Creamy, nutty, and boozy – the perfect cocktail to get you in the holiday spirit.
I created this delicious cocktail to serve at my husband’s family’s Christmas extravaganza this past weekend. My husband’s extended family, aunts, uncles, and cousins, all get together the weekend before Christmas for a big holiday celebration.
It started with a brunch at a local restaurant, then a fun (slightly competitive) game of bowling, and finally, we ended the night with dinner at my husband’s aunt and uncle’s house. Before we sat down for dinner, we did a cousin gift exchange. This is no ordinary gift exchange. Every cousin must show off one of their talents in order to receive their gift.
There is an array of talents: dance routines, piano recitals, inventing and reciting poems, push up competitions, and even a demonstration of a human table (it’s a real thing, google it!) The order of the talents is youngest to oldest, so my husband and I are one of the last cousins to go. Being so close to the end and among such a variety of talents, I’m always trying to come up with a unique idea to make us stand out. This year, I was confident I had a winning plan. The family knows I love to cook and create recipes. I little fun fact they didn’t know about me is I also love to craft cocktails. I decided to show of my mixologist skills and demonstrate how to whip up a concoction I created and deemed the Nutty St. Nick: a bourbon spiced eggnog cocktail which gets its nuttiness from hazelnut liquor and walnut bitters.
Let’s get to mixing.
This is a shaken cocktail, so you will need to fill a shaker with ice to get started. The general rule is cocktails that have juice, dairy, or egg whites should be shaken to aerate the cocktail, creating a nice frothy effect. The Nutty St. Nick is a shaken cocktail because the star ingredient is eggnog, a milk based drink.
Next, fill the shaker with the cocktail ingredients: 2 ounces good bourbon, 1 ounce hazelnut liquor, a few dashes of walnut bitters, 6 ounces eggnog (about ¾ cup), a splash of skim milk to lighten up the thick eggnog, and dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg. Shake vigorously. Strain into a highball glasses. I garnished my drink with a star anise pod, fun gold straw, and dash of cinnamon to make it pretty and festive.
During our talent, my husband and I set up a little bar station in the middle of the living room, the stage for the talent show. My husband served as my assistant to craft the cocktail. We built the cocktail in front of the family and explained the reasoning behind the ingredient selection. For instance, I chose Bourbon because it has a spiced filled, vanilla-caramel-like flavor that would pair nicely with the eggnog. Also, bourbon is warm and boozy, which would contrast nicely with the rich, sweet eggnog and be perfect to sip on during a cold December night. To bring out the nutty aromas in the eggnog, I added a touch of hazelnut liquor and walnut bitters. The hazelnut liquor is sweet and sort of chocolaty, which goes well with bourbon and eggnog. The walnut bitters is nutty and bitter, which helps round out all the sweet flavors. Finally, the addition of cinnamon and nutmeg helps marry all the flavors together and makes it taste like the holidays.
My husband also showed off his master cocktail mixing technique. You must hold the shaker tightly with both hands, gripping the top and bottom portions of the shaker to prevent spillage, have the shaker off to one side, slightly above your dominate shoulder (almost as if your holding a baseball bat), and quickly move the shaker up and down. He insists it is all in the wrists. At this moment, a lot of ooohhs and aahhhss ensued. We poured a sample of the drink for all the family and passed them out. It was a huge hit and the family was very impressed by our bar skills. I think passing out boozy cocktails to the group gave us somewhat of the upper hand. What can I say, the family likes to party!
This delicious, nutty cocktail promises to be a crowd-pleaser at any family get together this holiday season. Enjoy!
The Nutty St. Nick
A boozy bourbon eggnog holiday drink with hints of spice and nuts.
- 2 ounce bourbon
- 1 ounce hazelnut liqour I use Frangelica
- 6 ounces eggnog I used a light version
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 4-5 dashes walnut bitters optional
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 dash nutmeg
Add all of the ingredients plus ice to a shaker and shake vigorously.
Pour into glass of choice.
Garnish with straw and star anise pod.
Serve and enjoy!