The Fast Retort


A Rum And Mint Flavored Milk Punch… Really A Mid-Winter Refresher…

At last summer’s Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, many cocktailian trends were aflutter in many of the tasting rooms.  One of these cocktail trends was drinking a refreshing milk punch.  These long drinks that fit gently into my hand caught my eye and my palate because they are so darned refreshing given the heat and humidity of New Orleans in the summer.

And now that we are in the throes of the winter, one day warm and the next day cool, isn’t it nice to know that you can drink something that makes your ambient body temperature even?  What? Yes.  Even.  Sort of like being even keeled, or even-tempered.  Even a cool inside?  Perhaps.

Ice cream based drinks are my go/to for adult (read: alcohol based) refreshment.  And what tastes even better when it is frozen?  Mint of course.  And there is nothing that I find more adaptable to liquor than ice cream milkshakes.  Maybe this is because I’m a huge fan of the classic Milk Punch.  A few years back I was given the honor of making my famous Milk Punch for an appreciative audience at the yearly gathering of the tribes of cocktailians known as Tales of the Cocktail.

Given the fact that my Milk Punch at that time was made with Bourbon, the use of rum in a milk punch holds a very special place in my heart.   My new incarnation of this venerable drink contains rum and a very special aged rum at that.   The rum that I chose is from Mezan and its provenance is Jamaican.  The label reads XO- for me this means, extra old.  I know from being their National Brand Ambassador that the rums contained are aged from 4-23 years of age.  This is remarkable considering the color of the rum.  It is a golden yellow hue of sunshine.  It has not been artificially colored with caramel to fool the consumer into believing they have a ‘very old rum’ when it’s just coloring added to make something less than young look older than it really is.  But that is what smoke and mirrors are all about in the liquor industry.  Sad but true for those of us who seek out authenticity in flavor and color in our spirits.

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Mezan doesn’t add any extra sugar. Nor is it chill-filtered to make the distillate crystal clear.  There is a light haze from the stuff in the cask left over from pad filtration.  Pad filtration is meant to remove any large particles from inside the wooden cask; you might not want to see what is in the cask.  There is char and sediment, just like in wine production!

A small amount of char gets into the bottle and that is a very good thing.  It’s authentic and it adds flavor and color naturally.  Just like I seek out wines that are not fined, nor filtered.  I like wine with stuff in the bottle.

There is a certain funky quality in the nose to this rum and I know it will compliment the other ingredients in my milk punch.  The use of a Dunder- or wild yeast- (this technique is similar to certain Biodynamic practices in the vineyard), fashions the word authenticity.  Taste of the place.  Quality.  Not invented in a Madison Avenue boardroom, but flavors that come from passion and time in the cask, put there by alchemists.  I get really emotional about authenticity, and Mezan should be your go/to for the flavor of real rum.

Especially if you live in NY/NJ or CT…  Mezan is in your market!  Order some and tell your distributer that I suggested it.

A Fast Retort (A Mezan Rum and Branca Menta Milk Punch), serves two


3 oz. Mezan XO Jamaican Rum
1 oz. Branca Menta
4 oz. Espresso Coffee (cooled)
2 oz. Whole (regular) milk
2 oz.  Heavy Whipping Cream
2-3 scoops Bitter Chocolate or Coffee Gelato
5 dashes of Bitter Truth Spiced Chocolate Bitters
Fresh mint for garnish


  1. Hand shake the ingredients together except for the Spiced Chocolate Bitters
  2. When combined, add to a parfait glass
  3. Shake the Spiced Chocolate Bitters over the top
  4. Garnish with fresh mint
  5. Serve your friend one, then yourself (manners!)

Rum, cream and mint.  How can you go wrong?