Recipe: Noggin Knocker

Recipe: Noggin Knocker

‘Tis the season for perhaps the most unloved of cocktails, eggnog. Yes, that overly sweet, thick, and boozy “punch” that every festive party thrower somehow feels obligated to serve. We all like it, of course, but in extreme moderation. Ask yourself, have you ever finished an entire glass? I thought not. In all honesty, it should probably be served as a holiday shooter.

Anyway. The holidays are looking a lot different this year, as most of us will be limiting how many family and friends we entertain. Which means there’s even less reason to whip up a giant punchbowl of the stuff. What to do, then, to scratch the nog itch? Well, I’d recommend the Noggin Knocker, created by Chris Spear. Not only is it a rare-single serve nog recipe, it’s also less rich than the typical cream-filled variation. More importantly, it’s a bit more complex and interesting, meaning there’s a chance you’ll actually finish a glass. Hell, you might even go back for seconds.

A whole milk base keeps most of that rich, noggy body but lightens the impact on your appetite considerably. While lots of nogs call for both whiskey and rum (and wine), often in excess for sweetness, this recipe sticks to only bourbon with a healthy splash of Grade B maple syrup to give it a deep, sugary molasses component. You could probably stop there and have a serviceable classic eggnog, but the addition of bitter Fernet-Branca adds notes of peppermint and licorice that work surprisingly well with the dairy and whiskey. It’s a nog worthy of a holiday at home that you might even find yourself making after the tree comes down.

Noggin Knocker
2 oz. bourbon
1 oz. Fernet Branca
3 oz. whole milk
2 tbsp. Grade B maple syrup
1 large egg

Combine all ingredients and dry shake without ice. Shake again over ice until well-chilled. Strain into a rocks glass and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg. Celebrate the end of this miserable year!

From our Drinkhacker family to yours, we wish you a very happy and healthy holiday.

Drew Beard is assistant editor for Drinkhacker and winner of several booze-related merit badges, including Certified Specialist in Spirits and Executive Bourbon Steward. A former federal employee turned hotelier and spirits journalist, he looks forward to his next midlife crisis.

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