It’s officially eggnog season. But making eggnog can be a bit daunting. If you want to go old-school, it takes days, a gajillion separated eggs, and a lot of whisking. We’re not here to go all Martha Stewart and re-create that. We’re here to show you a solid eggnog cocktail that you can make in about a minute.
The key ingredients of eggnog are, obviously, eggs. Also alcohol. And nutmeg, vital to any good nog. Ground nutmeg doesn’t really do the trick. You need to be grinding nutmeg freshly from whole nutmeg nuts (you should be able to get this in most any grocery spice aisle, certainly larger Whole Foods). This is going to make or break the classic eggnog flavor of the final product.
Beyond that, use good, heavy cream. I’m using a 31 percent milkfat cream. You can use a lighter cream at 12 or 15 percent if you’re into a thinner nog, but eggnogs are meant to be thicc. Also, you’re cutting this cream down with egg, brandy, and water (from the ice). That means, it’ll thin a lot by the time it gets into the glass. So, go heavy. I’m also using a large organic egg. If you’re using raw eggs, don’t skimp on quality. I know that sounds obvious, but it needs to be said.
Lastly, there’s the booze. I like a nutty and bold Spanish brandy. That’s just me. You can 100 percent make this a nice bourbon, rye, Tennessee whiskey, sweet scotch, Irish whiskey, or well-aged dark rum. In fact, I’ve been known to do this Sazerac style by using half-brandy and half-bourbon because … why not? It’s Christmas time after all.
Okay, let’s get shaking!
- 1.5-oz. brandy
- 0.5-oz. simple syrup
- 1 large egg
- 3-oz. heavy cream
- Pinch of ground clove
- Freshly ground nutmeg
- Cocktail shaker
- Rocks glass
- Nutmeg mill, grinder, or microplane
The first thing I do is fill my rocks glass with ice — just enough to fill it.
I’m using a standard Boston Shaker for this drink and that’s where we’re building. I add in the brandy and syrup. Next, I crack in the egg, add the cream, and finish off with the spice. I add the pinch of ground clove and about four cranks from my nutmeg mill (about half-a-teaspoon).
A word of warning: the drink will look like a mess before you shake it. Don’t worry.
Next, I add in enough ice to fill the shaker 3/4. I affix the top and shake vigorously over my shoulder for 30 solid seconds. You’re emulsifying the yolk to the cream and frothing the white at the same time. Do not short the shake. The outside of the shaker should start to frost over. When that happens, shake a few more seconds and you’re done.
I use the cocktail strainer to pour the nog over the ice in my rocks glass. Alternatively, you can pour this into a chilled coupe sans ice if you want an even more cocktail-y experience.
The last step is to garnish the drink with more freshly ground nutmeg. I crank about two more cranks over the drink and it’s ready to drink!
This is really tasty and light. It’s not heavy-cream eggnog you get in those glass bottles at the grocery store. It’s hefty, yes, but has an airy edge thanks to the egg white that helps it go down super easily.
The nutmeg really is the clincher to this drink. It adds that eggnog-y essence that you’re looking for.
This drink is lush, velvety, airy, and full of holiday vibes. Plus it’s easy. God knows we all deserve a little ease this year.