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Clarified Milk Syrup - The Simple Secret to Silky & Frothy Cocktails!

Updated: Nov 27, 2023



Hello, Friends of Cocktails. Milk Punch cocktails have a smooth and velvety mouthfeel, so today I’ll show you how to add that to any cocktail with a clarified milk syrup, and it will add a nice creamy texture plus a little foam without adding egg white - and it will be easier to make than Super Syrup! So no extra dilution from milk or egg whites, no special ingredients, and a superb texture in your cocktails. What’s not to love?


Along with the syrup we’ll also make a few cocktails: a Sour, a Fizz, and an Old Fashioned. To end the post I’ll give you a dairy fun fact, but first, how did the idea for a clarified dairy syrup come about? Well, it came to me during a masterclass when we were discussing milk clarification and the texture it adds to drinks. I thought about how we could achieve the same effect with an ingredient that can then be used in a variety of cocktails, and the answer was simple - syrup with milk & cream!


So this time there’s no need for gum arabic, xanthan gum, agar agar or methylcellulose to bring your cocktails to the next level. All you need to make the Milk Syrup and give your cocktails a silky texture is cream, milk, sugar and a bit of citric acid solution or lemon juice. Now, there’s a lot of different types of cream, and Wikipedia even has them broken down by different countries. So just to make it clear, I’m using full-fat milk with 3.5% fat, and whipping cream, with 33% fat.


Cream, of course, is the fatty part in non-homogenized milk that floats to the top. I also tried making the syrup with condensed milk instead of cream, and the result was good, but the cream just makes it a bit more full-bodied. So let’s first make our citric solution, then get on making the milk syrup. It’s Cocktail Time!


Citric Acid Solution

● 6g Citric Acid

● 94g Warm Water

Just dissolve the citric acid in the water and that’s it. This 6% citric acid solution will mimic lemon juice without adding the lemon taste and the acidity will help our dairy products curdle, making the clarification possible. Citric acid can be found in almost any store here and we’ve had it at home at all times when I was a kid since my mom would make all types of fruit jams. With that, we are now ready to create our Milk Syrup.


Milk Syrup

● 350mL · 11.66oz Full Fat Milk

● 150mL · 5oz Cream

● 22.5mL · 0.75oz Citric Acid Solution

● 94g Sugar


Add the milk and cream to a saucepan, mix to combine and place on medium high heat. I always heat up milk when clarifying cocktails with it, but that’s my personal preference as the curdling process is a little bit faster this way. With that said, milk clarification works with cold milk as well. Once you see first signs of vaporizing from our mixture turn off the heat and the citric acid solution, stir lightly to mix it in with our milk & cream mixture, and then let this sit for half an hour for the curdling process to do its thing.


After that it’s time to filter out the curds through a cloth filter, and the solid particles will create an additional filter after a couple of minutes. So remember to re-filter the first drops that come out as they’ll be cloudier than the rest, and what’s left on the filter are the solid particles that can be used as cottage cheese! Once clarified I’ll weigh the liquid, to know how much sugar I need, as this already has some sweetness in it.


Using a refractometer I found it to have 6g of sugar for every 100g of liquid making for 6 BRIX, so you can use that as a baseline but the specifics will of course depend on the milk & cream you’re using. I’m making a 1:1 syrup because I want to add more of the velvety syrup into the cocktails than we would if we made a 2:1 syrup, and to make it easier, I’ve added a Calculator here on kevinkos.com so you can create as much Milk Syrup as you need!

So mix the clarified milk with the sugar, bottle it up and store in the fridge. As for the shelf life, I honestly haven't tried or checked it thoroughly yet, since I first made the syrup a couple of weeks ago. Just keep in mind to use a clean bottle and store it in the refrigerator, and it should last for at least 2-3 weeks. Subscribe on YouTube to see how our syrup holds up in the next few weeks, but let’s give it a taste now. Cheers!


It looks like a regular simple syrup, but even on the nose you get milky richness, similar to mozzarella cheese. There’s no acidity noticeable on the flavor as that has been removed during the curdling process, so all you get is a full-bodied creamy sweetness with a silky texture - a syrup to transform your cocktails. Our milk syrup will be great for mellowing the tannins in aged spirits, the same thing you get with egg white or with milk punch cocktails, that’s thanks to the proteins present in all these ingredients.



So let’s first try replacing egg white in the Whiskey Sour - or a Boston Sour, if you want to be specific.


Milky Whiskey Sour

● 60mL · 2oz Bourbon

● 22,5mL · 0.75oz Lemon Super Juice

● 22,5mL · 0.75oz mL Milk Syrup

● 2 drops 20% Saline Solution


So no separating the egg whites here, just chilling the shaker, as we always do. Then add the ingredients into the small tin, drain the ice from the big tin, add the cocktail and give everything a hard shake to chill and dilute - since we’re not using egg whites there’s of course no need for a dry shake. Double strain into a chilled rocks glass over a clear ice block, and for garnish add a maraschino cherry on the top. Before we get to a cocktail with an unaged spirit, let’s give this egg white-less Whiskey Sour a try. Cheers!

Other than the amount of foam it’s very similar to a classic Whiskey Sour. It has a silky texture and a slight frothiness, and the milk flavor isn't something you’d pick up on, but you can detect the richness and texture it adds. A great alternative to the king of sour cocktails. Before we try it in an Old Fashioned, and we won’t be using whiskey for that one, let’s first try this syrup with an unaged spirit, but still go with a cocktail that’s known for its rich texture - The Gin Fizz.


Ramos Milky Fizz

● 60mL · 2oz Gin

● 22,5mL · 0.75oz Lemon Juice

● 22,5mL · 0.75oz Milk Syrup

● 2 drops 20% Saline Solution

● Soda to top


Into a chilled shaker add your ingredients minus the soda, then add the ice and shake everything vigorously to chill, dilute and foam up the proteins as much as possible. Double strain into a small chilled highball glass, and I have to admit, the amount of foam on this one surprised me a bit. To make it a fizz we still need to top it up with soda, and for this version I wouldn’t expect the foam to rise over the top of the glass but it’s definitely reaching up there.


We can already see the milk syrup brings enough to the table to still be able to call this a proper Gin Fizz, but we still need to express orange or lemon essential oils over the top, discard the peel and give it a try! It has a subtle aroma with hints of juniper, cardamom and lavender from the gin, balanced by a mild creaminess. Same on the palate, with the bright citrus notes of the original Gin Fizz still present but rounded slightly more by the silky syrup. We still have the frothiness, but it’s different in character.


The creamy mouthfeel almost brings this cocktail halfway to being a Ramos Gin Fizz, definitely a successful experiment. Now for the cocktail that’s not a sour, but can still be elevated with a silky texture: the Old Fashioned. I’ll be using La Hechicera rum, angostura bitters, our milk syrup, and saline solution.



Milky Rum Old Fashioned

● 60mL · 2oz La Hechicera Extra Añejo Rum

● 2 barspoons Milk Syrup

● 4 dashes Angostura Bitters

● 2 drops 20% Saline Solution


This time we’re starting with chilling the mixing glass, and as always when using a clear large ice cube, make sure that it's already tempered. Now add your ingredients into the mixing glass, add plenty of ice and stir the cocktail for a good 30-40 seconds to properly chill and dilute. Strain into our low tumbler glass over the large ice cube and garnish with an orange peel, which we’ll cut into a coin and then express the oils over the cocktail. Beautiful!

With the addition of the milk syrup we made a silky, but still well balanced Old Fashioned. Rum’s spicy notes are mellowed out, but it’s still the main player in this smooth twist on a classic cocktail. If you ask me, the milk syrup shows its strengths more in sour cocktails, and with that you’ve made it to the Bottom of The Glass! And for today’s interesting fact, did you know that Cleopatra was said to take daily baths in milk to keep her beauty and the youth of her skin?


Some sources say it was sour milk, others say it was goat or even donkey milk - although for Milk Syrup or your classic milk clarified cocktails, regular milk will do just fine. To see me use the classic milk clarification check out this Clarified Ramos Gin Fizz., and until next time. Cheers, Friends of Cocktails!



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