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.

milkpunchbeyondreproach.jpg

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!