Halloween is coming, and as adults, we really get the short end of the trick-or-treating stick. So in the spirit of mischief, we turned to Hacking WhiskeyauthorAaron Goldfarb for some libation inspiration. Putting a boozy twist on the tooth-rotting nostalgia of sugary cereal, this bourbon punch is well worth the investment.
Recipe credit: Alex Chien of Watershed Kitchen & Bar in Columbus, Ohio
Cereal Milk Bourbon Punch 3 cups sugar Zest of 6 lemons Zest of 2 oranges 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 2 whole star anise 2 pineapples—peeled, cored and cubed 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice 45 ounces bourbon 1 1/2 teaspoons loose-leaf tea (Chien uses a 50/50 split of chai and yerba mate.) 3 cups hot water 1/2 gallon whole milk 1/3 box of sugary cereal (Chien uses Cap'n Crunch)
Pour the sugar into a large Cambro (or other plastic container). Gently press the citrus zest into the sugar, creating what’s called anoleo-saccharum. Break up the cloves, cardamom, allspice, coriander, and star anise with a mortar and pestle before adding to theoleo-saccharum. Finally, muddle the pineapples into theoleo-saccharumand add the lemon juice and bourbon, creating your punch base.
Steep your tea blend in the hot water for 4 minutes and strain before adding it to your punch. Mix, then strain out all the solids, leaving an opaque brew.
In a separate container, combine the milk with the cereal. If you have a vacuum sealer, seal and rest it for 30 minutes so the milk quickly absorbs the cereal flavor. If you do not have one, simply combine the ingredients in a bowl and stir occasionally as it sits for 30 minutes. Strain out the solids and pour the remaining cereal milk into a large pot.
Heat up your pot of cereal milk, but do not allow it to boil. Once hot, pour into another large Cambro. Add the bourbon punch to the cereal milk, not the other way around. Leave in the refrigerator, undisturbed, for 12 to 24 hours.
Gently take your Cereal Milk Bourbon Punch out of the fridge, being careful not to disturb the milk curds. Place your strainer over an empty Cambro and line it with a cheesecloth. Gently ladle your punch through the strainer. (After some time you will have worked your way through to the settled milk curds, which will now be a “nest” in the bottom of your strainer.) Take your strained punch and re-strain it through the same cheesecloth. (Do not use a new cheesecloth as you need the nest of milk curds to achieve clarity.)
Serve the clarified punch with soda water (in a 1:1 ratio).