Holiday Cocktails: The Godfather Milk Punch

Our journey into classic milk punches started some time ago, but for the most part they have remained true to form. Milk punches are very popular in New Orleans and are common in the deep south during the holiday season. After a recent trip to New Orleans, I had a renewed interest in the cocktail, I began thinking about the holiday season and how perfect this would be as an after dinner cocktail.  After several variations I found myself where I last left off, sometimes things are better left off alone.

I took a break and started thinking about my travels and things I had tasted and what worked well with bourbon. Thats when it hit me, the Godfather at Strøm Bar. I was introduced to Strøm while back packing Europe a few years ago, during a lunch break at an incredible restaurant and wine bar, Restaurant Maven in Copenhagen.  Strøm is a speakeasy located in downtown Copenhagen known for creating classic cocktails with a modern twist. They did a simple twist on the classic Godfather, they finished it with coffee oil and it worked perfectly. 

I decided to take these two great cocktails and combine them, so I started with classic versions of both and ended up making a fairly good twist on the milk punch but it lacked the wow factor, that simple twist that made me smile at Strøm. So I decided to make an espresso simple syrup to replace the traditional sugar and combine it with a familiar taste of the holidays: cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and star anise. I also replaced the straight water with equal parts water, amaretto and bourbon. Finally I introduce heavy cream as opposed to whole make to increase the creaminess of the cocktail. The end result was a decadent cocktail that warms the soul, perfect by the fire or after dinner around the table family and friends. 

A modern twist on a classic milk punch inspired by travel and the season. Its amazing where life takes you and the influence others can have on you. Happy Holidays and stay tuned for more holiday cocktails. 



The Godfather Milk Punch


  • 2oz of Russels Reserve Bourbon
  • 3oz of Heavy Cream
  • 1oz of Coffee Spiced Godfather syrup

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in tin with ice and shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds to produce a ice cold velvety cream. Strain through a fine strainer into a wine glass. Garnish with fresh ground nutmeg and a star anise.

Coffee Spiced Godfather Syrup

  • 2/3 cup Russels Reserve Bourbon
  • 2/3 cup Disaronno amaretto
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 cup coarsely ground illy dark roast espresso (Must be coarse so it is possible to strain out later)
  • 1/2 oz vanilla extract
  • 2 cup Demerara sugar
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 20 whole cloves
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 2 crushed nutmeg (Do not grind, keep as coarse as possible to strain out later)

Instructions: In a sauce pan on medium heat add espresso, bourbon, amaretto and water to pan and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and remove after 10-15 minutes (taste for espresso flavor). Strain through medium and then fine strainer to remove all espresso particles. Add liquid to a clean dry sauce pan on medium heat and add vanilla extract, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, star anise and nutmeg. Bring to boil then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 30 to 45 minutes or until liquid reduce by 1/2. Strain through medium then fine strainer.

Lee SanchezSTW Hospitality