Milk Punch


Grab your spirit of choice and make this classic, creamy milk punch.

Milk Punch

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Oset Babür-Winter

If you've ever watched the 1950 musical, Guys and Dolls, you'll remember that protagonists Jean Simmons and Marlon Brando drank their milk punch by Havana moonlight, but nowadays, this cocktail is more commonly served at brunch or as a morning-after pick-me-up. You can vary the amount of sugar to taste, but keep in mind that unlike daiquiris or Mai Tais, milk punch should be relatively sweet. While most milk punches you'll encounter at craft cocktail bars will be clarified, a process through which solid particles are removed from milk to produce a clear, exceptionally drinking experience, we'll admit that we have a special place in our hearts for the unstrained milk punch that gets a boozy kick from bourbon, brandy, or virtually any other spirit you prefer to enjoy at the end of an evening.

This classic drink dates back to England in the 1600s, and has enjoyed modern day success in part due to its versatility, as well as its indulgent, creamy flavor profile. While you might be tempted to use skim or low-fat milk to make this punch a little lighter, we recommend sticking to whole milk for the optimal flavor and texture experience. That's not to say a dairy-free milk punch isn't worth making, however. Just opt for creamier plant-based milks such as macadamia nut milk or full fat oat milk as opposed to soy or almond milk, which won't quite give you the desired texture for this cocktail. Vanilla or orange extract can add an extra dose of sweetness alongside simple syrup, which can be garnished with grated nutmeg, star anise, or a cinnamon stick.


  • 2 ounces bourbon

  • 3 ounces whole milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 ounce simple syrup

  • 1 pod star anise (for garnish)

  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg (for garnish)


  1. Add all ingredients into an ice filled shaker and shake until chilled.

  2. Strain into a rocks glass and garnish with grated nutmeg and star anise.

Related Articles