BEN FRANKLIN'S WHEY

One of our Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, was known to drink his whey in a beverage called Milk Punch. His recipe, which he mailed to James Bowdoin in 1763, combined whey, brandy and lemon juice; it was considered an elixir used to fight off colds.

Modern adaptation of the recipe (from the Mass Historical Society):

For the adventurous, the following is a modern interpretation of Franklin's recipe, with portions reduced to one quarter of those suggested by Franklin. The flavor is lemony, with a slightly medicinal kick.

Ingredients:

6 cups (3 pints) of brandy
11 lemons
2 cups lemon juice
4 cups (1 quart) of spring water
1 freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/8 cups (1/2 lb) of sugar 
3 cups of whole milk

Directions:

Zest eleven lemons.
Squeeze 2 cups of lemon juice.
Steep the lemon zest in the brandy for 24 hours.
Strain out the lemon zest.
Add 4 cups of spring water, 1 freshly grated nutmeg, 2 cups of lemon juice, and 1 1/8 cups of sugar to the brandy.
Stir until the sugar dissolves.
Bring 3 cups of whole milk to a boil.
As soon as the milk boils, add it hot to the brandy mix and stir.
The heat, lemon juice, and alcohol will begin to curdle the milk.
Let the punch stand for 2 hours.
Strain the punch through a jelly bag (or pillow case) until clear. Serve cold.



Melissa Martinelli