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Hot damn, the holidays are here. Time to see relatives, spend cash, and sink into seasonal depression. But hey, winter’s not all bad! We get gifts, time with loved ones, and best of all, alcohol! And if you’re looking for a way to incorporate alcohol into your holiday cheer (and I know you are), I have just the solution for you.
Eggnog is so delicious, the government only allows us to have it for 2 months before they rip it away from us. But we’re in those 2 months now, baby! This eggnog cocktail recipe is going to totally blow your mind. It’s sweet, cinnamon-y, and oh-so-seasonal. Truly the perfect drink for wrapping presents, throwing a holiday party, or ignoring your distant relatives of whom you have nothing in common with.
Before we get to the recipe and the best tools to use to make said recipe, we’re going to go over some history, some flavor palettes, some liquor, and some delightfully dairy free eggnog alternatives.
Grab whatever holiday gear you got because we’re about to get mad festive.
The etymology of eggnog has been around since the 1600s, but the first origin of this odd little beverage dates back to England, around 1703 - and was called an ‘Egg Flip’. Various dialect changes and cultural differences from the US changed it to ‘eggnog’ around 1765.
Naturally, the eggnog cocktail came before the eggnog itself. Putting alcohol into this beverage was originally how it was made - we didn’t start drinking it without rum or bourbon until much later, around the 1900s.
Surprisingly, eggnog has been around for quite awhile in US history. George Washington himself used to serve it to guests with rye whiskey, rum, and sherry. Which, in my book, makes this arguably the most American drink there is.
Overall, eggnog has always been a pretty large part of the USA’s winter culture (though, not the healthiest part). So, before our government takes it away from us again, it’s time to enjoy it.
Delicious. Next question.
Just kidding. A fun little holiday joke!
Eggnog tastes kind of like melted ice cream, but like, better. Many people describe it as tasting like custard ice cream - creamy and quite rich, with a spicy overtone from the cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Aside from Wassail, this is arguably the drink that tastes the most like the holidays.
Eggnog is best paired with, well, liquor. It’s so rich and dense, it’s a little hard to pair it with food. But if you want to, I recommend pairing it with sweet foods like mildly sweet butter cookies or gingerbread cookies.
The question we’ve all been waiting for, I’m sure. Luckily for us, the eggnog cocktail can be created with a variety of different alcohols - here’s a great list:
You can of course use other liquors if you want to (or have nothing else available), but you risk the chance of some serious flavor clashing (for example: the thought of mixing eggnog with gin made me dry heave a little bit just now, and not just because I’m currently hungover. So.)
In short, the eggnog cocktail is versatile, but not too versatile.
Of course it is, you fool! While it may not have the thickness of regular eggnog, you can get just as much of the flavor from other ingredients. Here’s an effective recipe for vegan eggnog that I use almost just as frequently as our eggnog cocktail - it takes a little longer, but it’s worth it:
I recommend adding bourbon to this one to make it authentic bourbon eggnog (however much you add is up to you) and serving it with coconut whipped cream on top for the true dairy free eggnog experience.
OF COURSE IT IS, YOU FOOL! (...IN MOST CASES). Many classic eggnog recipes (excluding vegan eggnog) include raw egg, which can in rare cases give us Salmonella. However, it’s important to note that alcohol can kill most of the bacteria. Not all of it, mind you. So you do run a slight risk. But bourbon eggnog is worth it.
If you’re really trying to play it safe, the FDA recommends using egg substitutes or pasteurized eggs to avoid the risk altogether. You can also cook your eggs beforehand by heating them with milk over the stove, thus killing the bacteria.
We’ve made it at last! The delightful bourbon eggnog cocktail! Here’s all the ingredients you’re going to need to blow everyone’s whole brain out of their head:
And that’s that! You’ve done it! The best holiday drink there is!
‘Tis the season to get sloshed, as I always say. I hope this recipe puts a little more holiday cheer into your lives while you deal with the impending stress of winter. If you’re looking for more tips, tricks, and tools, check out our website!
Now drink and be merry!
Contributing Writer: Aurora Detor