All about panther milk, a historic Spanish cocktail – Italian Cuisine

All about panther milk, a historic Spanish cocktail

Panther milk is a Spanish gin and condensed milk cocktail, born in the 1920s and recently back in fashion in Barcelona

If you have recently been on vacation to Barcelonaby immersing yourself in the famous local nightlife, you will probably have come across a very popular cocktail with a singular name, "Leche de pantera", or panther milk.
This centenary drink is a simple cocktail, very alcoholic and with a sweet and particular taste, and has recently come back into vogue, especially in the most tourist and student bars, where both the classic and revisited and colored versions are served.

What is and how "leche de pantera" is made

Panther milk is a drink with rather simple preparation and ingredients: one mixture of gin, condensed milk and water or ice. It is generally served cold, sometimes with crushed ice, inside a tall glass.
The color is reminiscent of milk, a bright beige; the taste and taste are pleasantly sweet, but the combination of ingredients means that the alcohol content is quite high; and then the rich taste which, combined with its creamy density, make it almost a dessert, ideal for the evening. Since it came back into fashion in Spain, and in particular in Barcelona, ​​bars have competed to create the most colorful or most creative variant. Among the currently most popular recipes there are the well-known pink version, called precisely "Pink panther milk", less alcoholic, more palatable and with a candy pink color, which in addition to playing with the name makes this drink perfect for Millennials and Instagram-proof. A recipe launched by the Tasca El Corral bar in Barcelona. Gin, milk, egg white and a sprinkling of cinnamon powder are also well known.

From remedy for soldiers to student cocktails in Barcelona

On the birth of this cocktail, which dates back to the 1920s, there are several theories. According to the most accredited, it originated when General José Millán-Astray of the Spanish foreign legion he commissioned one of the most well-known bartenders at the time, namely Perico Chicote of the Hotel Ritz in Madrid, to create a drink for his soldiers that was simple, cheap and easy to prepare and store and to carry around during the various missions. It is said that the military were so satisfied with the result that they all went to congratulate the bartender personally. A legend tells instead that they had created the recipe the military injured and confined to the infirmary, who they had the idea of ​​mixing alcohol for medical use with condensed milk, later going to replace alcohol with gin or other spirits they had available.

Beyond the story of how it was born, we know for sure that panther milk, after having disappeared from circulation for a long time, it was re-launched in the seventies by the students. Riding on the trend of the moment, a former legionary then decided to open a bar called in the center of Barcelona La Barretina in an alley along Carrer de la Mercè, in the Gothic quarter, to reproduce the recipe and serve it. The bar no longer exists, but the others in the same area have decided to follow in its footsteps, continuing to launch new reinterpretations and delighting students and curious tourists.

Photo: Leche-de-pantera Pantera milk_C losvinos.jpg

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