Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Tequila & Mezcal Cocktails

Paloma Milk Punch

This drink by Aaron Deary at Philadelphia’s R&D is textured, subtly herbal, fresh and vaguely familiar—a Paloma after a day of self-care and nip-tucking. With tequila, hoja santa, Chinese five-spice, tarragon, grapefruit, coconut milk and club soda, he admits that calling it a Paloma is a bit of a stretch. But without spices, Deary says it wouldn’t be a milk punch either. “It’s about taking something that people recognize and combining it with something they’ve never seen before,” he says.

This recipe originally appeared as part of “In Pursuit of the Perfect Dairy-Free Milk Punch.”



  1. Serves 10.

  2. In a Lexan or large shallow container, combine tequila, both liqueurs, hoja santa and tarragon tea, and spice mixture. Infuse for 2 hours, then strain out spices. Return liquid to container. In a jug or container with a spout, combine lime juice and grapefruit juice. Heat coconut milk to 170 degrees F, stirring constantly. Transfer hot coconut milk to a jug or container with a spout. Very slowly and simultaneously pour both coconut milk and citrus over entire surface of punch. Milk will break initially, then become cloudy. After 30 minutes, a layer of curds should form. Rest punch at room temperature for 1 hour, then transfer to a refrigerator for 1 hour. Strain punch through cheesecloth, then through coffee filters or a Superbag and refrigerate.

  3. Pour approximately 3 oz into a rocks glass over a large ice cube.

  4. Top with club soda.

  5. *Hoja santa and tarragon tea: Bring 1 L filtered water to boil. Add 1 large hoja santa leaf, 5 tarragon sprigs and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain through fine-mesh strainer and chill in ice bath.

  6. **Spice mixture: Toast 1 3/4 oz cinnamon sticks, 1 oz star anise pods, 1/3 oz Szechuan peppercorns, 1/3 oz whole cloves, 1 oz green cardamom pods and 1/3 oz fennel seeds in a pan over medium heat until fragrant for no more than 5 minutes. (Start with cinnamon and star anise, then add rest as they toast quickly.) Remove and let cool.