Bar Beat

Houston's Eleven Nogs of Christmas

Coltivare's eggnog has cardamom and a bourbon sidecar.
Coltivare's eggnog has cardamom and a bourbon sidecar. Photo by Carla Gomez
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.

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The Rompope at Eight Row Flint is rummy.
Photo by Carla Gomez
Eight Row Flint: Rompope
1039 Yale

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."

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Bosscat's Bear Nog will bring a smile.
Photo courtesy of Bosscat Kitchen and Libations
Bosscat Kitchen and Libations: Bear Nog
4310 Westheimer

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.

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AWE, you need an eggnog.
Photo courtesy of D'Amico's
D'Amico's Italian Market Cafe: AWE
5515 Morningside

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.

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Pretty please? With a bourbon cherry on top?
Photo by Urban Eats

Urban Eats: Bourbon Cherry Eggnog
3414 Washington

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.

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Bernie's Boozy milkshake is for big kids over 21.
Photo by Kimberly Park
Bernie's Burger Bus: Boozy Eggnog Milkshake
2200 Yale

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.

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Howzaboutta tallboy eggnog?
Photo by Westin Galleymore
Georgia James: Eggnog
1100 Westheimer

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.

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Have a Feliz Navidad with a Feliz Nogmas at UB Preserv.
Photo by Westin Galleymore
UB Preserv: Feliz Nogmas
1609 Westheimer

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.

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Eggnog brings merry vibes to the party.
Photo courtesy of Miracle on 5th Street at The Eleanor
Julep: Jingle Balls Nog
1919 Washington

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.

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Wooster's Garden has an eggless nog.
Photo by Wooster's Garden
Wooster's Garden: Spaghetti Western
3315 Milam

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.

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Visions of plural rums will dance in your head.
Photo by Worcester's Annex
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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Lorretta Ruggiero is a Houston Press freelance writer based in Cypress, Texas. She loves entertaining her family and friends with her food and sparkling wit. She is married to Classic Rock Bob and they have two exceptionally smart-aleck children.