This recipe was brought to the Times by Julia Reed in a 2001 magazine article in which she talked about her favorite (and not so favorite) holiday culinary traditions: “I will not serve eggnog, the one holiday culinary tradition I have never been able to get behind, but I will make milk punch. With its frothy top and not-so-jaundiced color, a milk punch is prettier to look at than eggnog and is not nearly as rich and cloying saved from that state by an effective combination of bourbon and brandy. They are especially good before a holiday lunch with, naturally, cheese straws and pecans. By evening, everyone will want a Santa hat.”
- Serves: 30 persons
- 1 ½cups granulated sugar
- 2quarts whole milk
- 1quart vanilla ice cream or heavy cream
- 4cups brandy
- 2cups bourbon
- Whole nutmeg
Step 1Make simple syrup: Over medium heat, combine the sugar with 3/4 cup of water in a saucepan. Stir occasionally, until the mixture is boiling. Reduce heat and let simmer until the mixture is clear and the sugar has completely dissolved, about 8 minutes. Pour into a jar and cool. Refrigerate until cold.
Step 2For the punch, whisk the milk and the ice cream or the heavy cream together in a large pitcher or punch bowl until it is blended. Stir in the spirits and the simple syrup to taste. Refrigerate until chilled. To serve, pour into highball glasses and grate the nutmeg on top.