Preservation Virginia Blog


Whipping Up Norfolk Punch with Lea Lane

Lea Lane, curator of collections, and her husband Mitch show you how to make an 18th century favorite, Duke of Norfolk punch! Check out their video and the recipe below:

Featured object: Punch bowl, 1760s, China, porcelain, collection of the Virginia Museum of History and Culture, on loan to Scotchtown (Preservation Virginia).

Want to learn more about milk punch? Here are some great resources:

Ben Leggett, editor of the blog “The Drinking Cup,” has a series on the history of punch that are well worth a read:  

Dan Sousa of Cooks Illustrated took a deep dive into milk punch, and this article includes some of the best instructions on why and how this process works: 

Finally, David Wondrich’s 2010 book Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl, which is the deepest of deep dives, and won’t disappoint. 

Duke of Norfolk Punch

The stuff:

1 teapot – I’ve reduced the amounts in the original recipe so that it fits in my standard 4 cup pot, so you’ll see some odd quantities of the ingredients. 

Jelly bag, cheese cloth or coffee filters 

The ingredients: 

1.5 lemons, pared thin and juiced 

¼ cup of bitter orange juice (or substitute – see below)

4/5 or .8 cup of white wine

1 ½ cups brandy (add an extra tablespoon or so)

½ cup granulated sugar (add an extra tablespoon or so)

4/5 or .8 cup of whole milk

Seville/bitter orange substitute:

¼ cup fresh grapefruit juice 

1 ¼ tablespoon fresh lime juice

pinch of orange zest

Mix together all of the ingredients in a bowl or measuring cup except for the milk

Pour the milk into the teapot

Gently pour the acidic/alcoholic mixture into the milk – not the other way around

Let the mixture rest at room temperature for 24 hours

Strain mixture using jelly bag, cheese cloth or coffee filter

Repeat until crystal clear! This may take a couple rounds

Put in mason jar or bottle and keep in your cellar or fridge