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21st Amendment Milk Punch

Spirited Bites presents…

A Great Moment in American Booze History

In January 1919, the temperance movement scored a massive victory when Congress voted into law the 18th Amendment. This one act, rejected outright by representatives of only two states, banned the manufacture, sale, transportation, importation, and export of “intoxicating liquors” in all states. Now, the unintended consequences were mighty (including but by no means limited to: the rise of organized crime syndicates, increased corruption in all levels of government, and a massive influx of criminal cases and prosecutions) and support for prohibition quickly dropped.

Ok, I promised that this would be brief so…cut to 1932. Franklin Roosevelt ran for the highest office in the land on a platform that included a promise to repeal Prohibition. In March of 1933, President Roosevelt signed an act authorizing the sale of 3.2 beer (an alcohol by volume content thought to be just too low to be intoxicating, at least this was the reason given). And on a glorious December day, eighty years ago, the 21st Amendment, repealing Prohibition across the country, was fully ratified.


So how to celebrate? Well a historic moment deserves a drink that stands the test of time. Milk Punch. I know, I know, it sounds weird but this drink has been around since the 1700s, in some iteration. While the drink then involved curdling milk, this century’s version is a chilled and slightly sweet drink. There are many variations out there but they all involve milk, ice, sugar, and booze.

Adding whipping cream to the milk gives a nice froth to the drink and a splash of vanilla plays up the spice in the rum. This version uses superfine sugar because it dissolves so quickly and easily so there is no grittiness. A sprinkle of nutmeg on top finishes the job. It’s quick and easy to assemble. Not to mention, it’s a great alternative for those of us who don’t love eggnog but still want to partake in festive holiday drinks.

Modern Milk Punch


4 oz. heavy whipping cream
4 oz. milk
2 oz. rum
1 tsp. superfine sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a large cocktail shaker. Fill with ice. Shake until thoroughly chilled. Pour into two small glasses or one large glass and garnish the top with ground nutmeg.


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