• Yield: Makes about 4 cups

This recipe is adapted from Ruby Punch, a recipe that cocktail historian David Wondrich found in Jerry Thomas’s Bar-Tenders Guide from 1862 (but can trace back even further) and which he describes as “a plush and seductive punch that practically drinks itself”. He’s not wrong. It features a seriously tasty combination of black tea, ruby port, lemon, and a funky rum-esque liquor called Batavia Arrack. In its original form (not clarified with milk) the tannins from the black tea and port provide grip and add texture, not to mention deep, inky color. After clarifying with milk the result is full bodied, but silky smooth with a rosé-like color and fruitiness. This is my personal favorite milk punch recipe.

Cook’s Note: We’ve tested this recipe using both gram measurements and traditional U.S. volume and weight measurements, so you get to pick the one that works best for you.

[Ed. note: click here to learn more about the history and process of making milk punch from America's Test Kitchen's Dan Souza. Also see Mary Rockett's Citrus Milk Punch.]

Ingredients (grams):

  • 227g whole milk

  • 454g brewed black tea

  • 145g Batavia Arrack

  • 145g ruby port

  • 85g sugar

  • 76g lemon juice

Ingredients (traditional):

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 2 cups brewed black tea

  • 2/3 cup Batavia Arrack

  • 2/3 cup ruby port

  • 1/3 cup plus 4 teaspoons (3 ounces) sugar

  • 1/3 cup lemon juice


1. Place milk in 8-cup liquid measuring cup or large pitcher; set aside. In 4-cup liquid measuring cup or large bowl, whisk tea, Batavia Arrack, port, sugar, and lemon juice until sugar dissolves.

2. Pour tea mixture into milk. Gently stir curds with small spoon. Let sit for at least 30 minutes or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

3. Line fine-mesh strainer with coffee filter and set over large measuring cup or bowl. Gently pour tea-milk mixture into coffee filter and let drain. Drain strained punch mixture through curds in coffee filter one more time. Discard curds and coffee filter. Transfer clarified punch to lidded glass container and refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve, pour 56 to 85 grams chilled punch into small glass.

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