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EPICURE: In the Drink


in the drink noggin’ Not too many bars and restaurants serve eggnog these days, but there are a few spots. At the Guard House Inn in Gladwyne (953 Youngsford Road, 610-649-9708, guardhouseinn.com), you can satisfy your thirst for this hearty—and potent—holiday beverage.

A rough history of eggnog traces its roots to Europe as a combination of egg and nog, a strong English ale. Contemporary recipes contain milk or heavy cream, eggs, sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon or allspice. Guard House Inn owner Albert Breuer’s version is a powerful mix of Bailey’s, Courvoisier, dark rum and dark Crème de Cacao, shaken over ice and sprinkled with nutmeg (heavy cream optional). Bourbon or a whisky-cognac blend work well, too.

There are a number of pre-made versions out there. Try Evan Williams Kentucky-made eggnog mix or the Pennsylvania Dutch version from Lancaster County, both available Thanksgiving through Christmas.

At home, you can spread holiday cheer all season long. Simply mix your choice of liquors in an airtight container; when guests arrive, add heavy cream or store-bought virgin nog and ice, and shake. Garnish with an espresso bean, shaved dark chocolate, cinnamon or nutmeg—or top with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream and whipped cream.