Milk Punch – Classic 1862 Jerry Thomas Punch Recipe

This post may contain Amazon affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See our affiliate policy for more info.

So you may notice this is a milk punch but I use half & half and not milk. Mixing with dairy is kinda a pain in the ass and that’s because alcohol, like acid, cause milk protein to bind together and make cheese. What protects the protein from binding together is fat. Normal milk just doesn’t have enough fat and so you will make a curds and whey punch every time instead. The trick is to balance the higher ABVs with the correct percentage of fat. This one comes in around 15% and at that abv half & half works well. Something like a white russian, which is 30%, needs heavy cream because thats too much booze and would curdle half & half. If you use milk then you would need to add less alcohol and water it down some to hopefully not have it curdle.

On a side note I experimented making this with oat milk and almond milk and it was ok. They tasted fine but they lacked the creaminess of actual dairy. Kinda like substituting almond milk in coffee. Its fine but not actually good. Also this follows older recipes pretty closely but I feel this is a superior version. One of the oldest ones I could find was Jerry Thomas’s version which is.

• 15mls/ tea spoon of sugar
• 60mls/ 2 ounces of brandy
• 30mls/ 1 ounce rum
• remainder of glass filled with milk and ice

I like booze but his was a bit too boozy and the milk curdled. I took the ingredients of most of the milk punches I found, increased the fat content and decreased the booze by a 1/4 and that’s what this recipe is. It won’t curdle and I think the parts are a better balance.


Discover what classic cocktails you can make right now with the free and easy to use Vintage American Cocktail app.

Milk Punch – Classic 1862 Jerry Thomas Punch Recipe

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American






Total time



Learn how to make a classic Milk Punch.


  • 3 dashes Vanilla Extract

  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup

  • 2 oz Half & Half

  • 1 oz Gold Rum

  • 2 oz Brandy


  • Add ice to the serving glass.
  • Combine all the ingredients in the serving glass.
  • Give the drink a couple turns to chill and mix.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *