Holiday Eggnog

eggnogThe holidays are such a wonderful thing to look forward to when you’re a kid. I have memories of the slightly burned smell of dust from the heater being started for the winter, mingled with the resiny, glorious aroma of the pine tree in the corner sparkling with ornaments. The chill outside made for rosy cheeks and numb fingers that were slowly thawed with a hot bowl of soup or by hanging out in front of that aforementioned heater.

It’s also filled with memories of my mom making eggnog from scratch, slowly stirring the hot milk into the egg yolks so the egg didn’t cook, creating a wonderfully thick, rich drink dancing with spices. While I may spike my eggnog these days, there’s still that sense of warmth and family when I drink my one and only eggnog for the holiday season. It’s a little too rich for more than one evening, but I always use the extra nog (rum free) to make festive pancakes on Christmas morning.


Serves 10

3 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 vanilla beans, split in half lengthwise and seeds scraped
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup coconut sugar
spiced rum to taste (optional)

In a medium saucepan over low heat, bring milk, cream, vanilla bean, and spices just to boil.
Beat egg yolks and sugar in medium bowl until fluffy. Gradually add 1 cup of the hot milk mixture, mixing with a wire whisk until well blended. Slowly whisk egg mixture back into the saucepan.
Cook and stir on medium-low heat 3 to 5 minutes or until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
For a frothy treat, pour eggnog and rum in a martini shaker. Add ice and cap it, then shake for 30 seconds. Pour into a glass and garnish with cinnamon.

Farewell to Summer

Farewell to SummerSometimes, you just have to toast the end of the season with a drink that celebrates the intense heat of summer afternoons. What makes us feel languid is what makes fruit luscious. A cocktail that can incorporate the sweetness of those afternoons spent sunning on the deck lizard-like is be the perfect way to say, “Farewell,” to summer and “Hello there!” to autumn. It tastes pretty great, too.

Farewell to Summer

Serves 2

8 oz of blackberries
1 tsp coconut sugar, plus more for the rim of the glasses
1/2 freshly ground black pepper
4 jiggers of apricot juice
2 jiggers of Beefeater Wet gin
1 lemon
crushed ice
1 bottle of Fever Tree Tonic Water

Muddle blackberries, sugar, and pepper in the bottom of a martini shaker. Cut a lemon in half and slice two thin pieces. Set the pieces aside and squeeze the lemon into the shaker. Add apricot juice and gin. Fill shaker 2/3 of the way full with the crushed ice. Cover and shake vigorously.
Wet the edges of two martini glasses. Shake coconut sugar onto a plate and set the glasses rim-side down on the sugar. Spin the glasses and set back up.
Pour the contents of the shaker — with the cocktail strainer in place — into each glass. Pour half of the bottle of tonic water into each glass, garnish with blackberries and lemon, and serve right away.
See ya summer! It’s been real.

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