2015 has seen many cocktail trends. Spicy cocktails, healthy cocktails, tea cocktails.

One of the more intriguing has been the advent of milk based cocktails. It kind of goes hand in hand with the return of the dessert cocktail, but being solely milk gives it its own category.

There’s that old adage everyone tells you in college, to drink milk before a party so as to coat your stomach and suffer less heartburn the next morning. Perhaps drinking milk with the liquor lets it go down a lot more smoothly. And no one would argue that the White Russian, perhaps the most famous milky cocktail, goes down very smoothly.

What sets these new cocktails aside is that they aren’t just gravitating to cow milk, but other kinds of milks as well. With soy, rice, and almond milk becoming increasingly popular, it’s natural that their use would seep into the ever-growing mixology culture. So save that morning milk for the night, and try your hand at these cocktails.

Bhang

Bhang

Photo Courtesy of Chef Hemant Mathur

Bhang

Courtesy of Chef Hemant Mathur of Chola Restaurant, NY

The Bhang beverage is a spicy and sweet cocktail made with cow milk. The rosewater, cardamom, and cloves give the drink a definitive eastern flavor, and the chopped almonds add a sweet texture.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 oz. Rum
  • 4 cups Warm Milk
  • 2 tbsp. Blanched and Chopped Almonds
  • 1/8 tsp. Garam Masala (a Mixture of Cloves, Cinnamon, and Cardamom)
  • 1/4 tsp. Powdered Ginger
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. Rosewater
  • 1 cup Sugar

Preparation: Bring the water to a rapid boil and pour into a clean teapot. Place almonds in mortar and add 2 teaspoons warm milk. Slowly but firmly grind the milk and almonds together until a fine paste is formed. Squeeze this paste and collect the extract. Repeat a few more times until all that is left are some fibers and nut meal. Discard the residue. Combine all the liquids that have been collected and combine with the water, the garam masala, dried ginger and rosewater. Add the sugar and remaining milk.


Drunken Dragon’s Milk

Courtesy of Macao Trading Co.

This deliciously smooth drink mixes green tea vodka, coconut milk, and pandan syrup for a summery delight.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Charbay Green Tea Vodka
  • 1 1/2 oz. Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 oz. Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz. Pandan Syrup
  • Pinch of Thai Basil Leaves

Preparation: Muddle Thai basil leaves at the bottom of the Collins glass, add all ingredients into Collins Glass, and add pellet ice. Swizzle with swizzler until drink is cold and all the ingredients are mixed. Top it off with more pellets.


Winter Storm

Winter Storm

Photo Courtesy of Efrain Duenas

Winter Storm

Courtesy of Pergola Restaurant

Almonds are prevalent in many Mediterranean desserts, and using almond milk with rum and ginger just makes sense to the senses.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Mount Gay Black Barrel
  • 1 oz. Lime Juice
  • 3/4 oz. Simple Syrup
  • 1 tbsp. Almond Milk-Ginger Puree
  • 1 bar spoon of Absinthe
  • Ginger Ale, to Top
  • Candied Ginger, for Garnish

Preparation: Shake all ingredients and fine strain into an iced highball. Top with ginger ale. Float with a little touch of Absinth. Garnish with a candied ginger.


Vanilla Soy Russian

Vanilla Soy Russian

Photo Courtesy of Yusef Austin

Vanilla Soy Organic White Russian

Courtesy of Yusef Austin, “Cocktail Architect” BR Guest Hospitality

The White Russian needs a refresher, and switching in soy for cow is a simple, yummy way to do it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Premium Vodka
  • 1 oz. Chilled Espresso
  • 1 oz. Simple Syrup
  • 1 oz. Organic Vanilla Soy Milk
  • 2-3 Coffee Beans, for Garnish

Preparation: Shake all ingredients hard and strain over fresh ice into a Highball glass. Garnish with a few whole coffee beans floating on top.


Cali Coquito

Cali Coquito

Photo Courtesy Caliche Rum

Cali Coquito

Courtesy of Caliche Rum

While not as popular in the U.S., condensed milk is incorporated in sweets and in coffee in various countries around the world. Here it’s served with a nice bit of rum.

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz. Caliche Rum
  • 1 can (15/16 oz., Depending on Brand) Coconut Cream
  • 1 can (14 oz.) Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 can (12 oz.) Evaporated Milk
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tbsp. Ground Nutmeg

Preparation: Mix all ingredients in a blender at high speed. Transfer to a lidded non-reactive container refrigerate for a minimum of two hours. Serve cold in small glasses or cups. Sip and enjoy. Yields about 2 L of Coquito (8 servings).


Funky Monkey

Funky Monkey

Photo Courtesy of Horchata Restaurant

Funky Monkey

Courtesy of Horchata Restaurant

Horchata restaurant takes its name from the rice milk popular in Mexico. Given that the restaurant dedicated its name to the drink, it is only fitting that they offer a rice milk cocktail.

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Malibu Rum
  • 1/2 oz. Stoli Vanilla Vodka
  • 1/2 oz. Kahlua
  • 5 oz. Rice Milk

Preparation: Combine all ingredients over ice and shake. Pour over fresh ice and serve.


Milk Frappe

Bustan Frappe

Photo Courtesy of Guy Goldstein

Bustan Frappe

Courtesy of Guy Goldstein, owner of Bustan

Coffee and milk are a classic, and frappe iced coffees are an everlasting Greek staple. But coffee, Sambuca, and goat milk? Definitely a fun, delicious twist on a classic.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tsp. Instant Coffee, Preferably Nescafé, Preferably the Greek Version
  • 8 oz. Water
  • 1 oz. Sambuca
  • Ice
  • 4 tbsp. Goat Milk-Based Dulce de Leche or Cateja

Preparation: In a cocktail shaker or jar with a tight fitting lid, combine instant coffee, dulce de leche, Sambuca and shake till smooth and all the dulce del leche is dissolved. Add ice. Pour in Collins glass full of ice. Serve immediately.