Brennan’s Brandy Milk Punch

When I was a senior in high school Auburn made it to the Super Bowl.  My Dad, who graduated from Auburn and has been a die-hard “War Eagle” football fan ever since he was in school there (or maybe before. . .) decided to go, and to take us with him.  It was the first time I had ever been to New Orleans.  Many years later I did my Ph.D. at Tulane, but that is another story. . .

It was freezing cold during our whole visit.  Despite that, my parents were determined that we would see all the big sights of New Orleans, and that included eating in its most famous restaurants.  “Breakfast at Brennan’s” is one of those tourist “must-dos” and Brennan’s is credited with having invented the milk punch.  I was too young to have my own milk punch, although my mother did let me have a sip of hers.

Something about the cold here in DC today made me think of that long-ago visit and discovery of Brennan’s and its milk punch.

While looking online for the recipe I found a great site,, with plenty of great information on (and recipes from) New Orleans.  Among them I found Keith Marszelek’s blog entry on the Brandy Milk Punch.  The video Marszelek included in his post is not from Brennan’s, but watching The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans’ master-mixologist prepare the cocktail is certainly a none-too-shabby treat!

Enjoy and stay warm. . .maybe with some help from a Brandy Milk Punch. . .

N.O.’s best cocktails: The Brandy Milk Punch

Published: Monday, October 01, 2007, 9:11 AM     Updated: Monday, March 24, 2008, 2:33 PM
Keith I. Marszalek / NOLA.comChris McMillian prepares a classic New Orleans brunch cocktail, the Brandy Milk Punch.

If you’re in New Orleans, it must be time to enjoy a nice drink. And as sure as the sun will rise, watering holes from the Marigny to Uptown and from Downtown to Mid-City are ready to lend a helping hand.

But what makes one bar or bartender better than another? The quality of drinks they pour is as good a place as any to start. Speak out and tell us who makes the best Collins in town!

The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans’ master-mixologist Chris McMillian walks us through the history and preparation of this classic cocktail.

This week: The Brandy Milk Punch

The Brandy Milk Punch is a classic New Orleans brunch drink, often found in restaurants of the caliber of Cafe Adelaide, Brennan’s, Galatoire’s and Commander’s Palace. It is also a tradition pick-me-up for those requiring a taste of the “dog that bit them.”

According to McMillian, the drink calls for one and one half ounces of brandy a cup of whole milk, an ounce and a half of simple syrup, cracked ice and freshly grated nutmeg.

The Brandy Milk Punch

1 ½ ounces brandy
1 ounce simple syrup
½ bar spoon high quality vanilla extract
A couple ounces of Half-and-half
Cubed ice
Grated nutmeg

Pour brandy, simple syrup, vanilla extract and half-and-half into a pint glass. Add ice to a shaker and shake the concoction until well mixed and frothy. Add cubed ice to a rocks glass and, using a strainer, pour the mixture into it. Top with a bit of grated nutmeg.

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