Milk Punch

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Have you heard of Milk Punch? This old-school cocktail is made with bourbon, whisky, or brandy. It is a very lightly sweetened drink that starts with milk and half-and-half, it’s flavored with hints of vanilla and nutmeg.

milk punch in clear glass with grated nutmeg on top

What is Milk Punch?

Milk Punch is about as old-fashioned as a cocktail can get. This creamy, dairy-based cocktail actually dates back to Scotland in the 1600’s. And as far as I can tell, there isn’t just one way or accepted recipe for the drink either.

This drink was originally made and served warm, as refrigeration wasn’t a thing when Benjamin Franklin was sipping his own milk punch. Lucky for us, the cocktail is now more commonly served cold.

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This particular recipe creates a slushy-like drink that is irresistible both in the winter months and in the midst of a hot summer. Imagine a boozy milkshake that’s not overly sweet, and still refreshing. Yes, it’s possible and yes, it’s good.

Milk Punch Recipe

This recipe is one that I found in my Canal House Cooks Everyday cookbook and as soon as I saw it, I had to try it. I’d never even heard of Milk Punch prior to that day.

I absolutely love finding fun new recipes to share with you and like the Italian Cream Liqueur that our friend Tony introduced us to a few years ago, this Milk Punch begged to be shared from the very first sip.

It was a real hardship, but I went ahead and made another batch to photograph and share with you this year for the holidays.

In case my sarcasm wasn’t clear enough, it’s no hardship to mix this recipe together. Pour everything into a jar and pop it in the freezer. Shake a few times as it chills. That’s it. You’ll be sipping an old-fashioned, new-to-you drink in no time!

Milk punch with Jameson whisky

Milk Punch Ingredients

  • whole milk
  • half-and-half
  • powdered sugar
  • whiskey, bourbon, or brandy
  • vanilla extract
  • ground nutmeg, fresh if available

Milk Punch Cocktail

Milk Punch has officially been added to our holiday list, along with the Hot Buttered Rum that we’ve enjoyed for years.

Homemade Chai is a fragrant, spicy tea that can be served hot or cold. And if you’d like another milkshake-like dessert cocktail to try, The Dirty Banana continues to be a popular favorite.

Milk Punch with fresh nutmeg

Have you ever used fresh nutmeg? It is my favorite spice to use fresh because the aroma and the flavor is unforgettable.

I started grating fresh nutmeg over my Grandmother’s Waffles with Waffle Sauce years ago and ever since then, I’ve been grating nutmeg every chance I get.

Don’t be intimidated by this rock-hard spice. It’s easy as can be to use and once you’ve tried it, you’ll likely be as hooked on it as we are. I use this microplane to grate fresh nutmeg and the flavor is incredible every time.

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Milk punch with Jameson whisky

Milk Punch

5 from 1 vote
This very lightly sweetened cocktail is made with bourbon, brandy, or whisky, flavored with hints of vanilla and nutmeg.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 1⅔ cups whole milk divided
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • cup half-and-half
  • cup bourbon, brandy, or whiskey see note below
  • ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ground nutmeg for topping


  • Combine 1 cup of milk and the powdered sugar in a quart-size jar. Whisk or shake to combine. Add the remaining milk, half-and-half, bourbon, and vanilla to the jar. Stir well.
  • Place the jar in the freezer and chill the milk punch until it is quite slushy, about 3-4 hours, shaking the jar or stirring the mixture a couple of times while it is chilling.
  • Once frozen into a slushy mixture, stir well and pour into glasses, top with a dash of nutmeg.


Bourbon, brandy, and whiskey are all used in Milk Punch. Feel free to use whichever one you like best. 
If you have it available, fresh nutmeg is always my preference for the best flavor. 


Calories: 243kcal · Carbohydrates: 21g · Protein: 4g · Fat: 6g · Saturated Fat: 3g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g · Monounsaturated Fat: 1g · Cholesterol: 19mg · Sodium: 52mg · Potassium: 183mg · Sugar: 21g · Vitamin A: 236IU · Vitamin C: 1mg · Calcium: 147mg · Iron: 1mg
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Milk Punch with Jameson

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Cassandra S Wolf says

    Hi. Being non drinkers, is there anything you can add to make this punch non alcoholic? It sounds yummy but want to make it without alcohol.

    • Mary Younkin says

      While I have not personally tried it you could use a bourbon extract to get that flavor instead of the bourbon. Good luck experimenting with it Cassandra.

  2. Constance says

    I enjoyed this recipe. The powdered sugar is very subtle. I wanted mine a little sweeter and I used a syrup that compliments this drink super well (Honeybee Lemonade Syrups “Fireside” – which has cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla). It gave Drambuie vibes without being too sweet. Not for everyone – hubby wouldn’t even try it! And yet, I definitely like the milk base and flavor profile.5 stars