It's ironic that New Orleans, known for its heat and humidity, is also known for a milk-based cocktail. After all, common knowledge and Ron Burgundy would say that the two don't mix. But at Bellocq, the new project from the team behind Cure, bartender Kirk Estopinal has found a way to make classic milk punch palatable all year round. Based on a recipe from 1711, this clarified dairy drink goes down as easy in July as it does in December.
6 lemons, divided
1 pound sugar
10 cups water
½ whole nutmeg, shaved
8 cups cognac
4 cups whole milk
Lemon twist, for garnish
1. Remove and reserve the peels of 4 lemons. Juice all of the lemons, discarding the fruit and setting the juice aside. In a large container, muddle the lemon peels with the sugar. Let sit for 2 hours.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan set over medium heat, add the water and bring to a boil. Pour the water over the lemon-sugar mixture and let sit until the sugar dissolves.
3. In a large container, combine the nutmeg and the cognac and let sit for 1 hour. Add the nutmeg-infused cognac to the sugar syrup. Add the reserved lemon juice and stir to combine.
4. In a large saucepan set over medium heat, bring the milk to 190°. Carefully pour the milk into the cognac mixture. Let it sit for 30 minutes without stirring.
5. Strain the contents through a jelly bag and bottle into six 750-milliliter vessels. Let rest in a cooler for 24 hours; sediment will settle to the bottom of the bottles. Decant the clear liquid and rebottle. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
6. To serve, pour 4 ounces of the punch into a glass filled with ice and garnish with a dash of Peychaud’s bitters and a lemon twist.