Mary Rockett's Milk Punch

David Wondrich

Adapted from Imbibe! (Perigee Trade, 2007)

This delightfully smooth, liqueur-like formula dates back to 1711.


  • 2 lemons
  • 1 quart V.S. or V.S.O.P. Cognac
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 ounces lemon juice
  • 1 pint whole milk
  • Half of 1 nutmeg, freshly grated


Using a vegetable peeler, peel lemons, avoiding the white pith as much as possible. Put the peels in a sealable, 2-quart glass container and pour Cognac over them. Cover and let sit for 48 hours.

Add sugar and lemon juice to the lemon-infused Cognac. Heat whole milk until scalding hot, then add to the cognac mixture and stir until the milk curdles. Stir in the grated nutmeg and let the punch sit for 1 hour.

Strain through fine cheesecloth or paper towels, bottle, and refrigerate. To serve, pour from chilled bottle into sherry glasses. If punch is too thick, add a little seltzer or, during winter, hot water.


25 servings