Making Spirits Bright

You’ve already lit up your home for the holidays. Why not light up your cocktails?

Anyone else tired of playing it safe? Social distancing, canceled flights, restaurants and bars with limited seating, holiday parties put on hold… The past two holiday seasons have certainly felt a little boring, am I right? Which is exactly why now is the absolute perfect time to take things up a notch.

And when I say “a notch,” I mean completely over-the-top. Treat your senses to something truly decadent. Ignore the calories and inoculate yourself from the ghosts of Christmas past with three of my favorite embellished cocktails that treat your eye as much as your palate.

Anyone else tired of playing it safe? Social distancing, canceled flights, restaurants and bars with limited seating, holiday parties put on hold… The past two holiday seasons have certainly felt a little boring, am I right? Which is exactly why now is the absolute perfect time to take things up a notch.

And when I say “a notch,” I mean completely over-the-top. Treat your senses to something truly decadent. Ignore the calories and inoculate yourself from the ghosts of Christmas past with three of my favorite embellished cocktails that treat your eye as much as your palate.

Homemade Eggnog

Eggnog is notoriously one of the most luxurious beverages of the season. Originating in the 13th century, eggnog contains eggs, milk, and sherry—once expensive commodities combined to toast wealth and prosperity. Over the past millennium, eggnog has transformed in many ways, mainly with the spirit changing to rum, brandy, or my personal favorite, bourbon.

Ingredients

12 eggs, room temp
1/2 c sugar
750 mL bourbon
(1 bottle)
1/2 tsp salt
1 qt whipping cream
grated nutmeg (garnish)

Instructions

  • Separate eggs. Cover egg whites and store in refrigerator.
  • In a large bowl, whisk yolks and sugar until thick and smooth, 5-7 mins (it should be lemon yellow in color).
  • Slowly add bourbon while beating at slow speed.
  • Scrape sides of bowl.
  • Chill for several hours or overnight.
  • In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and salt until almost stiff.
  • Whip cream until stiff and fold into yolk mixture. Fold in egg whites. Let chill 1 hr to properly set.
  • Serve and garnish with nutmeg

Tarin's Tips

For a thinner eggnog, add a cup of milk to the yolk mixture. For more spice, use one cup of bourbon and one cup of Cognac. If you have a glass moose cup and can pretend to be Uncle Eddie—even better.

Pisco Apple Sour

Eggnogged out? Try bringing Pisco to the party instead. This is a variation on a Flip, a cocktail commonly made with a whole egg and sugar.

Pisco is a Peruvian brandy, but it differs greatly from other brandies; it’s robust yet sharp with an almost sweet, apple-like finish, so it only made sense to pair it with apple juice (I use Martinelli’s). Unconventional? Sure. But shouldn’t holiday dinners be a mix of classic dishes and Pinterest experiments? This checks both of those boxes.

Ingredients

2 oz Pisco
1 oz unfiltered apple juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/2 lemon juiced
1 whole egg
grated cinnamon (garnish)

Instructions

  • In a shaker, add all ingredients. Shake vigorously with ice.
  • Strain into glass. Garnish with grated cinnamon.

Tarin's Tips

Try prepping the Pisco by adding 2 cinnamon sticks to the bottle and letting it infuse for 24 hours.

If preferred, you can skip the egg whites, but know that you’ll lose that special foaming top layer.

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