by TJ Drake
Difficulty Level: Advanced
This fun springtime cocktail is best made for a batched cocktail approach, ideal for impressing friends at a party, or for a quick evening cocktail at home with no shaking necessary. This recipe is based on a classic cocktail called a milk-washed punch, or better known as Clarified Punch. Essentially, a cocktail with a high amount of acidity is slowly added to milk, lowering the pH, starting the curdling process. The curds act as a filter of sorts to separate the proteins, pectens, and other solids of the punch out from the rest of the cocktail. What is left is a beautifully clear cocktail that has a silky-smooth mouthfeel and little to no bite from the alcohol.
This rendition is an adaptation from a punch to a lemonade. The end result tastes like a lemon bar with a kick!
A batch of 8 – 4 oz Cocktails
8 oz. Vitae Spirits Orange Liqueur
4 oz. Pinot Grigio
8 oz lemon juice
4 oz table sugar
8 oz Stash Meyer Lemon Tea (1 tea bag/8oz water)
8 oz Whole Milk
Graham cracker crumbs (optional)
2 containers larger than 36oz
1 large mesh strainer
Large Coffee Filter or clean cotton dish towel
1. Begin brewing tea by adding 1 teabag to 1 cup of simmering water
2. In large container 1, combine Orange Liqueur, Pinot Grigio, lemon juice, and sugar
3. In large container 2, add Whole milk and let sit until room temperature
4. When tea is ready, pour hot into container 1. Stir mixture until sugar has completely dissolved.
5. When the Cocktail mixture in Container 1 has cooled to lukewarm, slowly add the cocktail mixture to the milk in container 2. It is important to add the cocktail to the milk and not the milk to the cocktail mixture. Curds will not form gradually if done the other way. The smaller curds formed by adding the cocktail mixture gradually to the milk will draw out more solids and will ultimately leave you with a more clarified cocktail.
6. Allow curdled mixture to settle for at least 1 hour. Some curds will begin to separate, and you will begin to see the clear liquid forming its own layer, this is normal.
7. Wash or rinse container one and place the fine mesh strainer over the container. Place your towel or coffee filter in the mesh strainer.
8. Pour the mixture into the coffee filter or towel. The curds will collect and a slow cristal clear trickle of your final product will start. Slowly add more and more of your mixture to the strainer until all liquid has been filtered through the curds. This will take some time. I promise the end result will be worth the extra effort.
9. Once the entire container has been filtered through the curds, you have an option to repeat the process one more time to get out more of the remaining color. Simply pour the clear mixture back through the curds once more.
10. The final step is to store the mix in a glass container. The alcohol content and the clarification process will keep this cocktail mix fresh and tasty for up to several months. Although, we suspect it won’t take that long to drink 😉
1. Rim a rocks glass with lemon juice
2. Dip in graham cracker crumbs
3. Shake off any excess crumbs
4. Add one large ice cube to the glass
5. Pour 4oz of clarified cocktail mix over ice and serve