Around the World in 5 Eggnogs


If you could drink the concept of holiday cheer, it would probably taste a lot like Eggnog. A heady mixture of spirits, eggs and warmed milk, nutmeg-dusted Eggnog is synonymous with the yuletide season. It’s a Christmas requirement. But this year, we think it’s time to shake things up and go global with your creamy glass of holiday goodness.

While most people are familiar with the traditional custardy version of the drink (or, more likely, the storebought stuff in cartons), there are a myriad of Eggnog incarnations from around the world. From Scotland there’s a smoky, scotch-based drink, the Caribbean offers a tiki-esque version made with coconut and rum, Chileans make theirs with instant coffee and moonshine, and the Italians use Genepi, an herbal Alpine liqueur, for an apres ski treat. Whatever your tastes, there’s an Eggnog for you. Here are our five favorite Eggnogs from around the world.

The Caribbean’s Christmas punch, Coquito is made with three different milks: coconut, sweetened condensed and evaporated. It’s indulgent, rich and loaded with rum. In coquito’s home country of Puerto Rico, the go-to spirit is pitorro, a raw, moonshine-like rum made in homemade stills. But you’d be hard pressed to find pitorro on your local liquor store shelves, so we opt for a mix of white and dark rum instead.

The Essentials

evaporated milk
coconut milk
Dark Rum
Cola de Mono translates to “monkey tail,” but don’t expect any bananas in this Chilean drink. It is traditionally made with instant coffee, evaporated milk and aguardiente (a high-proof Chilean moonshine). Sadly, the fiery spirit is hard to find outside of South America. As a substitute, we recommend using Kappa, a Chilean pisco. The result is a lighter, more invigorating holiday cocktail that will pep up any holiday party.

The Essentials

whole milk (or almond milk)
Chilean Pisco
This smoky, creamy cocktail is traditionally served during Hogmanay—Scotland’s New Year’s Eve festival. After the Scottish Reformation in the late 1500s, Scotland did not celebrate Christmas for 400 years. Instead, they celebrated the end of the year with fire dancing, scotch, more scotch and this silky drink (which, conveniently, contains even more scotch). This potent elixir is garnished with nutmeg and lemon zest for a surprising citrusy kick.

The Essentials

half & half
dark rum
Scotch Whisky
According to legend, this Italian winter treat was created at an Alpine ski resort for a group of snow-blasted skiers looking for shelter from a blizzard. In its original form, the drink was a simple mix of brandy, zabaglione (an Italian egg-based custard) and milk, warmed on a stove. After trying it, one of skiers cried, "Accidenti! È una bomba!" Or  "Damn! It's a bomb!" And so, the Bombardino came to be.

The Essentials

This is the true American Eggnog, made by George Washington himself. Aside from being a world-class general and the first American president, Washington was also an excellent brewer, distiller, mixologist and drinker. One of his most famous cocktail creations is this Eggnog. Made with four different spirits, milk, eggs and heavy cream, it is not for the faint of heart or, more appropriately, liver.

The Essentials

All the brown spirits

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