Eggnog is one of those iconic holiday drinks -- rich and creamy -- and often part of families' toast traditions on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. Eggnog bars are a new trend at holiday parties. Guests can choose from alcoholic or non-alcoholic "nogs," as well as from unique eggnog recipes such as pumpkin or chocolate flavored. Eggnog has entered the same world of flavor variety as coffee and tea, with many flavors to choose from, as well as different kinds of spiked varieties.
According to the Egg Safety Council, making your own eggnog from scratch may be a bit healthier than buying premade containers from the dairy section at your grocery. Some premade, nonorganic eggnogs contain very little egg and more high-fructose corn syrup and artificial coloring than you may wish to ingest. The site offers a variety of eggnog recipes to get your creativity going, including an eggnog blend made with apple pie filling, caramel ice cream topping, and cinnamon and pumpkin-pie spice for holiday flavor.
Here are some other twists on traditional eggnog recipes:
--Add a liquor-soaked kick to your eggnog by making an eggnog martini using vanilla vodka, cinnamon schnapps and a peppermint candy garnish.
--Create a turbo-charged coffee blend of eggnog and espresso.
--Borrow a favorite eggnog recipe from Martha Stewart (recipes on her website): eggnog with spiced Mexican chocolate and brandy.
--Make it a spiked trio with brandy, rum and whiskey for a powerful eggnog drink.
--Add holiday flavor with vanilla and peppermint. Use peppermint schnapps for flavor or simply put crushed candies on the rim of your glass.
--Get historically inspired. According to the Egg Safety Council, George Washington was a big fan of eggnog. He liked his made with rum, brandy and sherry.
--Go Caribbean with spiced rum, remembering that light rum will keep your drink light-colored, and dark rum will darken your mix.
--Add creamy cinnamon flavor to your eggnog with the new Velvet Cinn from the Cruzan rum family.
--Go Southern by only putting bourbon in your eggnog.
--Go Latin American with shaved coconut, coconut milk and spiced liqueur. Celebrity chef Alex Garcia offers a recipe for coconut rum eggnog on FoodNetwork.com.
--Food Network star Sandra Lee also offers a recipe for her white chocolate eggnog on FoodNetwork.com.
--Celebrity chef Bobby Deen shares his recipe for eggnog made with hot apple cider and brandy, with a dash of nutmeg for extra holiday taste on FoodNetwork.com.
However, your twist on eggnog might not even be a drink. Recipe sites such as Allrecipes.com, BHG.com and FoodNetwork.com are filled with directions on how to make eggnog cheesecake, pie, flan, cake pops, puddings and other treats. The recipes focus on rich, authentic eggnog creaminess, with spices that make these dishes holiday-worthy for your party guests and houseguests. The treats also work well as a bring-along hostess gift when you are invited to a holiday party or cookie exchange.
Be ready, though. Guests are going to ask you for the recipe, so print out a collection of recipe cards to bring with you so that you don't need to remember to email your recipe to people who asked. And while you're at it, give your eggnog recipe a twist with a fun and festive name to put the perfect finishing touch on your new signature eggnog recipe.