Marsh House Milk Punch
When the mercantile was up and running on Avery Island, the proximity to water and the city of New Orleans provided a bounty that was hard to source in those days. Citrus was a special and exotic treat to be enjoyed in the fall. This was a way to bottle that sunshine and keep it cellared all year.
4 cups Marsh House Rum
Zest of 4 lemons
Zest of 2 oranges
2 cups whole milk pasteurized or raw (do not use ultra-pasteurized milk—it will not curdle, which is needed to remove the curds; unfortunately most organic milk is ultra pasteurized)
2 cups water
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (4 oz) sugar
1 cup lemon juice
Combine Marsh House Rum, lemon zest strips, and orange zest strips in lidded container and let sit at room temperature for one day—you can go up to two days. Strain and throw out the zest after squeezing it dry with a gloved hand.
Combine the water, juice, and citrus-infused Marsh House Rum with the sugar and 1/4 of a nutmeg freshly grated. Let the punch you’ve made sit until it’s at room temperature. More or less nutmeg can be used to your liking. Don’t skip it though; it’s a big part of the flavor. Cinnamon can be used in its place as well.
Place milk into a saucepan and gently heat to 190°f, stirring so the bottom doesn’t burn when it reaches 190°f. Gently pour it into the bowl with the rum mixture and let sit for thirty minutes. Gently place in the refrigerator, trying not to mix it up too much. Let rest for a few hours. You will notice the milk is breaking into curds and whey in the punch. This is the desired effect.
Line fine-mesh strainer with coffee filter and set over large measuring cup or bowl. Gently pour rum punch and milk mixture into coffee filter and let drain. Now you should repour the strained punch mixture through curds in the coffee filter one more time. Discard curds and coffee filter. Transfer clarified punch to bottles. Place in the fridge for 24 hours and decant the clear liquid out of the bottles, leaving any sediment that collected overnight. Rebottle and seal the cap. Store in the fridge up to one year.
Pour 4 oz of the punch over ice and top with a dash of Peychaud bitters and a twist of lemon peel.