The Greatest Spiked Eggnog Cocktail Recipe


“Eggnog is a drink that successfully transports you to your grandma’s home,” says Max Overstrom-Coleman, proprietor of Wolf Tree, a cocktail bar in White River Junction, Vermont. For him, sustaining the nostalgia of the drink is vital. As a vacation season mainstay, a great eggnog evokes a sensory expertise—its velvety, easy texture, custardy flavors and crowning glory of heat spices work in excellent concord. These are the quintessential parts for Overstrom-Coleman’s tackle the drink, the winner in Punch’s blind style take a look at.

The batched recipe is easy and silky, nearly like “sipping a milkshake or a half-melted ice cream,” he says. It’s “the expression of what an eggnog ought to be,” a easy drink. 

Although he constructed his spiked recipe on a trio of booze parts—bourbon, rum and Cognac—his intention wasn’t to overcomplicate the drink; as a substitute, he felt {that a} mix was one of the simplest ways to mirror a mixture of his favourite renditions of the beverage he’d been supplied at his grandparents’ and household mates’ houses through the years.

As a result of home made eggnog sometimes requires a beneficiant serving to of eggs and cream, which might end result within the dairy part overshadowing the booze, he turned to an aged rum “to construct up its spine” and add aromatics and physique to the cocktail. 

As for the bourbon, he experimented with a variety of wheated choices, resembling Maker’s Mark, and bourbons with a low-rye mash invoice, resembling Eagle Uncommon, however he realized he favored one thing a contact extra peppery to chop by the creaminess of the cocktail. He ultimately landed on Outdated Grand-Dad, a bourbon with a considerable quantity of rye in its mash invoice, lending a delicate warmth to the eggnog. “The rye part makes it much less mushy and candy, [and] a bit extra punchy and bracing,” says Overstrom-Coleman.

After choosing these spirits, one thing was nonetheless lacking. The mixture of a spicy bourbon and a wealthy darkish rum yielded a “lack of lightness,” as Overstrom-Coleman places it, so he looked for one thing to additional lower by eggnog’s typically cloying flavors. He reached for Pierre Ferrand’s 1840 Cognac, which added floral and honey blossom flavors to the mix. “It reduces the general weightiness in your mouth,” he says.

Subsequent, there wouldn’t be home made eggnog with out the eggs. Overstrom-Coleman’s recipe requires complete eggs; he separates the yolk from the whites and vigorously whips every half individually. The yolks mix with sugar, whereas the egg whites type mushy, meringue-like peaks, imparting an airiness to the completed drink. Additionally they bind the elements collectively in a singular approach, particularly should you age the eggnog, says Overstrom-Coleman, who’s an enormous proponent of the tactic. He has stored a batch of eggnog in his walk-in fridge at Wolf Tree for nearly a 12 months now. (For many who wish to attempt ageing, he suggests merely holding a container of a batch refrigerated for as much as a 12 months and giving the ready eggnog an occasional shake to rehomogenize the elements.)

Whereas he’s put a number of consideration into the spirits and the tactic behind the drink, the most important secret to Overstrom-Coleman’s eggnog is the contemporary elements out there to him in Vermont. “Don’t sleep on the dairy and eggs,” he says, grateful for the abundance and prime quality of native farm merchandise. He recommends utilizing contemporary heavy cream and complete milk, versus skim, as a result of the dairy elements make up a big a part of the drink, and also you’ll undoubtedly style the nuances within the eggnog should you splurge for top-shelf elements.

Whereas Overstrom-Coleman’s eggnog is a celebration of what’s domestically out there, it’s additionally meant to be a type of escape. A marine biologist by coaching, Overstrom-Coleman’s earlier job took him seafaring everywhere in the world, leaving him with numerous good reminiscences at far-flung locations. That have outlined his strategy to cocktails. “A well-crafted cocktail permits the trimmings of the day to fall off so you’ll be able to reset and recharge,” he says. Whether or not it’s a beachside drink or a fireplace eggnog, that spirit of rest prevails in Overstrom-Coleman’s cocktails: “It ought to style like trip in your glass.”


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