Gasparilla Pirate Milk Punch with 4 Spirits: French Brandy, Rum, Bourbon & Vodka

Gasparilla Pirate Milk Punch packs a whollop- Four types of liquor: Vodka, Rum, Bourbon and French Brandy. Drink it slowly. It is dangerously delicious. You’ve been warned.

What is Milk Punch?

  • Milk Punch is an old Southern, alcoholic milk drink sweetened with sugar and seasoned with nutmeg and vanilla. It is served widely during the Gasparilla Festival in Tampa, Florida every winter.
  • Four types of alcohol are used in milk punch: French brandy, vodka, bourbon and dark rum
  • Milk Punch is served ice cold and topped with grated nutmeg
  • The ingredients in milk punch need to combine overnight.
  • Think of milk punch like a warm weather egg nog served cold

How to make this cocktail:

In a large pitcher combine spirits and sugar. Stir well to dissolve. Stir in vanilla, nutmeg and milk.

Let rest overnight. Serve over ice with grated nutmeg.

I use granulated sugar instead of simple syrup to sweeten the punch.


  • Use an old gallon milk jug or container with a tight fit lid. If you shake the punch before serving, it is a bit frothy and the sugar dissolves much better. Decant into a glass pitcher for serving.
  • Freshly grated nutmeg makes the best garnish. Pre-grated nutmeg can taste a bit bitter.
  • Use nice French Brandy- like VSOP (Very superior old pale- or at least 4 years old) brandy.
  • The punch lasts about 3-4 days in the fridge.
  • Always shake the milk punch well before serving.
Postcard from the 1940’s. Courtesy of the Tampa Historical Society.

Equipment needed for Gasparilla Milk Punch:

  • A gallon milk jug or pitcher with leak-proof top- for mixing the milk punch
  • A stunning glass pitcher for serving- HERE is the crystal William Yoeward pitcher I use.
  • Stylish glasses for serving the punch. Buy my Tortoise glasses HERE.

Other Old Southern recipes to try:

Gasparilla Pirate Milk Punch with French Brandy, Rum, Bourbon & Vodka

Recipe by Meggen Wilson
Course: Cocktails, Florida KitchenCuisine: SouthernDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





This sweetened milk based punch made with French brandy, vodka, bourbon dn dark rum will satisfy any marauding pirate.


  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 cup bourbon

  • 1 cup French Brandy

  • 1 cup vodka

  • 1/4 cup dark rum

  • 1 tsp nutmeg, plus more for garnish

  • 1 QT whole milk

  • 2 oz vanilla extract


  • In a large pitcher combine sugar and all spirits. Mix well with a whisk until the sugar dissolves. Add in vanilla, nutmeg and 1 qt whole milk.
  • Stir until well combined. Chill 8 hours.
  • Serve over an ice filled double old fashioned glasses with extra nutmeg for a garnish.

Pirates need something to quench their thirst and nothing does this better than Gasparilla Pirate milk punch. Served ice cold this very boozy drink will calm even the most baudy buccaneer.

There is no other cold beverage that defines Tampa like Gasparilla Milk Punch. The Gasparilla Pirate invasion is when thousands of pirates invade Tampa every winter.

Read more about José and the Festival here.

Read below about the history of the infamous pirate José Gaspar- or Gasparilla- who legend has it, invaded Florida in the late 19th century. His $30,000,000 treasure is said to be buried somewhere on the gulf coast.

Every February, The Gasparilla Festival begins with members of Ye Mystic Krewe invading Tampa Bay on a fully functioning pirate ship, The José Gasparilla 2 accompanied by a flotilla of other ships. The keys to the city are surrendered by the Mayor of Tampa and hundreds of pirates in search of treasure parade down Bayshore Blvd.

I based my cocktail off of the Pirate Milk Punch in the Tampa Junior League, Life of the Party cookbook and the Tampa Yacht Club‘s recipes.

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