Tis the season of holiday parties! The standard festive food and drinks are easily the best part of the season [well after spending quality time with friends and family, and the occasional dancing and singing to cheesy Christmas songs!]. I love to see trays and trays of sweets and cookies of every shape and flavor. Even better are the warm drinks flavored with all sorts of wintery spices: warm cider, mulled wine and my personal favorite, hot cocoa! Egg nog is the most tried and true holiday decadence, though it’s surprisingly not my cup of tea [or nog]. Why in the world then would I spend an entire post on a recipe for egg nog you ask? Well let me explain…
My reasons for veering away from the nog is mostly due to my past aversion to raw eggs. True eggnog is actually made with raw eggs, and is extremely thick and rich. When at a party, you never really know if you’re getting a nog that’s been heated and all the potential food born illnesses have hopefully been cooked off. As someone who's had food poisoning, this is a valid concern!
To be fair, I’m much less picky about raw eggs these days, since I’ve cooked enough recipes using them and have survived the ordeal in perfect form. Regardless, my long standing pickiness regarding eggnog has made me opt to create an egg free holiday treat. I’d planned on calling this a different name [though any ideas for fun recipe names are completely escaping me!], but it impressively tastes A LOT like your standard eggnog, just a little less thick. If you add in a good dose of heavy cream to the mix, you could make this far more decadent, but I’m quite happy with it the way it is!
Egg Free Egg Nog
- 12 cups whole milk
- 8-12 ounces bourbon [I used Jack Daniel’s Cider Whiskey since it tastes very seasonal!] Add as much or as little liquor as you’d like- this tastes great alcohol free too!
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cinnamon stick [plus more for stirrers]
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger [I didn’t have this so I used a ginger simple syrup I had on hand and it adds just the right amount of warmth!]
- 2 tablespoons sweetened cocoa powder [I used Ovaltine since I had that on hand]
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
Combine all the ingredients aside from the liquor in a pot and warm on medium heat until the sugar dissolves. The longer it simmers, the more the spices will permeate the mixture. I typically let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, but this time I only went for 10 and it tasted great! Place in a blender and blend until the spices are well incorporated. [some will settle at the bottom of your pitcher, so just give it a stir before serving. Add enough bourbon to your liking and stir to combine. Eggnog is traditionally served cold, but as I’m drinking this, it’s still warm and I’m loving it! It’s chilly out today, so while I’m out in the yard with the dogs, it’s nice to have a warm [if slightly boozy] drink to sip on. Mmm…