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How To Make The Ultimate Eggnog Bar

Nog purists, look away. Things are about to get a little weird.

Graphic by Chris Ritter / Photo by Macey Foronda

2. Eggnog is delicious and festive, just the way it is.

Macey Foronda

3. But, this Christmas, why not shake things up a little bit?

Yes, literally.

4. Why not present your fellow nog lovers with a bevy of fantastically festive flavor options? Enter, the ULTIMATE EGGNOG BAR!

Macey Foronda

All you need is a pitcher of ‘Basic Eggnog Base’ (recipe below), a cocktail shaker, a 1.5 oz cocktail jigger, and an array of holiday-themed simple syrups (recipes below).

5. The backbone of the Ultimate Eggnog Bar is the BASIC EGGNOG BASE:

Graphic by Chris Ritter / Photo by Macey Foronda

6. BASIC EGGNOG BASE


Makes 12 cups

Ingredients
12 egg yolks*
6 cups whole milk
5 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Procedure
Pour all ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Beat vigorously with a wire whisk until all ingredients are combined and there is a thin layer of froth on top, about 30 seconds. Refrigerate until serving (don’t make the base more than a couple of hours before you plan to serve it).

To serve, transfer cold eggnog base into a pitcher, and serve with flavored eggnog syrups (recipes below).

*Note: If you’re worried about serving raw egg yolks, you can buy pasteurized eggs (they’re 100% safe to eat raw). Click here to find out where to buy pasteurized eggs.

7. To flavor your BASIC EGGNOG BASE, here are five fun eggnog syrups. You’ll probably want to make these at least a day in advance.

Graphic by Chris Ritter / Photo by Macey Foronda

PEPPERMINT SYRUP
Makes 2 cups

Ingredients
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
10 drops green food coloring

Procedure
Combine all ingredients, except food coloring, in a small saucepot over high heat, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. When the mixture boils, lower the heat to a simmer, and simmer, uncovered, just until the sugar dissolves, about a minute. Take the mixture off the heat, add food coloring and stir to spread the color around evenly.

Transfer into a bottle to serve. Syrup will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 2 weeks.

PEPPERMINT EGGNOG
Makes 1 drink

Ingredients
1 cup basic eggnog base
1.5 oz peppermint simple syrup
Optional garnish: 1 mini candy cane, 1 teaspoon crushed candy canes

Procedure
Mix eggnog and syrup in a cocktail shaker, shake for 20 seconds, and pour into a serving glass. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes and garnish with a mini candy cane, if desired.

Graphic by Chris Ritter / Photo by Macey Foronda

RED HOT SYRUP
Makes 2 cups

Ingredients
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
15 drops red food coloring

Procedure
Combine all ingredients, except food coloring, in a small saucepot over high heat, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. When the mixture boils, lower the heat to a simmer, and simmer just until the sugar dissolves, about a minute. Then, take the mixture off the heat, add food coloring, and let sit for 5 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer.

Transfer into a bottle to serve. Syrup will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 2 weeks.

RED HOT EGGNOG
Makes 1 drink

Ingredients
1 cup basic eggnog base
1.5 oz red hot simple syrup
Optional garnish: cinnamon

Procedure
Mix eggnog and syrup in a cocktail shaker, shake for 20 seconds, and pour into a serving glass. Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.

Graphic by Chris Ritter / Photo by Macey Foronda

MOCHA SYRUP
Makes 2 cups

Ingredients
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup strongly brewed coffee
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Procedure
Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pot over high heat, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. When the mixture boils, lower the heat to a simmer, and simmer, uncovered, just until the sugar and cocoa powder dissolve, about a minute, stirring occasionally. Take the mixture off the heat, let sit for 5 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer.

Transfer into a bottle to serve. Syrup will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 2 weeks.

MOCHA EGGNOG
Makes 1 drink

Ingredients
1 cup basic eggnog base
1.5 oz mocha simple syrup
Optional garnish: shaved chocolate

Procedure
Mix eggnog and syrup in a cocktail shaker, shake for 20 seconds, and pour into a serving glass. Garnish with chocolate shavings, if desired.

Graphic by Chris Ritter / Photo by Macey Foronda

GINGERBREAD SYRUP
Makes 2 cups

Ingredients
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
¼ cup minced fresh ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground ginger

Procedure
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepot over high heat, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. When the mixture boils, lower the heat to a simmer, and simmer 15-20 minutes, covered. Then, take the mixture off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer.

Transfer into a bottle to serve. Syrup will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 2 weeks.

GINGERBREAD EGGNOG
Makes 1 drink

Ingredients
1 cup basic eggnog base
1.5 oz gingerbread simple syrup
Optional garnish: cinnamon stick OR gingerbread cookie, ground nutmeg

Procedure
Mix eggnog and syrup in a cocktail shaker, shake for 20 seconds, and pour into a serving glass. Sprinkle with a dash of ground nutmeg, and garnish with a cinnamon stick or a gingerbread cookie, if desired.

Graphic by Chris Ritter / Photo by Macey Foronda

SALTED BOURBON-CARAMEL SAUCE
Makes 2 cups

Ingredients
1 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons bourbon, divided
½ cup heavy cream, at room temperature
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into six pieces, at room temperature
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Procedure
In a medium sauce pot, heat sugar and 4 tablespoons bourbon over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and the mixture is smooth. Increase heat to medium and stop stirring. The mixture should come to a boil. Boil for 6-8 minutes, swirling the pot every 30 seconds and wiping down the sides of the pot with a wet pastry brush (to prevent sugar from sticking to the sides and crystallizing).

When the mixture is thick and deep golden, remove from heat. Add the heavy cream slowly, whisking constantly (mixture will bubble), followed by the butter and salt. When everything is combined, stop whisking and let cool for at least 4 minutes, then add vanilla extract and the remaining tablespoon of bourbon.

Transfer into a jar or bottle to serve. Caramel will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 2 weeks.

FYI, this caramel makes a really delicious homemade gift.

SALTED CARAMEL EGGNOG
Makes 1 drink

Ingredients
1 cup basic eggnog base
1.5 oz salty bourbon-caramel sauce
Optional garnish: cinnamon stick, ground cinnamon

Procedure
Mix eggnog and syrup in a cocktail shaker, shake for 20 seconds, and pour into a serving glass. Sprinkle with cinnamon and garnish with a cinnamon stick, if desired.

18. Before your holiday party guests arrive, set everything out on a table.

Macey Foronda

You might want to set it up near a sink, because that shaker will need rinsing (unless you’re cool with your peppermint eggnog tasting vaguely of red-hots, which honestly sounds pretty delicious). Also, if you don’t have a shaker you can always stir the nog and the syrup together with a spoon; it just won’t get as frothy, and it might make a splashy mess.

19. For every glass of flavored nog, pour 1 cup eggnog base and 1.5 oz flavored eggnog syrup into a cocktail shaker.

Macey Foronda

20. If you want to add rum or bourbon (absolutely recommended), now is the time.

 

1.5 oz of dark rum or bourbon per drink is the way to go.

21. Shake vigorously for at least 15 seconds so that everything’s nice and frothy, then pour your nog right into a glass.

22. Drink up!

Macey Foronda

23. Alternatively: Pack up your bar on a sleigh for mobile enjoyment.

BuzzFeed Food editors brought a sleigh full of eggnog over to Good Morning America. What was their favorite flavor? Check it out here.

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

 
 
          
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