Friday, December 08, 2006


In my stay at Dartmouth, the Sunday morning of Winter Carnival at most fraternity houses involved a live jazz group and bourbon milk punch. Couples would try to purge the demons and ethers of Friday and Saturday nights with “Take Five” and “Five Feathers.” This milk punch was made in a large galvanized wash tub with left-over whiskey of all stripes (preferably bourbon), many gallons of milk, chopped ice, and many floating half-gallons of vanilla ice cream. There was no formality to serving this elixir … just dip your cup or glass in and shake off the drippings. As the liquid level dropped, there would invariably appear an old dirty sneaker or a sweat-stained jock strap or both. This brought squeals from the more delicate females and derisive laughter from the brothers.

I have preserved this tradition in my home at Christmas-tide by serving bourbon milk punch along with my wife’s Christmas cookies when neighbors and friends drop by. My recipe is as follows:

- In the bottom of a Waring blender (most other blenders don’t have the necessary horsepower) pour about two fingers of Jim Beam bourbon.

- Add about another three fingers of cold milk (whole is preferable but not required).

- Next add about six or eight ice cubes.

- Finally scoop in about a cup or so of Bryer’s vanilla ice cream (must be Bryer’s).

- Cover and hit the strongest blender button until this concoction looks like a vanilla milk shake (a “frappe” in Massachusetts, a “cabinet” in Rhode Island).

- Pour into a punch glass and grate fresh nutmeg on top. (The more nutmeg you add the better dreams for the drinker that night.)

- Or you can make multiple blenders full of same and pour them into a punch bowl. The dirty laundry is optional.

Put a Dave Brubeck CD on the stereo.

1 comment:

den said...

I tried your recipe but my old sock jammed the blender.