Ashley Chriqui, Bar Manager at Jamaican restaurant Rosie Campbell’s, shares her recipe for Banana Milk Punch, a Jamaican twist on the classic Mai Tai using the modern technique of milk clarification.
Ashley, who says the cocktail is best served as an after-dinner nightcap, says: “We wanted to create an approachable, holiday-style short drink for our guests at Rosie Campbell’s. Something with an island vibe that’s delicious to drink, but not something you’d expect. The rum punch aspect of the drink was created by experimenting with orgeat and tropical rum flavours.
“We find that guests that want a slow sipping drink really like it, the ones that may not want something as stiff as an Old Fashioned or Negroni.”
In order to make the Banana Milk Punch, Ashley says you’ll need a cheesecloth or coffee filters, a strainer, measuring jugs and pan, and she recommends batch-making the cocktail.
So, how do you make it?
“Almonds are roasted and ground, immersed in water and later sugar with a touch of honey and orange blossom, fine-meshed and strained,” says Ashley. “Then sesame seeds are lightly toasted until they are golden and added to the orgeat in a pan with cocoa nibs, stirring on medium heat to infuse and stopping until dark brown in colour. The mixture is then fine-mesh strained.
“One the orgeat has been strained, the leftover sesame and cocoa nibs are rolled out thinly in between baking paper and dehydrated. Once dehydrated, the layer is snapped to create the sesame cocoa crisps for garnish.
“The infused orgeat is then cooled and combined with the rums, coconut water, and lemon.
“Then, milk is warmed until just before boiling point and slowly added to the punch.
“The milk punch then sits for 20 minutes resulting in curdling. It is later strained through a coffee filter once and then restrained by using the same filter withy the leftover curds, resulting in a clear liquid. This is bottled, refrigerated, and later, served over an ice cube, garnished with the sesame cocoa crisp.”
Ashley also shares her pro-tip for the clarification step of the Banana Milk Punch: “Use the leftover milk curds left from the first straining in the coffee filter and re-straining the batch through – the second time round let at least 10 per cent strain and leave to the side before continuing the rest of the straining. This will result in a completely clear drink.”