Moose Milk

Do you possess an affection for milkshakes? If so, you’re already on the path to understanding the culinary culture of the Canadian Armed Forces. Fear not, there’s no need for expertise in milking moose for this one.

Moose Milk is a distinctive cocktail birthed within the ranks of the Canadian military. While the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, and Royal Canadian Air Force each lay claim to its creation, the cocktail’s true origin remains a subject of spirited debate, buried in the annals of time. The earliest known descriptions of the Moose Milk cocktail date back to the dawn of the 20th century, but one fact is undeniable—this delightful concoction has been a staple at military celebrations from that point in history to the present day.

One such celebrated occasion where Moose Milk takes center stage is the Levee, a New Year’s Day tradition observed across various levels of Canadian government. It’s a fitting tribute to honor the dedicated members of the armed forces. Additionally, Moose Milk adds festive cheer to Christmas festivities.

Within the confines of the Navy, where life itself is a perpetual celebration, Moose Milk becomes a weekly tradition, served on board every Sunday while ships are docked in port. Sailors even have an endearing phrase, “moose is loose,” signifying the presence of this cherished libation at their gatherings.

The cocktail’s precise recipe often varies, subject to the supply officer’s provisions at the time and place. Yet, the fundamental concept remains consistent—melding a potent spirit of any variety (the amalgamation of assorted remnants being an asset), dairy, and sweetness. In bygone eras, eggs were a common addition, echoing the notes of eggnog, while modern versions employ ice cream and coffee with fervor.

In deference to the customary large gatherings synonymous with military celebrations, Moose Milk is traditionally served in substantial vessels, permitting each participant to serve themselves or be served by a waiter, particularly at Governor receptions. As a consequence, recipes frequently list ingredients in liters, but this should not deter you from crafting a single portion of this delightful concoction.

For your pleasure, here’s a recipe that I’ve savored—a delightful milkshake intended for 2-3 portions.

– 1 cup of (240 мл) cold coffee (brewed and cooled)
– 1 cup of half & half
– 1.5 cup of premium vanilla cream
– 0.5 cup of rum, whisky, and/or vodka (I opted for white rum)
– 30 ml Kahlua
– dark chocolate shavings or nutmeg for garnish (I chose chocolate)

Combine all ingredients (except the garnish) and whisk strenuously. Pour into a glass, garnish, and enjoy.

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