In our last eggnog episode, we discussed grocery store eggnog. Now, we're going uptown, downtown and all around to find some of Houston's most creative eggnog beverages. With so many talented and creative mixologists in the fourth largest city in the nation, it's not an easy feat to narrow it down, but these beauties will give an idea of what to expect from our city's merry mixologists and bright bartenders.
Eight Row Flint: Rompope
This Spanish rum-filled eggnog comes from the management team at ERF. It's made with rum, Mathilde XO, whole egg, heavy cream, allspice dram and pumpkin syrup. It's classy and petite, elegant and sweet and it will knock you off your feet.
Fun fact: Allspice berries come from the pimento tree, which is why allspice dram, a liqueur made of crushed allspice berries and usually rum, is sometimes called pimento dram. It is not the same thing as pimento peppers that you put in your pimento cheese or olives. Interesting.
Colitvare: Egg Noggy or Nice
3320 White Oak
This nog comes from Sara Keck, bar manager at Coltivare. The creamy concoction features bourbon, Meletti Amaro, orange, cardamom cream and egg. Keck shared her own family's eggnog tradition with the Houston Press.
" Each year my family makes my grandmother's traditional eggnog on Christmas Day. We make a huge batch, ladle it out, then pass more "nog", i.e. more bottles of bourbon and rum, around the table. Hence the sidecar of bourbon we are serving alongside our eggnog at Colitvare as a nod to my family's tradition."
Bosscat Kitchen and Libations: Bear Nog
This adorable bear offers yuletide drinkers bacon washed bourbon and maple syrup to go along with their eggnog. Sounds like the breakfast of champions to us.
D'Amico's Italian Market Cafe: AWE
Manager Chris Miyamoto of D'Amico's wanted his eggnog to be awesome, so his creation includes Amaretto, whiskey and eggnog. Put them all together and you have AWE, with a touch of cinnamon.
Urban Eats: Bourbon Cherry Eggnog
Owner and Culinary Director Levi Rollins says that the Christmas eggnog at Urban Eats is based on his family's recipe for creme Anglaise. He and his brother would melt Blue Bell vanilla ice cream, add pumpkin pie spice and sneak it into the family's bourbon. "Today at Urban Eats, we slow cook local farmer's market eggs to ensure freshness, heavy cream, vanilla bean, allspice, fresh nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and sugar, " Rollins told the Press. He says that the eggnog is spiked with Texas Red Handed Bourbon Whiskey from Treaty Oaks Distillery in Dripping Springs,Texas. The bourbon-soaked cherry garnish is a tasty bonus.
Bernie's Burger Bus: Boozy Eggnog Milkshake
The cooler weather may banish ideas of frozen shakes from Houstonians' minds until they discover the holiday milkshake available at Bernie's in the Heights. Made with vanilla ice cream, Jameson whiskey, cinnamon and nutmeg, it is then topped with whipped cream and a dash more nutmeg. Unfortunately, it's only available at the Heights restaurant, but the $5 price tag is worth the drive. Then, whiskey's your darling.
Georgia James: Eggnog
This somewhat traditional eggnog comes from mixologist extraordinaire, Hal Brock. His version takes it up a notch with Copper & Kings " Houston Bourbon Consortium" Single Barrel American Brandy, Knob Creek " HBC" Single Barrel Rye and Lustau Almacenista Amontillado sherry. In keeping with tradition, there is egg, cream and vanilla.
The folks at Underbelly Hospitality and Agricole Hospitality formed the Houston Bourbon Consortium in order to have better access to single barrel bourbons and whiskeys that they could split among their restaurants, according to CultureMap Houston.
UB Preserv: Feliz Nogmas
Westin Galleymore, Spirits Director at Underbelly Hospitality, has created an eggnog that reflects the melting pot philosophy that runs through UB Preserv's cuisine. The Feliz Nogmas is comprised of Banhez Mezcal, Cacao, Fernet Branca Menta, almond milk and egg. It's sort of a chocolate peppermint version of eggnog. That can only be a good thing.
Julep: Jingle Balls Nog
Julep has a whole list of holiday cocktails on offer, including this delicious drink that comes from Justin Lavenue and Dennis Gobis, owners of The Eleanor and The Roosevelt Room in Austin. It is made with 1840 Cognac, Pedro Ximenez Sherry, brown butter, cinnamon, cherry vanilla, almond milk, cream, sugar, egg and nutmeg. That should jingle your bells.
Wooster's Garden: Spaghetti Western
We aren't sure why the reference to an Italian film genre, but this nog should please those who prefer to leave out the ovum in their beverages. This creation combines Fernet Branca ( there's your Italian) infused with vanilla beans, Balcones single malt whiskey from Waco, Texas, Plantation 3 Star white rum, Peychaud's bitters with heavy cream and it's topped with an Andes mint garnish.
Worcester's Annex: Annex Eggnog
1433 N. Shepherd
The eggnog at Worcester's Annex should please those looking for a traditional, spice-infused creamy drink. The Annex Eggnog uses clove-infused Papa's Pilar dark rum, Stolen Rum, cream, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, egg, and nutmeg. Maybe this is what Ernest 'Papa' Hemingway would drink for the holidays.
So, there you go. Put on your best "Holiday Inn" attire and hit the town. There's plenty of merriment to be found in Houston's bars and restaurants. You just have to get your elf self off the shelf and do some nogging before it's auld lang syne.
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