As sappy as it might sound, after the year we’ve all had, there is something reassuring about the idea of gathering with friends and drinking eggnog.
Sweet and creamy, with a hint of spice, eggnog is one of those drinks where taste and flavour combine to remind us of more straightforward, calmer times.
But with everything else going on at the end of the year, carving out a little bit of time to make eggnog from scratch is often harder than it sounds. And who are we not to get it pre-made when the lovely people from the dairy company have gone through all the trouble of making it and conveniently stock it in the grocery store?
But let’s face it, most of us don’t drink eggnog for the dairy, we drink it for the booze. So how do you take store-bought eggnog and give it enough holiday spirit to get you through this silly season? Glad you asked …
Step #1: Not all spirits are holiday spirits
When you think of boozy dairy, you most often think of brandy, and while brandy is good, if you want to ramp up the flavour, a combination of cognac and rum trounces straight brandy every time. While it sounds like it should be an old wives tale, the combination of Rum and Cognac really does give any ‘nog that festive flavour.
Step #2: Keep it to the middle of the road
Now, if know anything about Dark Rum and Cognac, you’ll know that there are levels, Jerry, levels. Expensive rums and Cognac are fabulous when sipped on their own but are wasted in a mixed drink. But then you don’t want to go to the other end of the scale either. Dairy can mask a lot, but it’s not a miracle worker, so stay as far away from the cheap and nasty as you do from the high end of town. A nice, middle-of-the-road will do fine.
Look for something like The Real McCoy 5 Year or an El Dorado 8. For Cognacs, check out Pierre Ferrand Ambre or Germain-Robin Craft Method.
Step #3: What is the golden ratio for spiking?
The golden ratio for this little holiday cheer is 1 to 5. Just to be clear, that’s 1 part booze to 5 parts eggnog (definitely not the other way around). And once you’ve mixed it all up, ensure you serve it with flair. Top each glass with a dash of freshly grated nutmeg and maybe a cinnamon stick for added flavour. Happy holidays!