Bourbon Milk Punch

Okay, seriously you guys, this one is just in time for the holidays. This is a drink we whipped up for our recent holiday cocktail party that I can’t recommend more: a Southern (and much lighter) answer to eggnog.

There’s something about the overly rich, thick taste of eggnog, combined with bad memories of artificially flavored grocery store eggnog that is a turn-off to me. But this is wonderful–ice cold, pleasantly nutmeggy, and nicely festive. And it has bourbon, which as a KY girl, if I’m going to drink hard liquor, is only right. Many recipes called for the addition of half-and-half or even cream, but I really do prefer (and recommend) it with just whole milk.

We threw ours in the freezer the night before the party and left it out for a half-hour before serving, flaking it with a fork to add it to our punch bowl. It’s wonderful served in julep cups, but since not everyone has a ready supply of those sitting around, you can also simply serve it over ice in plastic cups 🙂

Enjoy, and Happy Holidays to everyone!

photo 3 (1)

Bourbon Milk Punch

  • 5 C. whole organic milk
  • 1.5 C. bourbon (not your best, but not the worst either)
  • 1 C. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • a very generous fresh grating of nutmeg

Whisk all ingredients together until combined. Throw it in the freezer till slushy or frozen through and serve in julep cups. Alternatively, serve over crushed ice or whole ice with an extra garnish of grated nutmeg.

Holiday Cocktail Party for (almost) 50

New Year's Tree

Last night we were excited to host our first big party at our house, and I promised Sara that I’d share the menu. It’s the first time I’ve hosted that many people (almost 50), and I have to say, we had a blast.

Artful arrangementWe spent a few nights slowly wrapping presents and decorating the tree and the mantels with holly, magnolia leaves, and hemlock branches from Mom & Dad’s yard, and we especially enjoyed these gorgeous red and white tulips, courtesy of Ryan and Sara. I never buy fresh flowers for the house and so they were such a treat.

The TableWe forgot to take pictures during the party, as we were busy filling drinks and socializing, but it reminded us of how many lovely people we’ve met in Knoxville, and how we’ve really started to make our home here. The only thing missing? My BFFs. I sure do wish we could’ve had you all there–I miss you guys, especially around the holidays.

I put some thought into making the menu budget-conscious and as easy as possible, so I’ll share below in case it helps anyone plan a big cocktail party in the future! I’ll post the recipes separately and link to them so they’re more easily searchable. Truly, you can spend a lot of time arranging items on a table, but none of these recipes took very much time, most of them could be made ahead, and you could take some additional shortcuts (buy already-baked rolls; store-bought hummus; etc.).

Happy holidays to everyone!

Cocktail Party Menu for 50