Clarified Milk Punch Recipe

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PREP TIME 180 min

Cocktail Type


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Clarified Milk Punch

Every now and again it’s nice to serve up a complete showstopper of a drink – that’s when we like to lean into the Clarified Milk Punch recipe. Fair warning, it’s a tough one to achieve. In fact, if you do it the right way, it takes around three days! However, it’s so spectacular that it’s 100% worth the effort.  

Of course, when a drink requires this amount of sheer scientific trickery, you really have no other choice than to make it in bulk, so this recipe serves twelve. Here’s how you make the magic!



This cocktail is a labor of love – view it as a challenge & get some friends involved


It will keep in the fridge for up to a week, so big batches work well


Makes a great (and impressive!) gift for cocktail lovers



1 Person

16 Oz

480 Ml

16 Parts

16 Oz

480 Ml

16 Parts

8 Oz

240 Ml

8 Parts

Arrack or Cachaça
16 Oz

480 Ml

16 Parts

pineapple juice
6 lemons juiced, 2 zested per batch
2 cups granulated sugar per batch
6 cloves per batch
20 coriander seeds per batch
1 stick cinnamon per batch
16 Oz

480 Ml

16 Parts

strong, brewed green tea
32 Oz

960 Ml

32 Parts

boiling water
32 Oz

960 Ml

32 Parts

whole milk
Freshly grated nutmeg for garnish (optional)



Combine the lemon zest, cloves, coriander, and cinnamon with the cognac, rum, and Arrack in a large container, and let it sit overnight to infuse


The next day, strain and discard the solids


Add the sugar, pineapple juice, lemon juice, green tea, and boiling water to the spirits mixture, and stir until the sugar has fully dissolved


Bring the milk to a slow simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat


As soon as the milk starts to simmer, remove it from the heat and pour it into a large container


Pour the spirits mixture into the container with the heated milk (NOT the other way around) – it should begin to curdle almost immediately


Allow the mixture to cool and leave in the fridge (ideally overnight)


Strain the mixture through a jelly strainer bag or white cotton T-shirt (cheesecloth absorbs too much) – add it all at once and let it drain at its own pace


Repeat the process slowly and carefully (it will be worth it!) until the clarity is where you want it – the more you strain it, the clearer the liquid will become


Once strained, the liquid is stable and can be kept in the fridge until your guests arrive


To serve, pour over ice and serve, garnished with a grating of nutmeg if desired

History of the Milk Punch Cocktail

The Clarified Milk Punch cocktail has a super cool backstory. Get this; according to drink-related folklore, the recipe for milk punch was invented by a 17th-century female spy! Aphra Behn was a secret agent for King Charles II, as well as a celebrated playwright and poet. Plus, the lady loved to host a good party with plenty of theatrical eats and treats. Cue the science-forward holiday milk punch recipe that is somehow clear even though it contains milk.  

However, it must be said that this impressive tale, as with many great stories, has a less fantastical version, which is more than likely the truer story. See, according to a very fastidious researcher (bless his cotton socks), the Clarified Milk Punch recipe was first penned by housewife Mary Rockett around 1711. If so, good on her, but we’ll be sticking to the more fanciful version of the story if you don’t mind.  

Why is Milk Punch clear?

Of course, not all cocktails that contain milk are clear. There is a straightforward version of milk punch that is often enjoyed around the holidays, and ultra-creamy dessert-like cocktails like the Bushwacker. The reason why Clarified Milk Punch is clear has to do with the chemical reaction between the alcohol, acid (lemon juice), and milk.  

The tomfoolery happens when the mixture is passed through a filter. This is when the curds settle at the bottom, forming a little nest, and the milk proteins (AKA casein) do the work of stripping the liquid of both its color and tannins. The result is a sweet, spicy, velvety-smooth drink that is very easy (some might say too easy) to drink.  

You might also like: Your Guide to Making Creamy Vegan Cocktails 

Is Eggnog the same as Milk Punch?

No, Eggnog and Milk Punch are two very different drinks. Although the unclarified version of Milk Punch has a similar flavor profile, Eggnog is made using a batter. In short, while they both share a creamy, Christmas-spice vibe, each call for an entirely different approach.    

Read Next: 11 Hot Christmas Cocktails for an Extra Festive Holiday 


One of the most fascinating versions of Milk Punch includes 13 ingredients and takes three days to make! However, the result is a sweet, spicy, velvety-smooth drink that is worth the effort.

When straining Clarified Milk Punch, opt for a jelly strainer or white cotton T-shirt. Cheesecloth and coffee filters absorb too much of the liquid you want to save.

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