These traditional wintertime drinks are sure to spice up your holidays.
Home-Whipped Bourbon Eggnog
You can’t dispute the absolute excellence of a chilled glass of nutmeg-enhanced eggnog with a delightful spike of bourbon on Christmas Eve. Instead of serving your favorite folks the store-bought sludge—often pumped up with artificial sweeteners, corn syrup, carrageenan or other thickeners, and sometimes containing no actual eggs at all—whip up a homemade batch this year. We promise you’ll taste the richer flavor of the real deal immediately! This recipe uses bourbon, but any darker liquor will work wonders! Some swear by spiced rum or cognac, while others are all about the bourbon. You can even try some peppermint schnapps if you’re feeling particularly adventurous.
- 4 eggs, separated into whites and yolks
- 1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon sugar reserved
- 1 pint whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 ounces bourbon
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
» In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks until they start to lighten in color. Slowly add in the sugar and keep mixing until completely dissolved. Next, add the whole milk, heavy cream, bourbon, and nutmeg, mixing until combined. In a separate bowl, use a mixer to beat the egg whites until light peaks begin to form, then add the reserved tablespoon of sugar and continue beating until the peaks become stiff. Whisk the beaten egg whites into the first mixture, then transfer to a sealable pitcher or container and keep chilled. Served topped with a sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon.
Adapted from a recipe by Alton Brown, 2005
The possibility of contracting salmonella from uncooked eggs exists, but is exceptionally low. According to CDC estimates from the 1990s, only about one in every 20,000 eggs may be internally contaminated with salmonella, which cannot grow as long as eggs are kept below 45°F.
Hot Buttered Rum
Hot buttered rum is a super-versatile drink for cold weather entertaining, since you can prepare the spiced butter in advance and keep it stored in the fridge for weeks. When it’s time to serve, just plunk a couple of tablespoons in your mug, add as much rum as you require, and top it off with boiling water. Sweet warmth!
For the spiced butter (4 servings):
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the mugs:
- 6 ounces dark rum
- 3 cups boiling water
- 2 fresh oranges
» Beat together the butter, brown sugar, orange zest, and spices until well mixed to make spiced butter. When you’re ready to serve, spoon 2 tablespoons of the spiced butter into a mug, then add 1½ ounces (one shot) of dark rum. Pour ¾ cup of boiling water on top and stir until the butter melts, then finish with a squeeze of fresh orange juice.
Adapted from a recipe by Martha Stewart, 2009.
Mulled Christmas Wine
For the crowd that’s not so into liquors, consider a spice-filled mulled wine that’ll let the smell of Christmas fill your home. The key to this one is to let it simmer low and slow for a couple of hours to really let the spices infuse the wine and get fragrant. There is no absolute traditional recipe for mulled wine, as the types and amounts of spices can vary, so feel free to experiment with different spices or proportions to taste. Serve it warm right out of the pot!
- 1 bottle (750 mL) of red wine
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- rind of 1 orange
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 small roughly grated nutmeg
- 2 whole star anise
- ¼ cup honey
» Add all the ingredients to a saucepan, and heat just to boiling, then quickly reduce heat to the lowest setting. Cover and let simmer for at least 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve in thick glasses or mugs and garnish as desired, with strips of orange zest, cinnamon sticks, or other spices.