The Best Liquor For Spiking Eggnog, According To An Expert

Eggnog is a word synonymous with holiday cheer. Once those winter months roll around, there's no question that a few glasses of it are in your near future. Lucky for us, eggnog is reliably delicious, and though many enjoy it as-is, it's just as customary to spike it up with a bit of booze to make your season just a bit brighter. Selecting which spirits with which to liven up this frothy, cinnamon-centered beverage can be a little tricky. There are so many to choose from, it's tough to make the correct decision. 

To end this confusion once and for all, we've consulted an expert in the field to give a little guidance over what alcohol will bring out the best in your eggnog this year. We spoke to Justin Lavenue, owner and operator of both The Roosevelt Room and The Eleanor in Austin, Texas for his knowledge and insight regarding this holiday favorite. With the clock forever ticking toward the big holiday, we'll waste no time in getting to the facts. Let's see what the expert has to say! 

Go outside tradition with your eggnog this year

When asked what the best liquor to add to pre-made eggnog is and why, Lavenue was refreshingly diplomatic. Comparing it to "choosing one's favorite child," he first acknowledged the traditional standbys, saying "Classically, whiskey, brandy, or rum are used, often in combination with one another to add depth and complexity to the recipe." However, more left-field options were brought to the forefront when he mentioned a combination you may not have heard before: "Recently, eggnogs with a tequila base have been gaining in popularity, and often with a little Amontillado sherry added in." Lavenue submits that combo as his final answer, avowing it as "far and away" his favorite, and urging anyone who hasn't tried it to do so soon! 

Pre-made eggnog isn't the only avenue to go down, though, and if homemade is more your bag, there's some tricks of the trade from those in the know as well. When asked if he had any go-to pointers on getting the best out of your homemade eggnog brew, Lavenue said, "Always toast your spices in a saucepan on low heat to bring the aromatic oils out of them." According to the expert, doing so allows a greater amplification of their flavors, making the eggnog extra tasty. 

The right temperature is key when making your eggnog

Another possible hurdle one might encounter while cooking up their home batch of 'nog is the question of storage. According to America's Test Kitchen, if properly stored and adequately pumped with alcohol, eggnog can be enjoyed in an aged state for up to three weeks later. To ensure no bacteria will grow, be sure to use at least 1 ½ ounces of 80-proof liquor for every egg added, which will help sterilize the brew. Furthermore, by waiting to add the dairy components of the eggnog until it's time to serve, you eliminate the risk of any milk spoilage that you'd typically encounter when attempting to "keep" dairy. Be sure to keep the 'nog refrigerated for at least three weeks before enjoying, to allow the flavor of the ingredients to appropriately co-mingle, which ought to pack an even greater punch than you'd get from drinking it straight off the bat. As long as you've got the patience, you might want to give aged eggnog a try this year!

While flying by the seat of one's pants might be wise to do for some things, when it comes to what we're putting in our stomachs, it's often best to know what people educated in the related field would do first. Hopefully, these eggnog recommendations will relieve the stress you might be feeling at this time of year. Especially after downing a couple of tequila-and-sherry-boosted mugs of the good stuff!  

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