Warming and cozy hot bourbon milk punch is a great drink to have when the snow is coming down on a winter’s day! Creamy, a little bit spicy, just sweet enough, and steaming. It will warm you all the way to your toes!
Chilly enough for you? Then you need a hot drink and I have just the thing.
If you’ve been here before, then you might have noticed my love affair with bourbon. I put it in desserts, in dinner recipes, and of course in cocktails. I love the rich, mellow flavor with its maple and vanilla and caramel notes. It’s just so friendly with the way I like to cook and eat!
I love it especially for winter friendly cocktails, like my hot apple pie cocktail, and my cranberry old fashioned, so it seems an excellent time to make a new winter cocktail featuring bourbon, maple syrup, and warm spices. This recipe has a lot in common with eggnog, but it’s simpler since you don’t have to deal with the eggs, perfect for those times you want a hot drink and you want it now.
Lost and Found
Though I will admit that you almost didn’t get this cocktail.
This is the cocktail I made and lost and made again (but not quite right) and then found.
Way back towards the beginning of my blogging career, I was…shall we say…less organized about keeping track of my recipes. I have always used a recipe notebook and done my best to write the recipes in the notebook and not on loose pieces of paper, but making an index didn’t occur to me until I was about halfway through notebook #2 and realized I was losing track of older recipes which were still being tested.
Recipes like this one! Which I made and wrote down and then got distracted by shiny new recipes and then forgot I had even written it down! When I tried to recreate it this winter (my daughter wanted the kid’s version), I couldn’t get quite right and had given up. And then by pure chance I opened the old notebook to the right page and there it was!
Once I found the recipe again, I wasted no time in putting it into a properly indexed notebook, taking photos, and getting this post up. I’m not going to take any chances of losing this hot and cozy cocktail recipe a third time.
What do you need?
- Milk – Go with whole for just enough creaminess.
- Spices – Cinnamon, allspice, and vanilla.
- Maple Syrup – For its complexity and flavor!
- Bourbon – Don’t use the expensive stuff, but any mid-range bourbon would be great.
How to make this
To make bourbon milk punch, heat milk together with cinnamon, allspice, and maple syrup until steaming. Steep to infuse with the spices, then strain, and add the bourbon and vanilla. Serve topped with whipped cream and nutmeg.
This is a very simple cocktail to make! I do have a few tips and tricks, though.
Tips and Tricks
- Whole Spices. Use whole spices and not ground when steeping the milk. Ground spices will make the milk gritty and won’t have the same full flavor as the whole spices.
- Keep it Hot. If the bourbon cools off the milk too much, rewarm it briefly before pouring it into your glass. (Alternatively, give your cup a quick trip in the microwave.)
- Make Ahead. You can make the spiced milk base ahead and store it in the fridge until you want to warm it up and add the alcohol.
- Enjoy Without Alcohol. This recipe is easy to make kid-friendly! The spiced milk is delicious on its own. Warm it up as a fun treat for the kids.
Can I make this non-alcoholic?
Skip the bourbon, and it is a great warming drink for kids and anyone else who doesn’t want to drink alcohol. My daughter gives the kid version of the recipe high marks. (That’s her hand there below snagging a drink as I finished pictures.)
Milk punch vs. eggnog
Honestly, that is the big difference. In an eggnog recipe, you will heat the milk and then add egg yolks and gently heat them in the milk until the eggnog is thick and creamy. In milk punch, you heat the milk and spices with no eggs, which is a simpler recipe, though not as thick.
Basically, the differences are: eggs, thickness, ease.
More Winter Cocktails
If you try my recipe for Bourbon Milk Punch, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
You can connect with me by subscribing to my emails (see the form in the sidebar or below the recipe card), liking my FACEBOOK page, or by following me on PINTEREST.
– Happy Drinking, Annemarie
Hot Spiced Bourbon Milk Punch
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6-8 allspice berries
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 oz bourbon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- toppings: whipped cream, nutmeg
- Pour the milk into a saucepan. Add the cinnamon stick, allspice berries, and maple syrup.
- On medium heat, warm the milk until it's steaming and very hot, with small bubbles around the edges, but not boiling.
- Take it off the heat, cover, and let steep for about 10 minutes.
- If you are adding the bourbon, add that now. (If the punch cools down too much at this point, put it back on the heat and warm until steaming.) Then stir in the vanilla.
- Strain out the spices. Pour the punch into two glasses. Top with whipped cream and nutmeg.
- Non-alcoholic version: Simply omit the bourbon and enjoy the spiced milk alone.
- Variations: 1- Change it up by using brandy or rum. 2- Add a few whole cloves to the milk along with the other spices. 3- Use half and half or heavy cream for some of the milk.
- Cold Weather Version: Once the milk has done steeping, strain and add the bourbon and vanilla. Then fill glasses with ice and pour the cocktail over to chill.
I wasn’t feeling well last week and wanted something like a hot toddy. Then I came across your recipe and thought that was exactly what I wanted! Thanks, it was yummy. And I feel better now. 🙂
I’m glad you feel better and that you enjoyed the drink! Thanks for the feedback.