Milk (Tea) Punch | Wine Enthusiast
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Courtesy Jeff Savage, head bartender, Botanist, Vancouver

Since milk punch preparation is time consuming, do it in bulk. It makes a perfect party-ready drink. An homage to Vancouver’s robust community of Hong Kong expats, the One Inch Punch was inspired by its traditional milk tea, which typically combines potent black tea, evaporated milk and sugar. This alcoholic riff still has that soft, rich mouthfeel, but it’s made bolder in flavor by bergamot-heavy gin and genever. “I wanted to create a drink that would transport friends from Hong Kong back to those childhood memories of sitting at the family table, enjoying time together,” says Savage.

If you don’t have Kinome leaves on hand, Savage suggests using a savory garnish like rosemary or mint leaves.


1¾ cup white sugar
⅓ cup orange pekoe tea leaves
5 teaspoons orange zest (no pith)
½ cup lemon zest (no pith)
4⅔ cups strong-brew orange pekoe tea (steeped for 40 minutes)
3 cups gin (Savage prefers a citrus-forward gin like Star of Bombay)
1 cup genever
1 cup dry Curaçao
1¼ cup lemon juice
3¼ cups half-and-half
Kinome leaves, for garnish


In large bowl, gently muddle sugar, tea leaves, orange and lemon zest. Strain steeped tea and add to bowl. Whisk until sugar has dissolved. Whisk in gin, genever, dry Curaçao and lemon juice. Add half-and-half to large container, and top with mixture. Gently stir with small spoon to curd. Let rest at least 1 hour.

Line fine mesh strainer with coffee filter and strain out curds. Refrigerate until needed. To serve, pour ½ cup over large ice cube. Garnish with Kinome leaf. Makes 40 cocktails.

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