Once you’ve let your mixture sit for a little while, you’ll notice that the acid in the lemon juice has denatured the proteins in the milk, separating the solid curds from the sugary, liquid whey. This is the “sciencey” part of milk punch because you’re basically using these proteins to strip away any particulate matter that makes the drink cloudy.
Now it’s time to strain, and the problem with straining is that most people either have very rough strainers (like sieves or Chinoises) or very fine strainers like coffee filters. The problem with this is as follows: If you strain your milk punch from a sieve into a coffee filter, you’ll only catch the largest particles, and anything that escapes will immediately clog your coffee filter.
So, what we’d recommend doing is purchasing something called a nut milk bag or a jelly bag. These are usually made of nylon, which means they’re super re-usable, and they serve as an excellent intermediate step between your rough pass filter and your finishing coffee filter. And for anyone who’s rolling their eyes right now thinking that the nut milk bag is overkill – that’s fine. You’ll have plenty of time to reconsider your stance while you’re staring at a coffee filter filled with goop.
At the end of the milk clarification process, you should have a golden-colored punch that is completely clear, and the real mind-boggling thing about this beverage is that it doesn’t look like there’s milk in it – and yet you still get this creamy, rich mouthfeel from the whey. For more in-depth info on the history of milk punch and even more tips for making it at home, check out Episode 76, which I’ll link to in the show notes page.
One last piece of housekeeping for this recipe: clarified milk punch still contains lactose, so it’s unfortunately still off the menu for folks with sensitivity to that compound – but for the rest of us, it’s a fun way to bend the relationship between what you see in your glass and how you think it will taste.