Clarified Milk Punch Cocktail Recipe

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Clarified Milk Punch Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Clarified Milk Punch is a cocktail with a rich history dating back to the 17th century. It was a popular drink among the English aristocracy and was even a favorite of Benjamin Franklin. The cocktail is known for its unique clarification process, which results in a clear, smooth drink despite its dairy base. It's a perfect choice for those who appreciate a cocktail with a story and a unique preparation method.

How Clarified Milk Punch Tastes?

The Clarified Milk Punch is a harmonious blend of sweet, sour, and strong flavors. It has a creamy, velvety texture with a hint of citrus and a strong punch of rum. The taste is complex yet balanced, with a long, satisfying finish.

Interesting facts about Clarified Milk Punch

  • The Clarified Milk Punch is a clear cocktail despite its dairy base. This is due to the clarification process, which removes the milk solids.
  • Benjamin Franklin was known to have his own recipe for this cocktail.
  • Despite its name, the cocktail does not taste like milk. The dairy is used to soften the harshness of the alcohol and add a creamy texture.


  • Rum: 2 oz(60ml)
  • Lemon juice: 1 oz(30ml)
  • Simple syrup: 1 oz(30ml)
  • Whole milk: 2 oz(60ml)
  • Black tea: 1 oz(30ml)


The rum is the backbone of this cocktail, providing a warm, rich base that stands up to the acidity and sweetness elsewhere. Usually, 2oz is the sweet spot – any less, and it might whimper against the other flavors; any more, and it might come off too boozy. If you ditch it, you essentially have spiced lemonade – not terrible, but not a Milk Punch. You could swap in brandy or bourbon for a deeper warmth.

Emma Rose

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is our sour component, giving the cocktail a vibrant zing. 1oz is the equilibrium point, where the citrus can both complement and challenge the rum. Too little, and the drink becomes cloyingly sweet; too much, and you'll pucker more than a duck's lips. No lemon juice? You'll miss that fresh twist. Consider lime juice for a tangier take.

Alex Green

Simple Syrup

Sweet and simple. Simple syrup balances the sour lemon, checking any tartness at the door. A 1:1 ratio with the lemon keeps the peace, ensuring neither side wins the flavor tug-of-war. Skimp on it, and the cocktail tilts sour; overdo it, and you're sailing on the good ship Diabetes. Honey or maple syrup can be good alternatives for a different type of sweetness.

Mary Mitkina

Whole Milk

Here we tread into science magic territory – milk is what we'll curdle (on purpose!) to clarify the drink and give it a silky texture. If there's too little, the curdling might not occur, leaving you with a murky potion; too much, and it could be a milky mess. Omit, and the magic trick falls flat – the clarification is the cocktail's party piece. Plant-based milks won't curdle in the same way – they're more of a stand-in than a true understudy.

Emma Rose

Black Tea

Black tea adds a tannic depth, an anchor in the sea of dairy and spirit. 1oz weaves through the drink seamlessly. Without it, you'll lack the subtle bitterness to round out the sweet and sour. No black tea? Try an oolong or a chai for a spicy twist.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Clarified Milk Punch Drink

  1. Combine the rum, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a mixing glass.
  2. Heat the milk until it is just about to boil.
  3. Pour the hot milk into the mixing glass and stir.
  4. Let the mixture sit for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Strain the mixture through a coffee filter to remove the milk solids.
  6. Chill the cocktail before serving.

Pro Tips

  • Make sure to let the mixture sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the milk to curdle. This is a crucial step in the clarification process.
  • The cocktail can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.
  • Serve the cocktail in a clear glass to showcase its unique clarity.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Cheese plate: The creamy texture and citrus notes of the cocktail will complement creamy brie or sharp cheddar.
  • Seafood: Light dishes like shrimp cocktail or a fresh ceviche can be elevated by the brightness of the lemon and the richness of the rum.
  • Dessert: Try it with a lemon tart or vanilla-based desserts; the citrus notes will match and the sweetness will be balanced by the punch.

Drink Pairings

  • Coffee: A strong coffee can be a great follow-up to the cocktail, enhancing the warmth and depth of flavors.
  • Sparkling Water: For a palate cleanser between sips, sparkling water is perfect; it's clean and neutral.

Non-Alcoholic Pairings

  • Ginger Ale: The spiciness of ginger will contrast nicely with the smoothness of the punch.
  • Iced Tea: Similar to the black tea in the cocktail, iced tea would continue the theme but without the alcohol content.

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What you could change in Clarified Milk Punch

  • Rum can be substituted with bourbon or brandy.
  • You can use any type of citrus juice in place of lemon juice.
  • Almond milk can be used for a dairy-free version.

Explore all drinks starting with C here

And of course - twists🍹

Bourbon Milk Punch

Substitute the rum with 2oz of bourbon for a smokier, earthier profile. Bourbon's charred oak notes will offer a different aromatic experience, leaning into the American Southern tradition of Milk Punch.

Coffee Milk Punch

Add 0.5oz of cold brew concentrate to the mix before the clarification process. The coffee will bring a bitter edge to the cocktail, making for a more grown-up, brunch-worthy tipple. The caffeine kick also adds an extra layer of complexity.

Spiced Milk Punch

Introduce a pinch of ground cinnamon and nutmeg to the black tea before mixing it with the rum, lemon juice, and simple syrup. This will infuse the drink with warm, wintry spices, perfect for those colder nights when you want a hug in a glass.

In case you forgot basics how to make Clarified Milk Punch

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

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Frequently Asked Questions on Clarified Milk Punch

Is this cocktail suitable for vegans?

Unless a substitution is made for the milk, the traditional recipe for Clarified Milk Punch is not suitable for vegans.

Is there any non-alcoholic variant for this cocktail?

Yes, you can replace the rum with a non-alcoholic substitute to have a mocktail version.

How did this cocktail get its name?

The cocktail gets its name from its unique clarification process, which involves the use of milk and results in a clear, punch-style beverage.

What is the black tea for in the recipe?

The black tea adds a depth of flavor, complexity and slight bitterness to the cocktail which complements the sweetness of the simple syrup and the sourness of the lemon.

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