Berry Milk Punch

This post was written prior to Covid-19 and social distancing, back when Donna and I could get together for cooking dates. In the absence of bars, I have upped my cocktail game, so I’m drinking well these days. But this post reminds me that good friends make even terrible drinks go down well. I don’t know when we’ll be able to get back to that kind of thing, but I’ll make sure to appreciate it when we do.

In Julie Powell’s Julie and Julia Project, I’m pretty sure there comes a point when her friends and blog readers give her permission to skip all of the aspics in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I wish we had a similar crowd letting us off the hook for the variety of milk punches in Barbie’s chapter “MMMNN! Is for Milk and Other Marvels.”

Julie didn’t back down from her meat jellos, and we wouldn’t wimp out either, but man. It would be tempting. 

Milk punch. Milk. Punch. Milk and punch. Milk and pineapple; milk and orange juice; milk and strawberry jelly AND red food coloring…

Wasn’t milk and orange juice what Wynona Ryder was going to use to make Heather Chandler throw up before Christian Slater swapped her glass for Drain-o? 

There’s milk and orange juice in today’s recipe. Just saying.

Berry Milk Punch


      • 3/4 cup strawberries

      • 1/3 cup cold orange juice

      • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

      • 4 tablespoons sugar

      • dash of salt

      • 2 cups cold milk

Carefully wash and remove stems from strawberries. Add strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, salt, cold orange juice, and milk to a blender. Blend until strawberries are chopped small and all ingredients are combined. Pour into a punch cup and serve at once. “For a party touch,” suggests Barbie, “add a slice or two of fresh strawberry to each cup.”

-Adapted from Barbie’s Easy-As-Pie Cookbook


Extra Tips:

  • Barbie actually called for a half a cup of crushed strawberries, but Barbie didn’t have a blender, and we’re not messing around with a glass bowl and the back of a spoon. (Which is to say, we totally tried to crush them lightly with the back of a spoon, and what the heck, Barbie? That doesn’t work. So we just used a half cup plus a little more whole strawberries.)
  • Ice ice ice. The moment this drink warms up is the moment it goes from, Ok. Not as bad as I thought to, Isn’t this basically the throw up recipe from Heathers?

Final Thoughts:

The punch was…. not undrinkable? I am not a fan of thick beverages, but it was kind of like a melted milkshake. Which isn’t great, but isn’t half as bad as it could be. Of course, with a blender full of the stuff, there was only one thing to do. 

Add Alcohol.

Bonus Recipes!  (Note: My attempts to replicate the exact measurements for these recipes are as half hearted as my enthusiasm for milk punch.) 

  • Rum: Not liking rum myself, I didn’t pay attention to the proportions Donna used when trying to make a strawberry-milky rum punch. Anyway, she said it wasn’t good, and she didn’t finish it, so I guess it doesn’t matter.
  • Vodka: Add an ounce of vodka to a cup of Berry Milk Punch. This was ok, said Donna. At any rate, she drank it.
  • A normal amount of Cognac plus vanilla: Add a heavy ounce of cognac to a cup of Berry Milk Punch and finish it with a dash of vanilla.  This was ok. I actually liked it at first, but after about half a cup, I couldn’t stomach any more of it. I switched to beer.
  • A ridiculous amount of Cognac plus vanilla: Pour just a whole freaking lot of cognac in a cup as if that is going to make the reality of the milk punch go away. Jim went really heavy on the liquor for his and then could barely stand even a tiny sip of the stuff. He made faces. I was still in the honeymoon/this-might-not-suck phase with my version and tried to get him to add more punch to balance things out. His annoyed answer was, “I don’t need more punch. I need… something else.”

So there you have it. Berry Milk Punch ranges from “can sort of be saved by alcohol” to “can actually ruin alcohol.” 

And we still have the pineapple one to do.

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