The crackling warmth of the fire, the aroma of ginger snaps baking in the oven, my 2 year old niece and nephew running and playing together, the Christmas tunes of Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole playing softly in the background; these are the sounds and smells of the Christmas season for my family. The Christmas season is a fun time of year with my family coming together and celebrating. The house is filled with laughter as we all share stories from our life adventures. We share some type of festive drink and Christmas sweets to keep the stories and laughter flowing.
I enjoy making different cookies and candies to have around, just because you never know who might stop by – it’s that time of year. But in recent years, I’ve started making different festive drinks such as Grinch Punch, Eggnog, Hot Apple Cider, Mulled Wine, and so on. If it is festive sounding or holiday related, I’ll make it. You can make any of them be kid friendly. My favorite to make every year is Milk Punch.
Milk Punch is obviously milk based but has liquor mixed in, such as brandy or bourbon. I prefer the bourbon. Serve it cold and grate some fresh nutmeg over top… Deliciousness. It is great for an adult version of milk and cookies. Milk punch is a drink that you find in the South; it seems to be more popular among my South Louisiana and New Orleans friends. It’s an easy drink to make, and can be made in larger quantities very easily. It is great for those that aren’t too fond of eggnog. Hope you make a batch of Milk punch and get to share some stories and laughter with your friends and family this Christmas season. Merry Christmas!
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 ½ cups bourbon or brandy
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoons real vanilla extract
- Fresh grated nutmeg for garnish
- Mix all together and let set over night in refrigerator.
- Serve the punch chilled with fresh grated nutmeg for garnish.
Editor’s Note: A special thanks to Stephanie Little, a Southerner and classically trained pastry chef, for sharing this recipe and her story with us. As a young aspiring pastry chef, Stephanie interned in Yssingeaux, France at Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Pâtisserie. She previously worked as Executive Pastry Chef for Louisiana State University and is currently a private chef and food consultant in Oxford, MS. She has teamed up with A-List chefs John Besh, Alon Shaya, John Currence, David Crews, and Dwayne Ingraham to promote Southern food.