One of the greatest compensations for pesky cold weather is the return of traditional holiday beverages—none greater than sweet, creamy Eggnog. And while Eggnog is meant to be enjoyed in the winter, alcohol is a year-round treat, which means bars across the country will be batching up rich cocktails made with booze, milk and eggs (in bar speak, a flip). From a tequila-sherry classic to a Mexican coffee fizz, these are the 10 fantastic spirited Eggnog cocktails to sip this winter.
Can't make it to any of the bars serving these great Eggnogs? Try making Uncle Angelo’s Eggnog at home.
Añejo Tequila and Amontillado Sherry Eggnog (Clyde Common, Portland, Ore.)
Bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s spiked Eggnog returns to the menu late every fall by popular demand, and it’s easy to see why. The time-intensive holiday cup employs the tried-and-true pairing of rich añejo tequila with bold amontillado sherry in a blender-whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, whole milk and heavy cream. After the mixing, it’s refrigerated overnight and then sprinkled with fragrant nutmeg immediately before serving.
Vintage Eggnog (Death & Co., New York City)
Perhaps one of the most time-intensive Eggnogs out there, this concoction served at the East Village’s Death & Co. is notable, first and foremost, for its complex layers of booze. Head bartender Tyson Buhler tempers a high-proof pairing of Old Grand-Dad 114 bourbon and Smith & Cross rum with sweet Madeira (a Portuguese fortified wine) and Pierre Ferrand Ambre cognac. According to Buhler, the combination provides “the backbone and depth of flavor needed to stand up to lots of sugar and dairy.” The blend, which also takes the traditional heavy cream, milk, sugar and eggs, is then allowed to rest and age for approximately 10 months before serving.
(image: Eric Medsker)
The Kindred Eggnog (Kindred, Davidson, N.C.)
At Davidson’s casual Southern charmer Kindred, wash down hearty plates like buttered milk bread and duck fat potatoes with this relatively lighter bourbon-based take on Eggnog. To make the drink more guilt-free, beverage director Blake Pope swaps heavy cream and whole eggs for house-spiced almond milk and egg whites. It’s topped off with more fluffy egg whites, ground nutmeg and a cinnamon stick.
Cafe de Olla (Accomplice, Los Angeles)
Last month, Mar Vista restaurant Status Kuo split into two concepts: Little Fatty, another casual eatery, and Accomplice, a cocktail bar headed by Aaron Siak. At the latter, bartender Samuel Houston, who admits that he isn’t a huge fan of Eggnogs, creates a more approachable Ramos Gin Fizz-and-Eggnog hybrid that also captures the essence of a Mexican coffee using a ristretto, or concentrated espresso shot. The coffee is spiked with cognac, crème de cacao, Galliano L’Autentico (an anise-vanilla liqueur) and Grand Marnier. For the Eggnog portion, Houston uses whole egg and cream, then tops off the entire mix with club soda for some fizz and grated nutmeg and orange zest as garnishes.
Eggnog (Café ArtScience, Boston)
Drawing lines out the door annually, this version by Café ArtScience partner Todd Maul jazzes up a “secret” traditional recipe with a mix of rum, cognac, eggs, cream and warming spices. Unlike with most similar drinks, the eggs and cream are hand-whipped here, rather than mixed with an electronic blender. The booze is no joke either: Maul pairs Appleton Estate, a Jamaican rum, with Frapin cognac for a boozy kick with depth.
(image: Wayne Chinnock)
Cereal Circle (Sable Kitchen & Bar, Chicago)
As if sipping an Eggnog wasn't enough of a throwback on its own, head bartender Mike Jones throws some of your favorite childhood cereal into the mix. Shaken with a whole egg, this fun-loving pour is sweetened with a house-made Cheerios-infused syrup, which calls to mind everyone's favorite part of eating cereal: drinking the sugary milk left over. Of course, there's a twist: The drink is kicked up with Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac, Yahara Bay Kirschwasser, a cherry brandy, and palo cortado sherry.
Cachaça Egg Nog (Multnomah Whiskey Library, Portland, Ore.)
At Pacific Northwest hooch den Multnomah Whiskey Library, dubbed affectionately by locals as The Library, patrons can cozy up to the brick fireplace with a glass of nog fortified with cachaça, the smooth, often grassy Brazilian sugar cane spirit. Prepared in a large batch, the drink blends cachaça with eggs, heavy cream, whole milk, sugar and vanilla extract. Garnishing the top is a fine dusting of fragrant, freshly grated nutmeg.
Bad Santa (The Penrose, New York City)
Mixologist Matthew Tellier whips up this extraordinarily boozy recipe for his own family gatherings (better tell Grandma this isn’t your average holiday Eggnog). The recipe calls for a stiff concoction of El Dorado 12-year-old rum, Woodford Reserve bourbon, Ancho Reyes chile liqueur, allspice dram and Baileys Irish cream liqueur in lieu of cream. It’s shaken with a house-spiced simple syrup and an egg white, then served on the rocks with an orange peel. Bad Santa, indeed.
Spanish Alexander (Norah, West Hollywood, Calif.)
Jingle Ball Nog (Mace, New York City, and 14 other locations)
For the first time ever, Miracle on Ninth Street, the annual holiday pop-up bar that takes over New York City's Mace, expands to 15 other cities (Atlanta; Athens; Armonk, N.Y.; Chicago; Louisville, Ky.; Los Angeles; Montreal; Oklahoma City; Paris; Pittsburgh; Seattle; St. Louis; Washington, D.C.; Stamford, N.Y.). Each of the bars will serve the same menu of drinks, all created by Mace barman Nico de Soto, which includes this festive nog that employs butter-fat-washed cognac, amontillado sherry and almond milk.
(image: Noah Fecks)