Down in New Orleans, they really know how to party. Mardi Gras festivities started a few weeks ago and will continue for almost another month. (And that’s not to mention that the city’s hosting the Super Bowl in 11 days.) So how do they do it?
We think we’ve found the secret to the Big Easy’s celebration stamina: Brandy Milk Punch. The nourishing NOLA classic combines milk, sugar, spices, and, of course, brandy. It’s served all around town and is the perfect eye-opener after a late night.
While we love fixing a big bowl of the traditional recipe, which we got from celebrity chef John Besh, we’ve also recently discovered some interesting variations that you need to try.
SoBou, the latest restaurant and bar from legendary partners Ti Martin and Lally Brennan, has on its menu a quaffable Spiced Rum Milk Punch (pictured above), which was created by their talented bar chef, Abigail Gullo, and calls for, you guessed it, spiced rum instead of the standard brandy.
Bellocq, the craft-cocktail establishment run by Neal Bodenheimer and Kirk Estopinal, who own top spot Cure as well, offers a very unique spin on the drink in the Mary Rocket Milk Punch. Be warned: Making this tipple is not for the faint of heart, since it involves curdling milk with lemon juice. But if you can get past that, you may have found the secret to Mardi Gras. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
SPICED RUM MILK PUNCH
Contributed by Abigail Gullo
Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a light dusting of freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon.
MARY ROCKET MILK PUNCH
Contributed by Kirk Estopinal
In a large bowl, muddle the lemon peels and sugar. Let stand for 2 hours. In a separate container, stir together the cognac and nutmeg. Let stand for 1 hour. Pour the boiling water over the sugar, and then add the cognac mixture and lemon juice. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the milk to a small saucepan over medium-low heat and bring to a simmer (at least 190 degrees, but do not allow to boil). Pour the milk into the cognac mixture and let stand for 30 minutes without stirring (milk will begin to curdle). Strain through a jelly-strainer bag into bottles or a large bowl, discarding solids, and store in the refrigerator. To serve, add 4 ounces of the strained liquid to a double Old Fashioned glass filled with ice. Stir in a dash of Peychaud’s Bitters and garnish with a lemon twist.