The 12 Drinks of Christmas – First Drink

We are properly into the holiday season now, with people from many faiths and no faith at all celebrating this special time of year. We move together through this unusual season, which doesn’t look like anything we have seen before. Visiting with family and friends virtually instead of in person, ordering gifts for delivery, it is a strange time indeed. While we may not be in the same room, we can be joined in spirit, celebrating those ties that bind, helping us make it through these unprecedented times, knowing that some day soon we will be together again. So in that spirit, please join me for The 12 Drinks of Christmas. Sing along at home, if you like, because, “For the first drink of Christmas, Uncle Monkey made for me, Clyde Common Egg Nog.”

Growing up, I wasn’t a huge fan of egg nog, we were a boiled custard house and that was that. It wasn’t till I got a little older that I discovered egg nog that didn’t come out of a Purity carton and came to appreciate the less sweet and more complex, still way too rich Christmas concoction with nutmeg on top. Since this is a drink you need to make a little ahead of time, and one that will keep in the fridge, it seemed like a good way for us to kick off this virtual gift of the spirits of the season. 

This recipe makes roughly a gallon, so it is perfect for sharing with the rest of your pod. We usually half it for home consumption and it still takes a few days to get through it all. Like I said, it is pretty rich. In a blender cup mix four large eggs and 2/3 of a cup of sugar, till combined. Add 12 ounces of whole milk and 8 ounces of heavy cream, 5 ounces of sherry, preferably amontillado, and here’s the twist, 4 ounces of a nice añejo tequila. Toss in a pinch of salt and blend to the sounds of Luther Vandross singing “O’ Come All Ye Faithful“. Once the drink is smooth, Luther has been smooth for years, transfer to an airtight container, I went with a Thor Nalgene bottle and pop in the fridge overnight. When you are ready to serve, put it in something pretty and grate a little fresh nutmeg on top. 

This is a very nice variation, it should be. It is a Jeffrey Morganthaler original, and he is a legend in the cocktail biz. He currently runs the James Beard nominated bar program at Clyde Common in Portland, Oregon and has written extensively on cocktails and life behind the bar. You could do way worse than following him. He created this one as part of a rotating egg nog menu and it’s unusual alcohol combo was a hit, because it works so well. Obviously, you could swap some dark rum or brandy or bourbon in but honestly, the tequila and amontillado thing is so very nice and gives a lighter flavor than I expected. Plus, the whole point of doing something new and cool and different is to do something new and cool and different; and this one is so delightfully different, as they say.

The drink will keep in the fridge for 5 days or so. Naturally, you are working with raw eggs here, so take all the appropriate precautions, don’t feed it to babies, etc. If your not feeling up to this simple recipe, I guess you could crack that paper jug of Purity Egg Nog and pour in a little sherry and tequila, I’m not gonna judge. Well, I am gonna judge, but I will have the good taste to be discreet about it. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay festive, my friends.