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Milk Punch for Mardi Gras

Milk punch, a creamy bourbon-based drink similar to eggnog, is popular in New Orleans, where on March 8 Mardi Gras will be in full swing. If you want to celebrate with some authenticity, milk punch is easy to make: simply add bourbon and honey to taste and sprinkle each glass with freshly grated nutmeg.

Here are a few variations if you want to shake it up a bit:

Non-alcoholic Milk Punch: kids can celebrate too with chilled or warmed milk, sweetened with honey. Shake it up with ice in a martini shaker to make it frothy, or heat it until steaming to serve before bed. Either way, add a sprinkle of grated nutmeg on top before serving.

Milk Punch Milkshake: blend a scoop of vanilla or caramel ice cream or frozen yogurt, a shot of bourbon (if it’s for grown-ups, of course!) and enough milk to make it the consistency you like. Pour into a tall glass and top with grated nutmeg.

Scotch Milk Punch: whisk 2 cups milk and 2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat until steaming; stir in 1/2 cup Scotch whisky and pour into mugs. Top with freshly grated nutmeg.

Warm Milk Punch: in a medium saucepan, whisk 2 cups milk and 2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat until steaming; stir in bourbon or whisky to tatste and pour into mugs. Top with freshly grated nutmeg.

Hot Chocolate Milk Punch: whisk 2 Tbsp. cocoa and 1 Tbsp. honey into 1 cup of milk; bring to a simmer in a small saucepan. Serve as is, or with a shot of bourbon. Top with marshmallows (in which case it’s really just hot chocolate) or grated nutmeg (which makes it milk punch-esque).

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