I've never been a fan of eggnog. The thought of trying to suck down an ultra sugary, smoothie-esque concoction of cream and eggs is about as off-putting as that time I opened a gift of lacy undergarments in front of my father. They're both experiences I hoped never to have again.
Then Drinks editor Maggie told me about a California-made eggnog that everyone is wild about. It's made by Straus Family Creamery, an organic dairy farm based in Marin County, just north of San Francisco. I recently drove through that bucolic stretch of far land and can personally confirm that those cows do indeed seem happy (except when I'm trying to photograph them). So I decided to give the eggnog a shot.
I don't know what they're feeding those cows, but this was far and away the best eggnog I've ever had. The consistency is as light as whole milk. I could see this actually washing down a holiday cookie or two, rather than gluing sprinkles to my upper esophagus. The drink has a mild, milky sweetness: it doesn't feel like melted ice cream in a glass. Best of all, there is no ambiguous "Christmas spice" taste. This is clearly nutmeg, and by clearly I mean you can actually see the brown specks throughout the drink.
A look at the ingredients confirms what I tasted. In descending order, the eggnog contains (all organic): milk, cream, sugar, egg yolk, and nutmeg. There are no weird thickeners or sweeteners, and the 13 grams of sugar per serving is actually rather restrained. So if, like me, you never really understood why people liked eggnog, if you thought, "Blech, I'd just as well drink a carton of half and half", then here is a happy holiday surprise. Awesome eggnog, and organic to boot.
About the author: Carrie Vasios is the Community Manager of Serious Eats and writes the Wake and Bake, Cookie Monster, and Serious Entertaining columns. She likes perusing her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar.