Moose Milk: the Winter Cocktail of the Canadian military

On chilly nights during World War II, there was a potent elixir known as Moose Milk that filled the stomachs (and soothed the souls) of Canadian soldiers. This rich cocktail usually leaved drinkers full, warm, and quite tipsy.
Despite there are many variants, historic recipes typically involved ingredients as liquor, cream, and egg yolks beaten with sugar.
In any case, which division made it first is uncertain as the Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force, and Canadian Army all claim as the originator of the drink, and each made their own version, all hearty cocktails using a various array of liquors. Basically, whatever was on their hand, including big classics as whiskey, rum, and vodka. Someone called the stuff high-propulsion eggnog, and it seems that everybody in uniform has tasted it at one time or another.

Today, Moose Milk is still consumed at military gatherings, despite it’s most closely associated with the navy. It is also served at the Levée, a New Year’s Day celebration held all levels of the Canadian governmental administrations to honour the member of the armed forces, from the federal level to municipalities.
The stuff often appears in rum- and whiskey-based versions, with Kahlua for a coffee-flavored kick (and sometimes brewed coffee, to boot), and sugar or maple syrup for sweetness.
Variations include also condensed milk, vodka, cinnamon, and ready-made eggnog.
Historic recipes may include for raw egg yolks beaten with sugar to impart a sweet, creamy thickness, but modern versions often rely on vanilla ice cream.

Civilian recipes are generally considered more “mild” than military, but both versions are known for being powerful. Military batches were meant to use leftover alcohol, and then, as now, its goal remains simple: warm up, and enjoy.

Moose Milk Recipe:
1 cup cold coffee
1.5 cups vanilla ice cream
¼ cup rum, whiskey, and/or vodka
2 tablespoons Kahlua
Nutmeg or chocolate shavings (to garnish)

Dump all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk. Let it sit for a minute, so the ice cream melts. Top the mixture with the nutmeg or chocolate shavings. Add a floater of rum if you want. Egg yolks are sometimes used directly or indirectly through egg nog or ice cream to prevent separation of the drink. And remember: If you’re determined to prepare Moose Milk in the true military style, double the amount of alcohol….

Images from web – Google Research

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