It’s time for parties and treating ourselves to a bit of good cheer. And to that, I say, Cheers!
Here are two holiday-inspired cocktails that will not only treat your guests to something unique but are quick and easy to prepare ahead, so you can enjoy the festivities.
Photographs: Erin Chapman
Text: Erin Chapman
OLD-SCHOOL EGG NOG
Makes approximately 8 servings – Prep time 20 min
Egg nog is a sweet, boozy “egg and milk punch” that has been around for centuries, supposedly stemming from Great Britain, when monks as far back as the 13th Century would make a drink with cream, eggs, and liquor – all foods of the wealthy – toasting to good health and prosperity. The drink became synonymous with Christmas and holiday time, once it crossed over to America with early settlers of the 1700s. In the USA, you can buy cheap grocery store versions of egg nog during holiday times, but once I tried making this from scratch – the old-school way – I will never go back! It’s rich, spiced, sweet, and a little bit naughty – like melted ice cream in a cocktail glass. Indulge your guests, and yourself, this holiday season.
The drink became synonymous with Christmas and holiday time
4 egg yolks
100 g + 1 tablespoon sugar
475 ml whole milk (sødmælk)
225 ml heavy whipping cream
1 to 1½ dl bourbon or rum*
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
4 egg whites
Freshly grated nutmeg for garnish
Tip 1: I recommend purchasing pasteurized egg yolks and egg whites that have already been separated. It’s cleaner, safer and easier.
Tip 2: Nutmeg is a key ingredient, so for the fullest fragrant flavor, try finding the whole nutmeg and grating it fresh.
Tip 3: This recipe serves about 8. Expecting a crowd? Double or triple the recipe. Egg nog can store in the refrigerator for a couple days, so you can make it a day ahead of time, then give it a shake or stir before serving.
Tip 4: Rum or brandy was probably the original liquor used in early egg nog recipes, but for the most flavorful egg nog, I recommend bourbon. Start with 1 dl, and if you prefer it slightly boozier, add another splash, and whisk.
In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with an electric- or stand mixer until starting to lighten in color. Add the sugar and continue to mix until the sugar is dissolved. Add the milk, cream, bourbon (or rum), ground nutmeg and cinnamon, and mix until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
In another mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric- or stand mixer until soft peaks start to form. Add the tablespoon of sugar and continue to beat until the egg white mixture until stiff peaks form.
Fold in the egg whites with the prepared cream mixture and stir until thoroughly combined and smooth. Chill for 1 hour or up to overnight.
When ready to serve, give the mixture a quick stirand pour into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a little freshly grated nutmeg and enjoy!
CRANBERRY MOSCOW MULE
This is a holiday twist on the classic fresh and bubbly Moscow Mule, with tart red cranberry, and a rosemary-infused simple syrup that’s reminiscent of the pine boughs decorating the homes and streets this time of year.
Rosemary Simple Syrup:
200 g sugar
200 ml water
2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
Cranberry Moscow Mule:
½ oz. rosemary simple syrup
1½ oz. vodka
1½ oz. cranberry juice
juice from half a lime
quality ginger beer
fresh rosemary & fresh cranberries for garnish
Prepare ahead (can be quickly prepped the day before):
Rosemary Simple Syrup:
In a small saucepan, add the sugar, water, and fresh rosemary sprigs. Bring to a light boil, then turn down to low heat and allow to simmer for about 30-45 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
Chill the mugs:
Moscow Mules are usually served in copper mugs. These are a great addition to any cocktail- or entertaining collection because not only are they beautiful to look at, they chill quickly in the freezer and keep your drinks frosty! (Christmas gift ideas, anyone??) If you don’t have copper mugs, place some pretty tumbler glasses in the freezer for an hour or overnight.
Assemble the cocktail:
Fill a chilled copper mug (or tumbler glass) with crushed ice and pour over the rosemary simple syrup, vodka, cranberry juice, and squeeze in the lime juice. Stir briskly, and top off with ginger beer. Garnish with fresh cranberries, rosemary sprigs, and a twist of lime. Cheers!