This is a classic breakfast or brunch cocktail, beloved of generations of New Orleanians. It’s also quite fine late at night — I still like mine ice cold, but on a cold night you could even gently heat it.
The historic version is a Brandy Milk Punch, but lots of people like a Bourbon Milk Punch as well. Dr. Cocktail suggests a mix of brandy and rum, about an ounce of the former and 1/2 ounce of the latter. Whichever version you make, it’s easy to make and quite a crowd-pleaser. You should also be able to order this at any of the good Creole restaurants and bars in New Orleans, and it’s not difficult to talk someone through just about anywhere.
If you want to make it a bit richer, use half-and-half instead of whole milk. Never use 2% or, gods forbid, skim milk.
I like mine a little less sweet — you can certainly add more simple syrup if you like. Here’s the way I like ‘em.
1-1/2 ounces brandy or Bourbon, or 1 ounce brandy and 1/2 ounce dark rum.
2 teaspoons simple syrup.
2 dashes vanilla extract.
4 ounces milk or half-and-half.
Combine with ice and shake vigorously — this drink is nice when it’s frothy. Strain into a chilled wine glass and serve up, or into chilled Old Fashioned glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a grating of nutmeg.
Here’s master New Orleans bartender Chris McMillian making one, although he likes his considerably sweeter than I do.