Benjamin Franklin's Milk Punch

3 cups (1.5 pints) of brandy
6 lemons
1 cup lemon juice
2 cups (1 pint) of spring water
½ of a whole nutmeg, freshly grated 
1/2 cup (1/4 lb) of sugar
1.5 cups of whole milk

Zest lemons.
Squeeze 1 cup of lemon juice.
Steep the lemon zest in the brandy for 24 hours.
Strain out the lemon zest.
Add water, freshly grated nutmeg, lemon juice, and sugar to the brandy, and stir until the sugar dissolves.
Slowly bring milk to a boil. As soon as the milk boils, add it hot to the brandy mix and stir.
The heat, lemon juice, and alcohol will begin to curdle the milk.
Let the punch stand for 2 hours.
Strain the punch through a jelly bag or a cheesecloth lined strainer (or a clean pillow case!) until clear. Serve cold.

*Note: The straining process is slow, but resist the urge to change out the jelly bag or cheesecloth. The liquid needs to strain through the curd to clarify properly. I rushed it, which is why mine looks so cloudy in the photo below.


The idea drinking a punch made from curdled milk may sound kinda weird or gross, but in Colonial America, there were multiple drinks made this way. Along with milk punch, possets and syllabubs were also popular back then.
Possets combined hot milk with ale, wine, or brandy, sugar, and spices. The combination of heat and alcohol curdled the milk, and they were consumed from the spout of a posset cup, which let you drink the whey from the bottom and save the curd to eat later.
Syllabubs combine milk with wine and lemon juice (or other acids); the acid from the wine and the juice curdled the milk, and when served in a glass, the foamy curd of the syllabub was eaten with a spoon first before you drank the punch below.
So don’t let milk punch scare you. It’s tasty we promise!

Episode 13: Colonial Ale Flip

12 oz brown ale *see note
2 oz dark rum (or brandy)
1 oz molasses
1 whole egg
grated nutmeg for garnish

Pour the ale into a saucepan and heat over low to medium low heat until warm and steaming, but don’t bring it to a boil.
Meanwhile, in a small pitcher or measuring cup, combine the rum, molasses, and egg and beat vigorously with a fork or whisk until it’s a little frothy looking. Pour the beer into the rum and egg mixture in a slow steady stream, beating with a fork the whole time to prevent the egg from heating too quickly. 
Serve in a large mug (or two smaller mugs) and garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg. 

*note: If you can find English style brown ale or Nut brown ale, it’ll be sweeter and less bitter and hoppy than American style brown ales. This is much more similar to what they would have been drinking 300 years ago. We used a beer called Rouge Hazelnut Brown Nectar with a nutty sweetness that was perfect for this drink if you can find it. If you can only find American brown ale, it’ll be fine but you may want to add a touch more molasses to combat the bitterness of the hops. 

colonial ale flip.jpg

Flip first appeared sometime in the 1690s, and it was wildly popular in colonial America for the next century. George Washington was said to be a big fan. 

Flip was made in a metal pitcher and whipped until warm and frothy with a red hot fire poker (called a flip-dog). They’d usually be served in ceramic mugs or sometimes in special flip glasses.

Sometimes they were poured back and forth between two mugs to make sure they were creamy and well blended. This pouring back and forth gave Flip the nickname “Yard of Flannel” but they also went by the names “Bellow-Stop”, “Hotch-Pot”, and “Crambambull”. 

Episode 12: The Dirty Martini

  • 2 1/2 ounces gin

  • 1/2 ounce dry vermouth

  • 1/4 ounce olive juice (to taste)

  • Garnish: 1 or 3 good quality green olives (I used a Sicilian variety called Castelvetrano)

Combine gin, vermouth, and olive juice in a mixing glass or shaker with plenty of ice. Stir (never shake - sorry James Bond!) until well chilled and strain into a chilled martini or coupe glass. Garnish with a skewer or pick with either one or three good quality green olives, but don’t serve just two! An even number of olives in a cocktail is considered bad luck!


There had been a few similar cocktails in print a few years earlier, but the first person believed to put a dirty martini together in basically the same way you see them here was the one and only Franklin Delano Roosevelt, sometime in the 1930s or 40s.  

He loved to mix his own cocktails during his afternoon “Children’s Hours”, and he absolutely loved martinis. It’s said that he never mixed them the same way twice, always tinkering with ratios of gin to vermouth, or adding fruit juice or other things just to experiment with different flavors. It’s also said that most of the drinks he served were famously terrible.

Episode 11: The Vieux Carré

  • 1 ounce rye whiskey

  • 1 ounce cognac

  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth

  • 1 teaspoon Bénédictine

  • 2 Dashes of Angostura bitters

  • 2 Dashes of Peychaud’s bitters 

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and fill with ice; stir well for 20 seconds and strain into an ice-filled Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a cherry.


The Vieux Carré dates back to a famous hotel bar in the 1930s. It first appeared in print in 1937, in “Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix 'Em”.

This cocktail is a New Orleans classic, and although the name is French, the pronunciation is pure Creole. Forget your French classes and how you think “vieux carré” should be pronounced. In New Orleans, it’s simply callled a “voo car-ray”.  In French the name means ‘Old Square’ or ‘Old Quarter’, which was the original name for the French Quarter in New Orleans.

