Eggnog, the weighty and tasty dairy treat that pops up right after Halloween and sticks around till the new year, is as much a holiday tradition as sparkling lights and carolers. Usually served as a communal treat to simultaneously break the ice and blur the lines of familial tension, eggnog may be mixed with a variety of liquors for tasty cocktails, punches and even shots.
Most eggnog punches, whether completely homemade or concocted with store- bought mixes, are made with light or spiced rum, bourbon or whiskey. These liquors are on the sweet side, allowing them to complement the other flavors of the nog. Some more complex and flavorful eggnogs combine these liquors with other liquors and liqueurs. Nashville eggnog mixes bourbon and spiced rum with brandy, and the Christmas Yule eggnog is just equal parts blended Scotch whisky and light rum. Some eggnogs substitute part of the liquor with a liqueur, like the egg crusher, which is equal parts light rum and coffee liqueur.
Vodka, gin and tequila are other liquors that mix well with eggnog as cocktails. The tolchok cocktail, served on the rocks or up in a martini glass, is a vodka-based drink that includes orange juice, banana puree and eggnog. The mele kalikimaka martini, which is pineapple vodka, eggnog, cream of coconut, nutmeg and cinnamon, brings a touch of the islands to your winter days and nights. Gin spices up the holidays in the gin and mint eggnog martini, made with gin, ginger liqueur, peppermint tea and eggnog. For a good tequila cocktail, serve a shot of tequila and eggnog on the rocks.
It's a Schnapps
Schnapps and other liqueurs mix well with eggnog, because the beverage's thickness helps to cut their sugary flavors. The alpine holiday adds a little glitter to the holidays with Goldschlager, a peppermint schnapps with real gold flakes, topped with eggnog on the rocks. The butterscotch eggnog, served up or on the rocks, is a shot of butterscotch schnapps dropped in the eggnog with a sprinkling of nutmeg. Substitute coffee liqueur for the butterscotch schnapps for an after dinner drink. The nog de cacao helps sate seasonal chocoholism with equal parts chocolate liqueur and eggnog, topped with cocoa or chocolate sprinkles.
For more formal get-togethers, soirees and office holiday parties, put a little extra something in your nog with brandy. The imperial eggnog combines brandy with apricot brandy for a flavorful and potent punch. Brandy eggnog cocktails include the ginger snap, made with ginger brandy, spiced rum, eggnog and actual gingersnap cookies, and the holiday brandy Alexander, which features brandy, creme de cacao and eggnog served up in a martini glass. Cognac, a type of brandy from the Cognac region of France, also works in eggnog cocktails. The Courvoisier eggnog is cognac, butterscotch schnapps and eggnog served up or on the rocks.