There aren't a lot of milk cocktails that I associate being refreshing and extremely drinkable; for me, the thought usually conjures up memories of past experiences with sweet and heavy dessert or brunch style drinks. Like many things in life, the second you make up your mind, along comes a cocktail to challenge that. Jennifer Colliau's Brandy Lift ($11, Marian Farms Esperito Brandy, orgeat, Benedictine, cream, seltzer) at The Slanted Door is a dairy cocktail that deliciously succeeds as a before or after dinner drink. Or as an afternoon snack.
Colliau's drink is based on the classic milk punch (milk, brandy or bourbon, sugar, and vanilla), but lighted up with seltzer water and sweetened with the orgeat, an almond based syrup with hints of orange flower water, that she also happens to make at her company Small Hand Foods. The orgeat adds sweetness and a richness that perfectly compliments the cream, convincing you there's more than a mere dash of dairy in it.
The best part? The frothy head on the drink-- a fluffy cap that drifts on top, almost fog-like, swirling you upwards with brandy warmth.
The Slanted Door, 1 Ferry Building (at Embarcadero)