Episode 10: The Jack Rose

  • 2 ounces Applejack

  • 3/4 ounce grenadine, (be sure the ingredients contain pomegranate)

  • 1/2 ounces fresh lemon juice

  • 1 dash aromatic bitters

  • Lemon twist (optional)

Combine applejack, grenadine, lemon juice, and bitters in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Shake vigorously until frosted. Strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass. Squeeze lemon twist over surface of drink, skin-side-out to release fragrant oils. Garnish with twist and enjoy!


Applejack is considered America’s first spirit. It was originally made by freeze distilling hard apple cider in Colonial America.

The Jack Rose is made with applejack, grenadine, and lemon or lime juice. It was referenced in print as far back as 1905, but was popular in the 1920s and 1930s, notably appearing in Ernest Hemingway's 1926 classic, The Sun Also Rises. It was also a favorite drink of John Steinbeck.

One quick note on grenadine… Don’t use the neon red grenadine you buy at the grocery store for Shirley temples in this recipe. Real grenadine is made from pomegranate juice and tastes totally different. It’s really easy to make it yourself, but these days it’s also easy to find good quality cocktail grenadine online.

Episode 9 - The Bee's Knees

  • 2 oz Gin

  • 3⁄4 oz Fresh lemon juice

  • 3⁄4 oz Honey syrup*

  • Lemon twist for garnish (optional)

Combine gin, lemon juice, and honey syrup together in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Shake until frosty and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon twist if desired.

*To make honey syrup, combine 2 parts honey and 1 part hot water and stir or shake to combine.


Interesting fact: The bee’s knees was likely invented during prohibition, with the strong flavors of honey and lemon juice meant to mask the flavor of poor quality bathtub gin.
At the time of the cocktail’s creation, the term “Bee’s Knees” meant something was great, or the best. Oddly enough, long before the phrase took on that meaning, it once meant something very very small, as in the size of a bee’s knee.

Episode 8 - Classic Manhattan

  • 2 ounces rye whiskey (or bourbon if preferred)

  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth

  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

  • Luxardo maraschino cherries, for garnish

Combine whiskey, vermouth, & bitters with plenty of ice in a mixing glass. Stir well until frosty cold and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with maraschino cherries.


Interesting fact: History suggests that the Manhattan cocktail was created at the Manhattan Club in New York City in the early 1870s, specifically for a banquet in honor of presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden. The success of the banquet is said to have made the drink fashionable.

However, there are prior references to similar cocktail recipes called "Manhattan" and served in the New York City area. One account says it may have been invented in the 1860s at a bar on Broadway near Houston Street.

Episode 7 - (individual) Gin Punch

  • 1 lemon peel

  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 ounce lemon juice

  • 1 oz cointreau or orange liqueur 

  • 1 1/2 oz gin (old tom style preferable)

  • Seltzer water

In the bottom of a collins glass, muddle the sugar and lemon juice to release the lemon oils into the sugar. Add lemon juice and stir to try to melt sugar. If you have time, let this mixture sit for a few minutes to dissolve further. Add cointreau, and gin and fill glass with ice. Top off with Seltzer water, & stir to combine. 


Interesting fact: This recipe was adapted for individual servings, but the original Punch recipe dates back to around the Victorian era. It tastes a bit like the Tom Collins that we all know today.

The recipe calls for seltzer, which I assumed was a modern creation, but was actually invented in 1767! Who knew?

This recipe also calls for Old Tom Gin, which is a sweeter, less-botanical style of gin than the more common London Dry style we know today. It was the lynchpin of countless classic cocktails, and was the go-to spirit for mixologists in the 1800s. It largely disappeared thanks to prohibition, but has lately been making a comeback.

Episode 6 - The Old Fashioned

  • 1 sugar cube

  • 3 or 4 drops aromatic bitters

  • 2 or 3 drops orange bitters (optional)

  • Water

  • 2 oz rye whiskey

  • Orange twist

Place sugar cube in an old fashioned or rocks glass. Add bitters and enough water to moisten cube, then crush with a bar spoon or muddler. Add whiskey, stir to combine, and finish with an orange twist and a large ice cube.


Interesting fact:

When the word “cocktail” was originally coined, it didn’t mean a category of drinks, but was actually referring to a specific mixed drink that we know today as the Old Fashioned.

The recipe first appeared in print in The Balance and Columbian Repository in Hudson, New York in 1806.

“Cock-tail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters—it is vulgarly called bittered sling, and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion, in as much as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said, also to be of great use to a democratic candidate: because a person, having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow any thing else.”

Episode 5 - Blue Hawaiian

  • 1 1/2 oz White rum

  • 1 oz Blue Curacao Liqueur

  • 1 1/2 oz Cream of coconut

  • 2 oz Pineapple juice

  • 1/4 oz Lime juice

    Combine ingredients in the carafe of a high powered blender. Blend on high until ice is completely crushed and drink is smooth and creamy. Serve in a hurricane glass with a straw. Garnish with fresh pineapple, maraschino cherries, and a cocktail umbrella if desired.