A milk-washed riff on a Vieux Carré—“we swapped every ingredient, except Bénédictine,” Daniel Villa says—this drink uses toasted powdered milk to yield a silky cocktail that tastes “as though it was simultaneously milk-punched and brown-butter fat-washed.” The sunken raisin garnish is a bonus. “It’s almost a rum raisin cure in the drink,” he says. “By the time you’re done, they’re delicious, and you can enjoy them at the end as a snack.”
Yield: one 750-milliliter bottle (about eight 3-ounce servings)
- 8 ounces rehydrated toasted whole milk (see Editor’s Note)
- 9 ounces reposado tequila, preferably El Tesoro
- 6 ounces amontillado sherry
- 3 ounces Pedro Ximénez sherry
- 2 ounces mezcal, preferably Ilegal Joven
- 1 1/2 ounces Bénédictine
- 1 1/2 ounces Cynar
- 1/2 teaspoon bitters (Villa prefers Crude Cardamom & Caramelized Raisin bitters, a limited-edition bottling, but says an equal amount of any style of bitters will work)
- Pour the rehydrated milk into a large mixing cup or Cambro.
- In a second container, add the remaining ingredients, and stir to combine. Add the batched cocktail into the container with the rehydrated milk. Give it a gentle stir, and let it sit for about 10 minutes, during which it should curdle.
- Pour the cocktail mixture through a fine-mesh sieve (a chinois strainer lined with a moistened linen towel or a micron bag/Superbag will also work) into a clean container. The resulting liquid should be slightly cloudy.
- Pour the cocktail mixture a second time through the same sieve (including through the curds in the sieve) into a clean container. The resulting liquid should be fairly clear.
- Funnel into a bottle and cap. Keeps, indefinitely, at room temperature.
- To serve, pour 3 ounces over big ice, and stir to chill.
- Garnish with raisins, which should sink to the bottom of the glass.
Rehydrated Toasted Whole Milk
1. Preheat an oven to 275°F. Spread 40 grams of milk powder (Villa recommends Anthony’s or Hoosier Hill Farm dry milk powders) on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Toast in the oven for 15 minutes.
2. In a saucepan, bring 8 ounces of water to a simmer. Whisk in the toasted milk powder and 1/2 gram of salt. Reduce the heat to low, and allow to rehydrate for at least 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Whisk well (or use an immersion blender) before using in milk punch.