Punch Cocktail Recipes: Milk Punch

by Pamela

milk punch, mardi gras drinks, punch cocktail, mardi gras party

I already know what you’re thinking: milk punch cocktail?  But I thought punch was something made out of 7 Up, lemonade, sherbet and had a funky ice ring floating in the middle of it.  Well, I suppose if you’re attending a Tupperware party deep in the bowels of the Midwest you would be correct.

Punches (of the alcoholic and liquid kind) have seen a bit of a resurgence as of late.  It’s not uncommon to walk into a popular bar these days and find a big bowl of house made libation being scooped out and served to customers that are looking for something a little different than your standard bar cocktail.

Milk punch isn’t one of these new and trendy cocktails though.  It’s been loosening the inhibitions of many, mostly Southerners, for decades.

I thought that since Mardi Gras, and Fat Tuesday, are right around the corner that it would be appropriate to introduce you to one of New Orleans favorite brunch time cocktails – milk punch.  Traditionally, this libation uses brandy as it’s inebriating component, but it’s just as appropriate to use bourbon (duh…Bourbon Street) in it as well.

Typical Mardi Gras drinks include: hurricanes, the canal street daisy, the sazerac and the ramos fizz.  But what could be easier for your Mardi Gras party than preparing a big bowl of this punch?  Of course, the indulgent nature of Mardi Gras requires you to serve more than just a single bowl of milk punch.

If you’re still not convinced about the entire concept of milk punch, consider this: it’s a MUCH lighter version of egg nog.  While you wouldn’t serve a big bowl of heavy egg nog at your Mardi Gras party (jambalaya and egg nog…the thought of it is making me throw up in my mouth a little it), you can serve this light dairy based punch and be fine.  The recipe I’m using here is based on one by Chef John Besh (of New Orleans restaurant fame).

So while you’re serving up the ol’ favorites like king cake, muffaletta’s, hurricane’s (and other favorite Mardi Gras drinks), beads and boobies (that is tradition) why not add a bit of new (to you) and mix up a bowl of milk punch for your Mardi Gras party?  (How cutting edge of you.)

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

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Recipe: Milk Punch


  • 1 Cup Bourbon
  • 3 Cups Milk (whole milk is best)
  • 3 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Fresh Nutmeg
  • Handful of Ice Cubes
  • Crushed ice


  1. Fill glasses with crushed ice.
  2. Pour bourbon, milk, sugar, vanilla, and ice cubes into a blender and blend for 20 seconds.
  3. Strain into glasses with the crushed ice.
  4. Grate nutmeg in to each glass.
  5. Serve.


If you really want to make this indulgent, you could add in a pint of vanilla ice cream to the blender.

This drink could also be made with rum or brandy, instead of the bourbon.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time:

Diet tags: Gluten free

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: USA (Southern)




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Roxana GreenGirl { A little bit of everything} February 18, 2012 at 3:43 pm

i’m not a big fan of the Southern cuisine nor of all the Mardi Gras celebrations but I’d love to take few sips of these milk punch.

Jennifer February 18, 2012 at 10:37 am

Never had it, but love eggnog. So I can only imagine that a lighter version would be awesomesauce! Maybe I’ll make it for my next party just so I have an excuse to try it.

ChocoMeat February 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Ooooo.. A favorite! The Milk Punch at Commander’s Palace ruuules.

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