The boozy notes of this year’s edition of Sugarplum (aptly named Bottoms Up!) got us thinking that we ought to spike it for the silly season.
And ’cause espresso martinis are pretty old hat when it comes to coffee based cocktails, we wanted to go further afield. So we enlisted the help of our pals at PS40 (who entered the list of top 100 bars round the world this year – kudos!) to concoct something different & delicious.
Enter our Bottoms Up! clarified coffee milk punch: a delicious clear cocktail that uses Sugarplum along with bourbon, spices & milk.
The clear drink you see above has milk in it. Essentially, what’s happening here is that you’re using citrus to promote the separation of curd & whey. The process of curdling clarifies the drink, removes its cloudiness & colour but leaves behind its silken texture. This clarification also preserves the cocktail from going bad*, so you can brew up an epic batch, store it & enjoy it for a spontaneous cocktail hour round yours or for a pre-prepped party-pleaser.
Clarified milk punch is the current IT drink of many of the best cocktail bars in the world but it’s a technique that dates back nearly three centuries. We’re stoked to be one of the first to be serving it to Aussie drinkers & pleased to give you the know-how below to make it at home.
Bottoms up, folks!
THE (NOT SO SECRET) RECIPE:
Sugarplum Bottom’s Up Clarified Coffee Milk Punch
• 80g medium-coarsely ground coffee (Sugarplum Bottoms Up!)
• 1L filtered water
• 500ml water
• 4 cinnamon quills
• 1 tsp vanilla (paste or essence)
• 250g sugar
• 1L dairy milk (rumours say that oat milk also works)
• 140ml citrus juice (lemon, lime or grapefruit)
• 450ml Makers Mark bourbon
• Coffee filter papers
• 2 large vessels (we used a 2L mason jar)
PART 1: SUGARPLUM COLD BREW
First up, you’ll need to prepare an overnight full immersion cold brew using Sugarplum Bottoms Up! edition coffee
• Pour the coffee and filtered water into the cold brew vessel.
• Refrigerate for at least 12 hours (18-24 hours will give a bolder/richer flavour.
• Pour the coffee through a filter paper into a bottle or container of your choice
(You may need to do this in stages if it is dripping slowly).
Cold brew done!
PART 2: THE PUNCH
Here’s the fun part.
• Heat saucepan to a medium heat, add the cinnamon quills and toast for 2-3 min to bring out the fragrance.
• Add water, vanilla, sugar and simmer for 15 min.
• Add milk to a clean saucepan over a low-medium heat, slowly bring to the boil.
• Once the milk is boiling, add citrus juice and turn the heat off. Slowly stir as the milk curdles. Small lumps of curd should start splitting from the whey. Leave for at least 30min.
• Strain the curdled milk through your coffee filter into a large vessel. This will need to be done in parts. The curds will slowly block up the filter paper and make the process slower, but DON’T REMOVE THE CURDS! Letting these drain fully is key to making this drink ultra-clear. You should have about 500ml of whey.
• Once you’ve filtered all of the milk, add 150ml spice mix, 450ml coffee and 450ml bourbon to the whey (clarified milk) and re-strain the entire mix through the same filter paper and curds.
• By this stage the final mix should be a very clear, golden liquid. The more times you filter the mix, the clearer it will get.
Serve in a tumbler over the biggest and clearest ice cube you can find. Bottoms up!
Note: The recipe for the cold brew and spice mix makes more than you need for the cocktail recipe. Leftover cold brew should be enjoyed within the week. The punch can be stored in your fridge in an airtight vessel for months on end.