Disco Volante

Matt Piacentini, Up & Up | New York

“I find that most milk punches are on the wintry end of the spectrum—lots of rum, brandy and whiskey with cloves and nutmeg,” says Up and Up’s Matt Piacentini, noting that those flavors typically work in tandem with the heavy, smooth textures that the milk punch application contributes to drinks. But veering away from the familiar, Piacentini’s Disco Volante, built on a foundation of Aperol and gin, reads more like a bracing, herbal aperitif with the added roundness of a milk punch.



  • 5 ounces Aperol
  • 2 ounces gin, preferably Aviation
  • 1/4 ounce absinthe
  • 1 1/2 ounces lemon juice
  • 1 cup whole milk

Garnish: grapefruit peel

  1. Combine all ingredients, except milk, in a container and set aside.
  2. Heat the milk in a medium pot over the stove to around 170ºF, enough to break it and get it steaming, but not enough to scald it.
  3. Remove pot from heat, and add Aperol mixture to the pot. It will begin to curdle immediately.
  4. Stir for 1 to 2 minutes to let it finish curdling before clarifying.
  5. Line a large sieve with four layers of cheesecloth so that the cloth is hanging over the edges. (As the liquid goes in, it will pull the cloth down, and you want enough slack to keep it from falling in on itself.) Prepare two separate containers to strain the liquid into.
  6. Pour in enough of the liquid to fill the sieve about an inch from the top. At first, the liquid will run through fast and be cloudy—You are creating the curd layer that will actually do the filtering. After about 15 to 20 seconds, the stream will slow down to a trickle and become clear. At this point, lift the (still draining) sieve to the second container and rest it on the rim.
  7. Pour the cloudy liquid from the initial straining back into the sieve into the second container. As the sieve drains, continue to pour the contents of the pot into it, never going above the line of the initial pour, or you will get solids going through the cloth. (It can take about 20 minutes per liter to strain through.)
  8. As it’s straining, check to make sure the output is perfectly clear. It will a pinkish orange color, but still transparent. If it is cloudy, just pour it in a new container and re-run it through the sieve.
  9. Allow mixture to cool in fridge.
  10. Serve in a rocks glass over ice.
  11. Express grapefruit peel and discard.