Julia's Milk Punch
I adore a properly made Bloody Mary and I would not turn down a refreshing screwdriver, but there is no better hangover cure on earth than a milk punch. Addictively tasty and immediately restorative, it is a staple in bars and restaurants that understand such things (Galatoire's offers up an especially good one, as does Commander's Palace), and de rigueur at daytime Mardi Gras gatherings.
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 quart (4 cups) whole milk
1 pint (2 cups) heavy cream
2 cups brandy
1 cup bourbon
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Freshly grated nutmeg for garnish
Make a simple syrup by combining the sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cooking just until all the sugar has dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes. Allow the syrup to cool. It may be stored, refrigerated in a jar, for up to two weeks.
Whisk the milk and the cream together in a large pitcher or punch bowl until blended. Stir in the spirits and vanilla. Add 1/2 cup of the simple syrup. Taste and add more simple syrup as needed.
Excerpted from Julia Reed's New Orleans