I’m having a little difficulty focusing at the moment. I guess a few White Russians from last night will do that to an old lady. We don’t go out to the bar as much as we used to but when we do manage to clean ourselves up and trek across town to rendezvous with friends it really does seem to take a toll on us. Getting home at 3 am + waking up to a dreary cold rainy/sleetish day is the perfect formula for just staying in your pj’s and snuggling under a blanket all day. And I did joyfully slip under the covers a few times today, falling asleep for a few minutes at a time while Bailey snuggled up under the crook of my legs. I knew I had planned on making this drink today but I’ll be honest– I seriously reconsidered pushing it back until later this week; it was so nice laying there in comatose fashion and I’ll be even franker, the thought of having another milk-based cocktail after last night’s White Russian attack wasn’t feeling like a very popular idea with me.
In the end, the cooker in me convinced myself to peel away from the couch and shuffle into the kitchen. I dilly-dallied for a bit, forgetting that I hadn’t settled on a recipe for this cocktail yet, so I had to sit for a few more minutes at my desk finalizing the ingredients. With everything straight, I grabbed my provisions and got to work. It didn’t take long for me to get excited about the prospect of this drink– as soon as the milk and spice mixture began to simmer and the aroma filled the air with it’s musky warmth, my qualms about having a creamy drink today were abandoned. I kept taking spoonfuls of the warm brew into my mouth, for sampling purposes at first but which grew into lustful needs to taste it over and over again. It got me thinking of why I don’t make milk like this all the time– enriched with spices and sugars, it would be delightful taken alone, cold or warm, or mixed in as a creamer for coffees and teas.
While I waited for the mix to cool, I took another nap, and surprisingly fell into a dreamless afternoon sleep which was very odd. Maybe it’s just me (and because I’m weird) but my afternoon naps are often so restless. I have recurring dreams where I see myself sleeping there, in my actual position, and I’m trying to get myself to wake up but no matter how hard I try to move my limbs, or how forcefully I will my eyes to open, it’s a seemingly impossible task. This kind of dream happens almost all the time when I nap during the day and never at night in bed. Isn’t that strange? Do you ever have dreams like that?
And so it was with great pleasure to wake up from a nap today without feeling jolted, to rouse naturally and get on with the last component of the milk punch.
I went to go check on the milk cubes and they had frozen up very nicely. The infused milk mixture, which now included a healthy sloshing of Pisco and spiced rum, had also cooled completely and tasted even better (because let’s face it, booze turns the volume up on everything). Just a few moments ago I finished my glass of it and it was so lovely– I really liked using frozen milk cubes instead of typical ice cubes because as it melted, it actually added to the overall drink and enhanced it instead of diluting it, which the ice cubes would have done. And the kick from the Pisco and spiced rum really turn this into a delightful adult drink to enjoy during the holiday season.
What I’m listening to: Amos Lee. A friend of mine recently posted about him and I had forgotten I loved him so! His voice is so achingly honest and the sounds are just incredibly soulful. I listened to all his albums straight through on Friday.
Pisco milk punch
Makes booze for 4 jolly people
Inspired from the delicious milk punch via The Essential New York Times Cookbook by Amanda Hesser
2 cups whole milk
1 cup half and half
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Smidge fiori di Sicilia
1/2 cup Pisco
1/4 cup spiced rum
// Pour milk into an ice cube tray and stash in the freezer until they’re frozen; you’ll use these in place of regular ice cubes when serving the drink.
In a medium-sizedÂ sauce potÂ set over medium-low heat, warm the milk, half and half, cloves, star anise, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, powdered sugar, and fiori di Sicilia until it just barely comes to a gentle simmer. Turn the flame to low and continue to let this simmer gently (don’t let it come to a boil) for about 10 minutes on, whisking occasionally. Strain this mixture into a measuring cup, discarding the cloves, star anise, and cinnamon stick, and then add the Pisco and spiced rum, stirring gently. Set the measuring cup over a bowl of ice to cool down (or stash in the freezer if the ice cubes aren’t ready yet and chill it that way).
When you’re ready to serve, put a few of your frozen milk cubes in a glass and pour the drink over the top; garnish with nutmeg. Cheers!
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