A classic creamy cocktail to mix for the holidays


Cocktail Club

Tired of eggnog? Try a New Orleans milk punch.

New Orleans Milk Punch Cocktail.

A simple search for a favorite creamy holiday drink quickly reveals milk punch, of which there are two main types. The 1600s-inspired style, in which the dairy is curdled and filtered to come up with a clarified version that uses alcohol and citrus to preserve the potion, and the blunt, fun-filled mix of dairy, alcohol and sugar synonymous with New Orleans.

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Often appearing on menus and in books like Cognac Milk Punch, Bourbon Milk Punch or just New Orleans Milk Punch, this version with its creamy texture and inviting sweetness holds a place in the pantheon of great Nola cocktails alongside the apparently more serious Sazerac. , Vieux Carré and Ramos gin fizz. He has consistently argued that it should be limited to brunch and other restorative-type drinks, denying its tremendous application as an afternoon treat or a sugary treat after a meal.

Usually served with whole milk, it can be made with skimmed and non-dairy milk, but it will produce a thinner and less satisfying drink. It is therefore important to be a little more generous with the sugar when using it to keep the texture rewarding. Such a simple cocktail, and always so many disagreements – brandy or bourbon? Vanilla and / or nutmeg? It’s 4pm, can I sit alone at the bar for a drink and not be seen as the kind of freak who drinks Bloody Mary on a Saturday night?

AT Jewel of the South, accomplished New Orleans bartender Chris Hannah, who I’ve always suspected to be the ‘coffee as you like it’ type, confirms that there isn’t one definitive version that should be pushed above the others.

We ask, we treat it like the old-fashioned way, asking our guests if they prefer bourbon or brandy, he says. Hannah is also an avowed Francophile, so you can bet that if left on his own, he’s looking for a blendable cognac to shake up with.

One thing I like to do this time of year is to expand the recipe and “bundle” it into a bottle. It keeps extremely well in the fridge for several days, think of it like eggnog without eggs or the Caribbean coconut-inspired coquitos. With a bottle of NOLA Milk Punch in the fridge, you’re ready to make holiday gift wrapping a short, festive break without having to take out the mixing boxes.

New Orleans Milk Punch


  • 2 oz. bourbon or brandy
  • 1 ounce simple syrup (simple vanilla optional)
  • 4 oz. milk made from dairy products or nuts


  • Shake and serve on ice
  • Garnish with grated nutmeg

New Orleans Milk Punch (bottled version)


  • 8 ounces bourbon or brandy
  • 4 oz. simple syrup (simple vanilla optional)
  • 12 ounces of milk made from dairy products or nuts


  • Keep refrigerated
  • Shake and serve on ice
  • Garnish with grated nutmeg

Join our virtual cocktail class

Join us Thursday December 16 at 7 p.m. for the Boston.com Cocktail Club with host Jackson Cannon and his special guest Doug Capozzoli, head bartender at Brewery in South Boston. This week, they’ll whip up party cocktails, learn about Boston’s restaurant and bar scene, and share tips the pros use to make great drinks at home. They’ll whip up a Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail and New Orleans Milk Punch, and walk us through how to pre-pack to serve a large group in a snap! Everything you need is in the shopping list here.


Michael M. Tomlin