Ditch Eggnog for These Creamy Holiday Cocktails

Americans lean into overeating and drinking during the holidays with abandon, reportedly doubling our alcohol intake between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

It probably comes as no surprise that the most-popular seasonal drink happens to be eggnog, one of the reasons why many revelers see a rise in their weight over those weeks. A large-batched, cream-based “punch” most often spiked with rum and brandy, eggnog has sky-high levels of saturated fat and sugar. And more likely than not, you have not-so-fond holiday memories of the hangover you endured after a night of hitting the ‘nog too hard.

Besides eggnog’s creamy, cloyingly sweet taste, another way it tempts the holiday tippler is with its frothy, creamy texture. The classic recipe calls for an egg yolk included in each serving which, when freshly combined with the cream, gives it an oh-so-smooth mouthfeel many find hard to resist. But there are many better-tasting and better-for-you fizzes and flips you could sip instead while making merry this season.

Flips date back nearly 400 years and, like IPA beer, were originally intended to help fortify English sailors. Fizzes are related to the classic Collins and highball cocktails and were first mentioned more than a century ago in the 1887 edition of the famed Jerry Thomas’ Bartender’s Guide.

“Golden” versions include egg yolk, while “silver” versions feature only egg white. All these egg-inclusive true cocktails will leave you happier than a pint of eggnog—try shaking up one (or all) of the below recipes during this holiday season to see if you agree.

Petite Marie

Photo courtesy the Baccarat Hotel

A light, bright and refreshing silver fizz from The Bar at The Baccarat Hotel in New York City.

1.5 oz Brooklyn Gin
.75 oz lemon juice
.5 oz egg White
.5 oz rosemary syrup
.5 oz yellow chartreuse
2 dashes rhubarb bitters

Combine all ingredients and reverse shake with ice until fully combined. Served in a coupe and garnish with a rosemary sprig.

Denver’s Black Forest Flip

Photo courtesy The LeRoux

This nutty, chocolatey flip is served at LeRoux in Denver.

1.5 oz Woodinville rye
.5 oz Hennessy Black
.5 oz Trader Vics chocolate
.75 oz black walnut syrup
Whole egg

Combine all ingredients and reverse shake with ice until fully combined. Served in a coupe and garnish with shaved dark chocolate.

NoLa Tea and Biscuits

Photo courtesy Saffron nola

A tea-tinctured flip perfect for a holiday party from Saffron in New Orleans.

1.5 oz cognac
.5 oz chai syrup (see recipe below)
.5 oz lemon
short .25 oz orgeat
3 drops cardamom tincture (see recipe below)
Whole egg

Combine all ingredients and reverse shake with ice until fully combined. Reverse dry shake without ice before double straining shaker contents into a chilled Nick & Nora glass. Sprinkle crushed Brittania biscuits on half the glass and serve with two cookies.

Chai Syrup

3 cups sugar
3 cups warm water
6 cardamom pods
1 Tbsp fennel seed

Toast fennel seed in dry pan. Steep cardamom in hot water for 5 minutes with 1 tsp black tea. Combine both with warm water and sugar until sugar is dissolved.

Cardamom Tincture

1 oz cardamom
4 oz everclear
4 oz water
Infuse for 5 days in a sealed tight glass jar, strain and transfer into dropper bottle.