There’s no more traditional holiday drink than spiked eggnog, but it can be sneaky stuff. It goes down so smooth and creamy you may not realize you’re knee-walkin’ drunk until it’s too late. My other nitpick with eggnog is that very creaminess. It’s just too thick and claggy – especially in Florida, where, let’s face it, there’s no climatic imperative to pack on winter weight.
So I’ve remixed it into a more weather-appropriate popsicle – still boozy, still creamy, still redolent of traditional holiday spice, but icy-refreshing at the same time. It isn’t easy to get booze to freeze (though these pops have enough alcohol to give you a nice warm sensation in your chest; you just might mistake it for your Grinch-like heart growing three sizes), so I had to resort to the industrial magic of processed “food” to make it work. It’s kind of a junky compromise, but hey: Between office potlucks, holiday parties and family get-togethers, you’ll be eating junk food all month. Lighten up.
• 6 eggs *
• 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/2 cup brandy
• 1/2 cup rum
• 2 cups whipping cream
• 2 cups milk
First, chill all liquids.
Beat eggs until very frothy and pale yellow. Gradually beat in sugar, vanilla and spices. Gently stir in cold brandy, rum, cream and milk. Chill for at least an hour; serve garnished with nutmeg sprinkle.
• 1 box vanilla stovetop pudding mix (3.5 ounces)
• 2 cups eggnog **
• 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix (or 1/8 teaspoon
• cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg)
• 1/2 cup bourbon
In a medium saucepan, slowly whisk the pudding mix and spices into the eggnog. While stirring constantly (not joking: constantly) with a heat-safe spoon, cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Take it off the heat, stir in the bourbon, and set aside to cool for 20 minutes or so, stirring every few minutes to prevent a skin from forming.
Spoon into popsicle molds and freeze overnight (or for at least six hours). The popsicles may be a bit soft; the strong aroma of bourbon should make up for the relatively low alcohol content by creating a placebo effect.
* The risk of contracting salmonella poisoning from raw eggs is low but present. Either buy from a source you trust, look for pasteurized eggs, or take that chance.
** Make it yourself (yeah, right) or buy it pre-made. If you’re buying, all-natural eggnog truly tastes and freezes better than cheaper store brands with HFCS and guar gum.
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