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Bourbon milk punch is creamy and delicious! Made with bourbon, milk and vanilla, it’s ideal for any occasion and season.

Bourbon Milk Punch
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Here’s a creamy, cold cocktail that’s exceedingly delicious in any season: Bourbon Milk Punch! You might not expect it, but the combination of milk and bourbon is spot on. The richness of the milk perfectly compliments the oak and vanilla notes in the bourbon. Add a vanilla and nutmeg, and this historic cocktail is every bit as epic today as the day it was invented! It always surprises us at how well this flavor combination works. More milk punch, please!

Ingredients in bourbon milk punch

Milk punch is a drink made with brandy or bourbon, milk, sugar, and vanilla extract. This drink recipe was first recorded 1688 in Scotland! How’s that for history? The first mention in a cookbook was in 1711, and Benjamin Franklin recorded a version of it in 1763. It’s served in New Orleans for brunch, and also popular around the holidays.

Our classic Milk Punch has both brandy and bourbon. This recipe skips the bourbon and it’s just as delicious, in our book! The ingredients you’ll need for bourbon milk punch are:

  • Whole milk
  • Bourbon whiskey
  • Simple syrup
  • Vanilla
  • Grated nutmeg, for the garnish
Bourbon Milk Punch

Whole milk vs 2%

Can you substitute 2% milk in a bourbon milk punch? Yes! Just keep in mind that the drink won’t be nearly as rich as creamy. But if you’re looking to cut some calories, it does work! It’s nearly as tasty as the original.

How to make bourbon milk punch (basic steps)

While punch might make you think of a big punch bowl, this is a typical shaken cocktail. Just shake it up and strain the drink into a glass! Here’s what to do:

  1. Shake in a cocktail shaker. Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker: milk, bourbon, simple syrup, and vanilla extract. Add ice and shake! (Don’t have a cocktail shaker? You can use a mason jar with a perforated lid for straining.)
  2. Strain into a glass. Strain the drink into a low-ball glass, a round tumbler or low-stemmed cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish: The garnish is important here! Grate on a little nutmeg for the perfect spiced touch. You can also add star anise for a lovely visual touch.
Bourbon Milk Punch

Bourbon milk punch for a crowd: in a pitcher

Making bourbon milk punch for entertaining? You can make it in a pitcher! Simply stir together the following in a pitcher to make 8 servings:

  • 2 ½ cups whole milk
  • 2 cups bourbon whiskey
  • ½ cup simple syrup
  • 1 ½ tablespoons vanilla extract

When you’re ready to serve, pour the mixture over ice (this is important to get the dilution that shaking with ice would achieve). Garnish in the same way as the recipe below!

More bourbon cocktails

When it comes to cocktails, there are so many bourbon drinks to try! Here are some of our favorites:

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Bourbon Milk Punch

Bourbon Milk Punch

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


Bourbon milk punch is creamy and delicious! Made with bourbon, milk and vanilla, it’s ideal for any occasion and season.


  • 2 ½ ounces whole milk
  • 2 ounces bourbon whiskey
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the garnish: grated nutmeg, star anise (optional)


  1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Fill it with ice and shake it until cold.
  2. Strain the drink into a lowball glass. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and if desired, star anise.
  3. Pitcher variation (8 servings): In a pitcher, combine 2 ½ cups whole milk, 2 cups bourbon whiskey, ½ cup simple syrup, and 1 ½ tablespoons vanilla extract. Serve over ice in lowball glasses. Garnish with grated nutmeg.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Gary Sorensen says:

    Just like the ones I had in NOLA. It was delicious even with a higher proof bourbon. A little whip cream on top is nice as well.

  2. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!

    1. Jennifer says:

      Could you substitute coconut milk for a non-dairy option?

      1. Alex Overhiser says:

        I’m not sure!