A month ago, I was approached with a project to design two cocktails for the anniversary party of a local clothing and accessory boutique and the launch of a related bridal boutique - Milk Handmade and Honey Bridal. This particular cocktail was my solution for the milk-themed half of the event, and I was pleasantly surprised by how delicious it turned out. I don't typically mix with dairy to keep my drinks a little lighter, but dairy can be so effective at giving cocktails a silky smoothness and balancing the bite of most spirits.
Earlier this year, I discovered turmeric for natural health purposes and found that it is often enjoyed with milk and several other spices for an immune system boost, cold relief, and a slew of other benefits. Conveniently, I also found turmeric to be delicious. It can be overwhelming in large quantities but wonderful if used in a balanced way, sweetened with some honey, and paired with ginger. Turmeric root powder is typically easier to find than the actual root, though the root can yield a more vibrant flavor if you're up for the extra effort. If you go the powder route, I highly recommend saving some money by stocking up bulk.
I chose to add turmeric to the punch via a simple syrup made with turmeric powder and added a bit more spice and sweetness with KOVAL's Ginger Liqueur. For the spirit, I selected KOVAL Oat Whiskey for its amazingly smooth, almost creamy finish. The natural sweetness and mouthfeel of the the Oat Whiskey make it my go-to for more decadent dessert drinks.
For the milk, I chose an organic 2%. Personally, I find skim to be rather flavorless and whole milk to be too heavy, so 2% was a great balance for the little bit of fat content and flavor to round out the drink. If you can, try to use organic as pesticides are easily transferred through the fat content of dairy. If you prefer to go dairy-free, a blend of full fat coconut milk and almond or cashew milk should make an effective and tasty substitution.
This drink can easily be presented individually, or scaled up as a punch. The only component that takes a bit of effort is the turmeric syrup but that goes quite quickly when using powder. I added some candied ginger cubes for garnish for an extra spicy treat and some more visual interest. The resulting drink is a beautifully colored, lightly spiced boozy milkshake that is actually somewhat good for you!
Turmeric Ginger Milk Punch
- 2 oz Oat Whiskey
- 0.5 oz Ginger Liqueur
- 0.5 oz turmeric syrup*
- 2 oz 2% milk
- Candied ginger, for garnish
Stir first four ingredients with ice until chilled, then strain into a tall glass over ice. Garnish with a piece of candied ginger on a cocktail spear. If making in bulk, prepare in a punch bowl or pitcher with chilled ingredients and serve with ice. Enjoy to cool down and give your body a boost on a hot summer day.
*To make turmeric syrup, add 1 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar to a small saucepan and heat until sugar is dissolved. Add 1 tbsp turmeric powder and stir until dissolved. Allow to cool and store excess in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. Some separation will occur - just shake up the syrup before use.