An original clarified milk punch

Thyme x Table – “I Can See Clearly Now”‘ by Edsel Little is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Via Mary Rockett’s original recipe from 1711 (an adaptation can be found on Cook’s Illustrated):


  • Two gallons of hot milk
  • One gallon of brandy
  • Five quarts of water
  • Eight lemons
  • Two pounds of sugar


  1. Let the mixture sit for an hour
  2. Strain it through a flannel bag
  3. Pour over ice

Lasts for months. No refrigerator required.

For more advanced and varied recipes, try Alton Brown’s version with Earl Grey, port, and rum, Blossom to Stem’s version with pineapple, coriander, and cinnamon, and Difford’s Guides’s version with vodka, breakfast tea, and orange juice.

(h/t Atlas Obscura)

Cocktail related: A Christmas tree in a cocktail and Mountain Dew-flavoured cocktails, punches, and shooters

It's a Christmas tree in a cocktail!

There’s always a question of what you do with your old Christmas tree when Christmas is over. According to Capital Gardens, you could turn it into mulch or compost, turn it into a bird feeder, or even replant it. But Gastro Obscura has another idea—use it to make a cocktail:

In the winter of 2015, I spent a considerable amount of time trying to extend the short shelf life of a Christmas tree. I drove around London’s leafy periphery, pilfering Christmas tree branches. It was odd behavior on my part, but this foraging exercise was rooted in a deep hatred of waste: My goal was to figure out how to eat and drink them.

Soon enough, I was serving dishes such as zesty Christmas tree-cured fish, spruce and ginger ice cream, tart Christmas tree pickles, and sweet apple and fir membrillo. I experimented with cocktails, too: spruce-infused gin, herby pine vodka, and fir cordial. Last year, I published a cookbook, How to Eat Your Christmas Tree, to encourage home cooks to have a good think about wastefulness and sustainability over Christmas time.

Oh yeah, and you can use a Christmas tree to make food, as you do. Sarcasm aside, this is a great sustainable Christmas idea and it involves nice food and cocktails (although I’m sure these festive ingredients would work just as well in non-alcoholic alternatives).

But a word of caution from the writer, Julia Georgallis:

3. Christmas tree needles are a bit like fish bones—they’re often sharp. So avoid eating any uncooked, unchopped needles.

I wouldn’t want anyone to end up at the dentist or hospital because they accidentally ate their Christmas tree so be careful. And make sure you pick the right tree: Spruce, fir, and pine are extremely edible but yew and cedar as extremely poisonous.

Update: Another Christmas cocktail via my friend Cass – spicy pomegranate Moscow mule recipe by Tieghan Gerard