Earlier this year, Keith and I went to New Orleans for a relaxing, boozy sort of trip. I’m not embarrassed to say I’m not much of a drinker and that I’m a terrible drinking companion in the sense that I can’t hold my liquor reliably, but I will proudly tell you I’m an awesome drinking companion in the sense that I’ll cheer you on and get you home safe.
What’s nice about New Orleans isn’t that there are not only a plethora of friendly cabbies to deliver you to your hotel — though they are very nice and friendly indeed — but that there’s an awesome amount of amazing bartenders to provide you with exactly what you need.
In my case, what I needed on a hot Thursday afternoon was a milk punch. Chris Hannah at the French 75 told me so, and sent me to the Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone to get one. I’ve always been good at following directions.
Milk punches are fun. They’re frothy and sweetened by vanilla and there’s no way you can feel bad about drinking one (or two). A cold milk punch is even nicer when you come home to one on a disgustingly hot and humid night, or the ingredients for one. It’ll definitely make the day seem a whole lot cooler.
1 ounce brandy
½ ounce dark rum
2 teaspoons simple syrup*
2 dashes vanilla extract
4 ounces whole milk (though I used skim since that’s what I drink)
- Shake the ingredients all together in a cocktail shaker with cracked ice.
- Strain into a tumble half full of shaved ice.
- Grate or shake some nutmeg on top.
* Simple syrup is so, um, simple to make that adding a recipe here really is silly. Regardless, here we go. In a small saucepan, bring one cup sugar and one cup water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved. This takes only a few minutes. Then remove the saucepan from the stove and let cool completely. You can store this in your fridge in a tightly sealed bottle for about three months.