Classic Milk Punch is a silky, frothy cup of dairy, spiked with rich rum and bourbon—making it perfect for chilly fall evenings but a bit heavy for the warmer months. Not wanting to give up his creamy cup of punch come June, Matt Piacentini of The Up & Up in New York City elevated the weighty classic by clarifying the milk, creating a translucent but still luxurious substance. He layers that ghostly milk with the flavors of bitter Aperol, botanical gin and a hint of absinthe. “It’s delightfully bright, and light,” Piacentini says. “You have this silky, bitter base, with lemon, licorice, and juniper floating above it all. It’s like two different drinks at the same time.” Consider this your new year-round milk punch.
2 oz gin
5 oz Aperol
.25 oz Absinthe
8 oz milk
1.5 oz fresh Lemon Juice
.75 oz Simple Syrup
- In a mixing glass, mix together everything except the milk and garnish.
- In a pot, heat milk to around 140 degrees, then remove from heat.
- Add Aperol mixture to the warm milk and stir until the milk curdles.
- Line a strainer with cheesecloth and set over a cambro or other large container, and set a second empty container alongside.
- Pour some of the mixture into the cheesecloth until the strainer is about three-quarters full. Allow the mixture to strain 10-15 seconds until the stream becomes clear, then quickly move the strainer over the second container.
- Once the stream stops, discard the solids in the strainer.
- Move the strainer back to the first container and add more of the milky mixture, repeating until the entire mixture has been strained once.
- Repeat the entire process with the cloudy liquid to ensure the final strained mixture is clear.
- Pour 4 oz into a lowball glass over ice, express a grapefruit peel over top, and garnish with the grapefruit peel.