You know what’s around the corner when the milk wine is brewing.
It’s that time of the year again! Despite the occasional gloominess and rain in the evenings, mornings are unarguably golden. The air is festive. Oh, you can almost touch it, the sense of happiness permeating the air.

Which gets me to the next point; inspiration. Christmas is a time of celebration and sharing. It has always been so for my family. We are all about celebrating and December is usually the time when there are constant baking, frying and fermenting smells wafting about, getting us all excited in general.

And the Milk Wine. Essentially Sri Lankan, Milk Wine is a seasonal specialty that is slowly fading out of the scene. When the Dutch invaded Ceylon sometime back, some took treasures away from us while a few who fell in love with the island settled and adapted, adding to our culture, many vivid things. As a result, we have some very cool food amongst us such as breudher, the Sri Lankan Christmas cake, milk wine, Lamprais and the like that are specialties of the Burgher community of Sri Lanka.

Milk wine


Keeping to the Sri Lankan spirit, I have used Ceylon Coconut arrack in this recipe. It’s super strong and with my family not being much of alcohol people, I have altered the recipe to taper down the hit of arrack.

Milk wine

Milk wine

By December 7, 2014

  • Prep Time : 30 minutes
  • Yield : 2 bottles



  1. Grind together the lime & orange rinds, the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg, but don't powder. Mix it all with the arrack. Let it steep for 3-4 days. Shake the bottle well twice every day.
  2. Warm the milk and add the lime juice. Let it stand a while.
  3. Combine sugar, arrack, pineapple juice, orange juice together. Mix well till sugar dissolves.
  4. Once cooled, add the caramelized sugar as well. add to it the milk. Mix well.
  5. Strain with a thick cloth. After a while, strain twice with filter paper.
  6. Cork the bottles well. Open them up for Christmas!
Milk wine
These pictures were taken after I had only strained it once with the thick cloth, and so, sediments can still be seen as a result. After it has been strained all 3 times (a tedious, tiring task that I am not looking forward to) it will be a beautiful, semi-clear golden colour. It’s still yummy though! And quite strong. The zesty sweetness of the oranges, the juicy exotic hit of pineapple, the tanginess of the lime combines together with a strange milkiness which is perhaps why this lovely concoction is called milk wine.  The spices pierce through warming from within, sweetened by the sugar and the caramelized sugar laces the cloud of happiness that it is with a sophisticated bitterness. The ingredients have nicely steeped within the arrack for the components to really spread their wings and fly.
Milk wine
Some tips
  • The longer you keep the wine, the tastier it gets. So make it before hand!
  • When adding the caramelized sugar, make sure it is at room temperature before adding it to the mixture as it tends to harden as soon as it hits the water.
  • If you can’t find filtering paper or muslin to strain, simply strain with a piece of thin cotton.


milk wine