Friday, November 18, 2016

caribbean milk punch

The theme for this month's Mixology Monday (MxMo CXIII) was picked by Gary of the Doc Elliott's Mixology blog. The theme he chose was "Bacon, Eggs, & Booze," and he elaborated on the choice with his description of, "Well, it's autumn, with falling temperatures and falling leaves, kiddos and costumes and far too many treats. Looming are the next set of holidays, the serious ones complete with feasts, gifts, parties and gatherings of family and friends. One perennial problem is: what to do with guests the morning after, or the morning of, or the morning before? Well, you get the idea. Think BRUNCH... But, remember the Law of the Universe: 'A brunch without booze is just a sad, late breakfast!' So, the theme for Mixology Monday CXIII is Bacon, Eggs, and Booze..."

I began to contemplate all of the brunch drinks that I enjoy which include New Orleans-style Fizzes like the Ramos, light citrussy numbers like the Corpse Reviver #2, and the like. The host of the event excluded champagne cocktails to give a better depth of responses, so that was out, and I am not a fan of Bloody Marys either. My mind drifted to the drinks that I put on the Loyal Nine brunch menu that included light citrussy drinks -- both carbonated and not -- and a milk punch. No, not the clarified milk punches that have taken the mixology world by storm in the last 8 years or so, but the unclarified ones often linked to New Orleans brunch culture. I then turned to the famous Brennan's recipe for milk punch but that was a bit similar to Deep Ellum's Bourbon Milk Punch and my Miller's River Milk Punch. Instead, I remember looking at the Brennan's menu while at Tales of the Cocktail this past July and spotting a second milk punch on the menu called the Caribbean Milk Punch. I was intrigued, but I was too busy that week to investigate with my palate. However, with a little internet sleuthing, I was able to turn up a recipe to make up for that missed opportunity.
The recipe was contributed by Lu Brow, the lead bartender of Brennan's, who declared, "This sounds crazy to anybody who doesn't live in New Orleans, but a cocktail is a great way to start the day. If we had as many brandy milk punch houses as coffeehouses, we'd all get along." The punch has a split spirit base of a funky Caribbean rum complemented by a half part of Bourbon. Moreover, unlike the other milk punches that call for a decent amount of whole milk (sometimes half and half) and are served over ice in a large glass, this one smooths over the balance by using a smaller amount of rather rich heavy cream and served in a cocktail coupe.
Caribbean Milk Punch
• 1 oz Mt. Gay Black Barrel Rum or use Smith & Cross as a sub (Smith & Cross)
• 1/2 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon (Old Granddad Bonded)
• 1 oz Vanilla Syrup (BG Reynolds)
• 1 oz Heavy Cream
Shake with ice, strain into a coupe glass, and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
The Caribbean Milk Punch gave forth a nutmeg aroma that shared a hint of funky rum notes. Next, a rich, creamy sip relayed a small amount of caramel from the aged spirits, and the swallow presented a muted funky rum, glimpses of the Bourbon, and a large amount of vanilla. The recipe was surprisingly easy to drink despite the two spirits being 114° and 100° proof. Perhaps, the recipe would be more brunch-friendly with the original call for an 86° rum and a 90° whiskey not to mention a less intensely funky rum. Still, I can easily imagine sipping this while eating French toast but perhaps not an omelette. Well, I could see drinking one before the omelette though.

So thanks again to Gary of Doc Elliott's Mixology for hosting this month, and cheers to all of the other participants and readers who continue to make Mixology Monday _the_ online cocktail party for the last ten and a half years!

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