The Mix Up: The Venus de Milo

By: Nick Stropko 

Winter Cocktails

It’s amazing the extent to which changing seasons reflects my changing drink choices. Summer means drinking a Gose in the park and mixing margaritas. In spring, you’ll rarely see me without a herbaceous gin cocktail. Winter, however, calls for something comforting. Like, Milo.

If you’re not familiar, Milo is a malt chocolate drink kinda reminiscent of Ovaltine that seems to be popular everywhere except the US. I drank it a bunch as a kid during my frequent trips to Sydney (where my mom grew up and currently resides), and many of my immigrant/first generation friends seem to have similarly fond feelings about it.

Recently, I picked up an entirely-too-large tin of Milo from my local Vietnamese supermarket, rationalizing that I’d figure out something to do with it. That’s when I realized that Milo could work perfectly in another comforting (and, fortunately, more alcoholic) drink: the Brandy Alexander.

Fun Winter Cocktails For Mixology Newbies

What follows is more-or-less a straightforward take on the classic, with two minor alterations. First, the Creme de Cocoa is subbed out for the aforementioned Milo. Additionally, I threw some Cherry Heering in, partially to give the drink greater depth of flavor, and partially because I have a bunch kicking around thanks to my penchant for Blood & Sands (hot tip: up the amount of scotch in a standard Blood & Sand recipe to 1.5oz; thank me later).

Hopefully, my take is as comforting to you as thinking about eating vegemite with my grandma is to me.

Venus de Milo

1.5oz Brandy
0.5oz Cherry Heering
2oz whole milk
1 heaping tablespoon Milo
Fresh Nutmeg

Combine with ice, shake, strain, and serve. Garnish with a scrape of fresh nutmeg and a maraschino cherry. 

Winter Cocktails

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