Wisdom & Tea A Clarified Milk Punch Recipe

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I’ve found myself in a bit of a clarified milk punch rabbit hole as of late. Maybe because I had a half gallon of milk in my fridge that I wasn’t gonna use for anything else, maybe because it’s the holidays and clarified milk punch is a beyond easy drink to make for gifting and/or not showing up to your holiday parties empty handed.

It’s pre-made, it’s precalculated for bulk batches, it’s shelf stable, and last but not least it’s ready to drink.

The key to Wisdom and Tea is proper aging”

Uncle Iroh

My go to clarified milk punch (CMP) recipe is this one here provided by Alton Brown (AB) https://altonbrown.com/recipes/clarified-milk-punch/. A delicious recipe on its own, dead easy to follow, and a great start if you’re unfamiliar with this style of punch.

I’ve made the AB version multiple times but this time around I was struck by a crazy thought and wanted to see if I could make it work…as fate would have it…of course I did, and here we are. Stay humble kids.

My inspiration for this was to finally kill off a bottle of Baijiu I had purchased on a whim out of morbid curiosity.

Baijiu is, after all, the best selling spirit in the world and very, very popular in China. I was curious to see what all the fuss was about.

I’m not gonna sit here and type away as if I’m some renowned expert on Baijiu, that wouldn’t be fair to either of us, and would only do a disservice to the spirit and its deep history. It was new to me and I’m constantly curious about new food/flavor experiences.

Unfortunately like most westerners seem to, I found its flavor profile quite strange. Definitely an acquired taste.

To me, specifically the brand I tried (Ming River), it came across as a very perfume-y gin or vodka. Not a bad spirit but VERY perfume-y.

Circling back to the CMP my crazy thought was to attempt to tame the more assaulting notes of the baijiu with the science of clarified milk punch. One of its most notable features is its ability to round out a cocktail and reign in some of the harsher notes of your drink.

As an extra challenge to myself, since I was using a Chinese spirit, I wanted to see if I could follow the AB ratios but sub in more asian/asian inspired ingredients.

In place of the port, inspired by a different CMP recipe that called for white port, I used Soju (wildly popular Korean spirit). Specifically I used West 32 Soju, a more recent find for me. West 32 Soju is a super easy drinking soju (in my opinion) distilled in New York.

In place of the Rum I used the Ming River Baijiu. From trusted personal sources that seem to be backed up online, Ming River is one of the better options for baijiu in the states.  In place of the allspice dram I used Falernum.

Not Asian in any way but after a few test batches trying other replacements I liked how the falernum complemented the other flavors in the drink.

That said, this is the component I’m most excited to continue experimenting with. In place of the black tea I used green tea, Equal Exchange Organic specifically. This is another part of the drink I’m curious to play with. I’d really like to test a batch using matcha. 

All in all I am extremely happy with how this punch turned out and hope you’ll give it a shot, or a couple…

Wisdom & Tea

(yields about 1 quart)


8 Bags Green Tea (Equal Exchange Green Tea)

2 ¼ Water

¼ c + 3 Tbs Granulated Sugar

1 c Soju (West 32)

4 oz Baijiu (Ming River)

2 oz Velvet Falernum

2 oz Lemon Juice, fresh

1 c Whole Milk


  1. Bring the water to a boil. Cut the heat, wait 30 seconds, and then pour over your tea bags. Allow to sit for 6 minutes. Remove the tea bags and whisk in the sugar.
  2. While your tea is cooling to room temp, combine the soju, baijiu, falernum, and lemon juice. In a Separate container (like a large mason jar) add the milk.
  3. Once cooled add the tea to the baijiu mix and gently stir.
  4. Pour the new baijiu mix, slowly, into the milk container. It must be done in this order, not the other way around. Do Not pour the milk into the booze mix, it wont work. When the baijiu mix combines with the milk it will, and should, curdle.
  5. Allow this to sit undisturbed on the counter for 1 hour minimum or in the fridge overnight to “age”.
  6. After at least 1 hour strain the mixture through a coffee filter, either lining a mesh trainer or in something like a chemex. Most recipes call for you to strain a couple ounces through the filter and then transfer that initial few ounces back to the master batch to continue straining. I found it less annoying to simply double strain the entire mix, which has the added benefit of yielding a more clarified punch. Just make sure you use the same filter when you strain the second time. Depending on your batch size this process can take quite some time, be patient and plan accordingly.*
  7. From here you’re ready to enjoy. Serve chilled neat or over a large ice cube. As a side note this punch is fridge stable pretty much indefinitely (full disclosure, I’m no scientist) so feel free to throw it in the fridge and enjoy at some point down the road.

*One thing to note when doing clarified punch, that I wish was better reflected in a lot of recipes, is that the coffee filter is not doing the filtering here the milk solids are. The milk solids are extremely crucial to the process. Do not scoop them out or strain them before running the mixture through the coffee filter.*

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