Many of my experiments happen serendipitously. A can of light coconut milk was opened by accident and, rather than see the contents go to waste, I decided to quickly search how I could put them to good use. Cue recipe for Bourbon Coconut Milk Punch.
Now, mind you, I’ve had a recipe sitting in my “to try” pile for real Milk Punch for probably nearly two years. But the stars were aligned for this alternate version. I made a couple of tweaks to the recipe, due to the ingredients I had on hand and out of interest of time (well, really, it was laziness). The result was purely amazing – enough for a refill (or two).
Bourbon Coconut Milk Punch
CANNED COCONUT MILK – I do want to reiterate that you DO want to use the coconut milk in a can (NOT from a carton). I used the light type. The full-fat version is a little too rich for me (in thickness and sweetness). If you prefer the full-fat coconut milk, though, by all means, go for it! I mixed in the cream on the top, but you can skim if off before measuring it for your cocktail, if you prefer.
BOURBON CREAM LIQUEUR – I tried with this both regular bourbon and the cream liqueur (which I happened to find in my liquor emporium by other cream liqueurs such as Baileys, Kahlua, etc). This was a new finding for me, so it might be that Buffalo Trace is the only distiller producing this item. I prefer the slightly additional sweetness from the cream liqueur over the straight bourbon. But, there is room for further experimentation with amounts, types of bourbons, and other ingredients. Once I found what I liked, I stopped tweaking.
VANILLA SYRUP – As for the vanilla syrup, I find that in the coffee aisle in my grocery story. As a matter of personal preference, I use the sugar free variety. To save from buying (and storing) one more ingredient, you could easily follow the original recipe and use a half ounce of simple syrup and a quarter teaspoon of vanilla extract.
ICE & GARNISH – You do want to serve this on the rocks. I like the added water in this drink. Nutmeg is nice – freshly grated or from the shaker is fine. I tried it with the first drink – and it adds depth and warmth. But I enjoyed the second one just as much without – so it’s your call with the nutmeg.
HOT OR COLD – I have seen for a HOT Coconut Milk Punch, which would be great to have on a cold January night. Early spring here in New England can be chilly, yet I am yearning for sun and warmth so I drank mine cold, pretending that warmer days were actually here.
Regardless of the temperature you drink it at, or the ingredients you use, the possibilities are endless for this year-round favorite. Cheers!