Milk Punch: Tracing The Origins Of This Classic Cocktail
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Milk punch is a volatile yet delectable classic drink. You might have either heard of or briefly seen milk punch on a bar menu. While this drink initially became popular among inquisitive contemporary drinkers in the early 2000s, it wasn't until the early 2010s that it truly became ubiquitous.

The 17th-century English dramatist and novelist Aphra Behn is mostly credited with creating the clarified milk punch (not to be confused with the creamy, nog-esque variety simply known as milk punch or New Orleans Milk Punch) and serving as a royal spy for King Charles II.

Other versions attribute the origins to Mary Rockett, a British woman who is credited with being the first to record her milk punch recipe in writing in 1711. In any case, these women had a significant worldwide influence on modern drinking culture.

What Is Milk Punch?

Two variations exist for "milk punch." One is a dairy-based, frothy beverage that tastes like eggnog with a hint of spice. Mixing brandy or bourbon, milk, and vanilla essence together is all that's needed to make it. The alternative, which is the most popular, is sometimes called "English Milk Punch" or "Clarified Milk Punch," which produces an auburn liquid that is transparent. This concept dates back to the 1600s when spirit shelves were made permanently stable by the application of the clarifying process.

Tracing The Origins Of The Milk Punch

Milk punch is said to have been invented in the 1600s and peaked in popularity between the 1700s and the mid-1800s. The punch's widespread popularity was credited to the 17th-century English playwright Aphra Behn, who is believed to have invented it after mentioning it in one of her plays.

This drink's first documented history dates back to a 1711 cookbook authored by Mary Rockett. This smooth-tasting libation was known to be a favourite of many prominent people. In 1763, Ben Franklin came up with his own recipe for milk punch and published it in a letter to a friend. Using only a few of Franklin's components, modern mixologists have mellowed his quite potent cocktail.

Due to its extended shelf life in bottles, milk punch was highly sought-after and peaked in popularity in the middle of the eighteenth century. The fact that the drink could be created with any juice, liquor, or tea added to its allure. Queen Victoria was such a fan of the drink that she hired a particular firm to provide the royal household with it.

Two varieties of milk punch exist. In the eighteenth century, bourbon, or brandy, milk punch gained immense popularity in New Orleans. There is alcohol and milk in this punch. English milk punch, often known as clarified milk punch, is the second variety. In this recipe, the milk curdles when it's put into a mixed drink while it's still hot.

The curds are then extracted from the punch by straining it with cheesecloth. This procedure clarifies the beverage and eliminates the majority of its colour and cloudiness. Punch can be stored for months or even years if it is kept cold. After Charles Dickens passed away in 1870, it is rumoured that bottles of milk punch were discovered in his wine cellar.

Milk Punch Today

With milk punch's recent resurgence in popularity, mixologists are infusing the beverage with unique flavours. The freshness of the milk is essential to the success of milk punches and cocktails. The drink is best served right away after mixing, so be sure to keep an eye on the milk's expiration date.

While using the milk from your refrigerator is acceptable, you can also use rice, almond, and soy milk by making a few little adjustments. Bartenders like experimenting with various milk varieties, such as cream and half-and-half. Flexibility is the key to success.