Ellison, from Death’s Door Spirits, called me and asked if I wanted to help out with his booth at the Slow Food Expo here in San Francisco, the first drink that came to mind was a Corpse Reviver with my home made Arrack Punch.

I mean, c’mon, if there is a more appropriate drink to make with Death’s Door Gin than a Corpse Reviver, I have no idea what it is. Plus, it has a whole home made angle…

So I made another 3 liter batch of Arrack Punch, sent him the list of other ingredients, and put it on my calendar.

We served them Saturday night and Sunday morning. This evening my arms and shoulders are still sore from shaking cocktails. But, wow, what a great response! Many folks just surprised that they would even enjoy a cocktail made with gin. Others who were coming back, and some telling me that their friends had told them they had to try that “Corpse drink”. And a group from, I probably should have cut off, as they were probably responsible for drinking a quarter of the Corpse Reviver mix I had prepared. But hey, they kept coming back and telling me how great it was…

So anyway, if you’re keeping track:

Corpse Reviver No. 2a

3/4 oz Gin
3/4 oz Homemade Swedish Punch
3/4 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
dash Absinthe

Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.

For what it is worth, the earliest I find this variation on the Corpse Reviver No. 2 is in the 1948 edition of Patrick Gavin Duffy’s “The Official Mixer’s Manual” edited, revised, and expanded by James Beard.

In earlier editions of Duffy’s book, the more traditional Kina Lillet is called for.