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Pineapple Milk Punch
Recipe adapted from Eamon Rockey, Betony, New York City
Yield: About 1 gallon plus 1 quart pineapple milk punch
Prep Time: 45 minutes (plus juicing and straining time)
Cook Time: 10 minutes
16 Assam tea bags
1 quart boiling water
1 quart fresh lemon juice
1 quart fresh pineapple juice
1 quart simple syrup (1 part sugar:1 part water), plus extra if needed
1 quart whole milk
2 cups vodka
1¾ ounces clear spirit of choice (such as cachaça, white rum or gin)
1. To a large bowl add the tea bags and boiling water. Steep 4 minutes, then remove and discard the tea bags. Add the lemon juice, pineapple juice and simple syrup.
2. In small saucepan bring the milk to a simmer over medium heat. Pour the milk into the tea mixture and stir for a few seconds to combine (the mixture will coagulate into curds and whey).
3. Line a large sieve with a large piece of white tablecloth, a white t-shirt or a piece of quadrupled cheesecloth and set over a large bowl. Slowly pour the milk-tea mixture into the sieve and let it drain into the bowl; as it drains, ladle the strained liquid back onto the collected solids in the cloth-lined sieve. Continue to pour and ladle the strained liquids until the liquids run clear (this can take some time, about 48 hours). If needed, replace the cloth lining with a clean one. For the final draining, place the sieve with the liquid and the bowl in the refrigerator overnight to drain.
4.To the clear liquid add the vodka and transfer the mixture to an airtight container (you should have about5 quarts pineapple milk punch base). The base keeps for over 1 year in the refrigerator. To serve, combine 1¾ ounces of the vodka base with 1¾ ounces of spirit in a mixer and stir. Pour the punch over ice in a rocks glass or punch cup. Taste and add a drop or two of simple syrup if needed to add extra sweetness.