Milk Punch is an ancient technique that takes us back in time to the 17th century. The idea behind it, initially, was to find a solution for the shelf life of products and cocktails, in particular, in a world where there were no refrigerators.
The principle is simple - the milk separates using acid, which traditionally comes from citrus juice, into liquids and solids. After dividing the liquid, the milk solids filter the cocktail's sediments, thus obtaining a precise result.
In addition to the appearance, the final cocktail gets additional layers of flavor and becomes rounder, providing a more complex and enjoyable drinking experience for small sips.
This technique has recently experienced a renaissance, and you can find versions in various bars. Bartenders love it because it provides a different and unique flavor profile, shelf life, and clean appearance. Other types of milk (and its substitutes), acids allow you to experiment in the modern world. It's impressive to see the effect of flavored milk on the final cocktail, as you can see in the recipe below.
As a result of research we have carried out on the technique in recent years, we have developed a subcategory of milk punch - where instead of pouring the cocktail over the milk, we first separate the solids and liquids of the milk, then mix the solids in the cocktail without stirring it, to achieve the shading effect. The whey adds many flavors and dilutes the cocktail, making the drink very round. Making the cocktail without them helps to emphasize the flavors of the ingredients in the cocktail and highlights the alcoholic flavors. Another thing we usually do is balance the cocktail after the shading process by adding alcohol, acids, and sugars to produce a consistent result between batches.
Fairy Line is a cocktail created during the Corona period for bottled cocktails we produced. The idea behind it was to create a tropical version that would combine the flavors of pineapple and coconut without the texture and in a way that would be suitable to accompany a meal. The preparation process of the cocktail, almost like any milk punch, is long and requires several steps. The advantage of this method is that you can prepare a large amount of the drink and consume it over time. The drink continues to develop over time and most of the drinks we make using this technique peak when they are three weeks old.
Fairy Lane, a recipe for 250 ml:
White rum (Plantation 3) – 50 ml
Fino sherry (Lustau Fino) – 10 ml
Coconut water - 67.5 ml
Pineapple juice - 50 ml
Lactic acid solution 10% - 12.5 ml
Pink pepper - 2 c.
Cane sugar - 5 g
Vanilla soy milk - 50 ml
Grind pink pepper and cane sugar in a spice grinder. Squeeze the pineapple juice and mix it with the other ingredients except the milk. Mix the ingredients well until the sugar dissolves in the liquid. Heat the soy milk in a pan to a temperature of 60 degrees Celsius and remove from the heat. Transfer the milk to a container that will fit the volume of the entire cocktail. Pour the cocktail over the milk and put it in the fridge for at least two hours. The milk's solids and liquids separate during the process, and the cocktail absorbs flavors from soaking the pink peppercorn.
Remove the liquid from the refrigerator and pour it into another container through a coffee filter/cheesecloth. First, the beverage passing through the filter will be partially clarified. After a few minutes of filtering, we will repeat the process and return the already-filtered liquids to the original container. It is essential not to move the strainer because it is necessary for the said process, which happens following solidifying the solids.
The filtered liquid can be tasted and balanced according to taste, adding alcohol, acidity, or sweetness. Serving the cocktail on ice will cause the drink to open and change between sips, resulting in a richer experience.