Banish Bland Eggnog With Los Angeles Bartender’s Tweaks

Photo: AleksandarGeorgiev (Getty Images)

There are no drinks more synonymous with the holidays than eggnog. This chilled, sweetened traditional beverage is made with sugar, cream, milk, egg whites, and egg yolks. It can be enjoyed as is or with a sprinkle of holiday spices such as nutmeg. But, like with all drinks, eggnog is best when it’s spiked with booze. No matter what your favorite spirit is, it can be added to eggnog to give it an extra boozy kick. Rum, whiskey, and brandy are the usual suspects, but other spirits work as well. We’d just suggest staying away from stronger flavors like tequila and gin. You might not be entirely happy with the results.

Eggnog is widely available for purchase at supermarkets throughout the United States during the holidays. If you’re like us, you probably buy a half-gallon in the middle of December with the intention of spiking it and enjoying it leading up the Christmas. But you pour one glass and realize that the thickness and overall taste isn’t exactly as palatable as you remember. Instead of delicious, sweet milk, it’s like a fruitcake-flavored milkshake.

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Obviously, mass-produced eggnog isn’t for everyone. Your best bet to actually enjoy the holiday treat is to make it yourself. Also, once it’s made, don’t forget to spike it. Now that’s a happy holiday.
The only problem with making your own is the complete lack of a recipe. Sure, you have a recipe card your grandmother wrote in 1968. But it’s all smudged and you can’t tell if you’re supposed to add a teaspoon of allspice or Old Spice.

Lucky for you, Chris Amirault, bartender at LA’s Otium is here to make your holidays merry with his spiked eggnog. Whether you’re naughty or nice, this eggnog is for you. Created by the master mixologist himself, it includes rum, brandy, a farm fresh egg, cream, and seasonal cinnamon and nutmeg spices.

Photo: Otium

“Growing up in Boston, you knew it was holiday time when Hood Company would come out with their Golden Eggnog,” says Amirault. As a kid, he would drink almost a whole carton by himself in less than two days. He couldn’t get enough of that sweet sweet holiday nectar. “The flavor and texture is something that has stuck with me for years, and I wanted to pay homage to that childhood memory.”

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He builds his eggnog from scratch and then adds a combination of three different rums from three different locations. “The Zacapa and Appleton add a layer of vanilla, caramel, and sweetness while the Clément provides a wonderful grassy, herbaceous note that doesn’t allow the nog to be too sweet for the palate.”

Make it yourself with his recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 15 ounces white sugar
  • 1 large pinch nutmeg
  • 1 large pinch cinnamon
  • 1 pinch clove
  • 30 ounces whole milk
  • 20 ounces heavy cream
  • 1 ounce allspice dram
  • 7 ounces Ron Zacapa 23 year
  • 5 ounces Appleton 12 year
  • 3 ounces Rhum Clément VSOP

Preparation:

In a Kitchen Aid mixer, whip egg whites and half of the white sugar until stiff peaks are formed. Refrigerate and save. Combine all other ingredients and mix well in Kitchen Aid. Slowly incorporate meringue into mix. Emulsify well on low speed. Keep refrigerated and serve chilled. Makes 10-14 servings.