Cocktail Lesson: Willa VanNostrand's Darlin' Clementine Milk Punch

A Rhode Island mixologist shows us how to mix up a milk punch for the holidays.

In the December issue of Rhode Island Monthly, we feature a profile on Rhode Island mixologist Willa VanNostrand, owner of Little Bitte artisanal cocktail service. We visited her at home to film a video and learn how to make her festive holiday drink called the Darlin' Clementine Milk Punch. VanNostrand mixes local and seasonal cocktails at weddings, events, private parties and workshops. You can contact her at or 774-991-3206. To learn more about Willa, pick up the December issue of Rhode Island Monthly.


Darlin' Clementine Milk Punch – 1 serving

1 oz 93 proof Blackheart spiced rum
.5 oz Dolin Blanc vermouth
.5 oz organic whole milk
Teaspoon of local honey
.5 oz fresh lime juice (half lime)
.5 oz fresh clementine juice (whole clementine)
Lime and clementine zest
Fresh sprig of thyme for garnish

In a bar glass, dissolve honey in a solution of the rum, vermouth and milk. Stir and add the fresh clementine and lime juices and the zest of the fruit (one-quarter of half of the peel). Shake vigorously with ice for 15 seconds, until bar tin forms a light frost. Strain will a bar strainer, and then strain the solution again through an extra-fine cheesecloth or a coffee filter back into the empty bar glass. Pour into a chilled coupe glass. Lightly pat thyme leaves to release essential oils and garnish the cocktail.

Note: Proper straining through the fine cheesecloth or coffee filter removes any milk solids; the cocktail will then be suitable for drinking, further chilling or bottling. If refrigerated, the solution will keep for months because the milk solids have been removed. VanNostrand prepares servings ahead of time and bottles the drink to serve to guests. If bottling, be sure to use a clean glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate.