January 27, 2014
Intermède
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liqueur de lait
(milk liquor)
I wonder if she were alive today whether Mom would agree with those modern folk who long for old‑fashioned milk sold un‑homogenized in glass bottles and delivered to one’s door. We had such a service prior to when my family moved from Redwood City to Menlo Park in 1957. Milk delivery had been a twice weekly event in the old house, but when we moved, Mom started buying milk in cartons at the grocery store. She had already switched to homogenized milk a few years earlier since we didn’t have much use for the cream. She liked milk in her coffee. There also was a stint were we drank nonfat, dry milk until she tired of mixing the powder with water.
The way the delivery worked, she would place a cardboard order wheel in the mouth of an empty bottle to communicate with the driver what our next order should be. The tabs that stuck out of the bottle mouth indicated the order. By the time we moved, the standard order was usually two bottles of homogenized, skimmed milk. The milk sat unrefrigerated on our front steps if she wasn’t home to immediately place it in the refrigerator. If she forgot to put the empty bottles out, there would be no delivery.
I didn’t like the flavor of milk in those days. I still don’t. Mom did attempt to make my breakfast glass of milk more palatable by adding flavorings such as Nestlé’s Quik or Hershey’s Syrup. She mostly used the original imitation‑chocolate flavor version of Quik, but at times I had to endure the imitation‑strawberry flavor as a substitute. I still gag thinking about it. The Hershey’s Syrup was better tasting, but it was hard to mix with the cold milk.
As awful as my breakfast milk was, it was still better than the mandatory carton of milk I was subjected to and required to drink everyday after nap time in kindergarten. This was just plain whole milk. Yuk.
In contrast to milk, I love cream. Especially the thickened version that forms at the top of a carton of heavy cream after it’s been open for a while. In a restaurant I worked at in Switzerland, we had cream that was 55% butterfat and spreadable with a knife. That was especially good.
When I saw a posting for a milk‑based alcoholic drink I was conflicted. I don’t like milk. Would I like a milk‑based drink? My uncle used to drink scotch and milk. I decided to try it. There was lots of sugar in this recipe. That would help.
160 ml (23 c)
vodka
160 ml (23 c)
whole milk
133 g (23 c)
granulated sugar
1. Place all the ingredients in a jar, cover, shake, and infuse for 10 days in the refrigerator. Shake the mixture at least once a day to insure that all the sugar completely dissolves.
2. When the 10‑day infusing period is complete, filter the liquid through a coffee filter once or twice.
Yield: 400 ml (78 pint).
After filtering, my results were just as milky as before the filtering. In the original article, the result was a clear, yellowish liquid. Whoops. Had I screwed up? When I went back to my year‑old printout of the original recipe, the ingredients were the same as I had used. Then recently, I went back to the website from were I printed the recipe and noticed that lemon pieces had been added to the ingredient list. The acid from the lemon would coagulate the milk solids so that they could easily be removed. I remade the liquor using lemon pieces in the infusion. I did make one slight modification: I removed the yellow zest from the lemon surface before adding the pieces to the mixture. My result was water clear, not yellowish. I had my guests compare the two versions side‑by‑side, and they all preferred the one that contained the milk solids. One person suggested that I try making the liquor with chocolate milk.

© 2014 Peter Hertzmann. All rights reserved.