Last year, I subjected the Serious Eats team to a doozy of a taste test, sipping 10 different commercially available eggnogs. But they were all the standard flavor, more or less, and there's more to eggnog than just the classic. So we tasted every variety from Hood (which won second place in our taste test last year.) Here's what we thought.
'holidays' on Serious Eats
Homemade eggnog can be a delicious thing, enriched with fresh eggs and cream, a careful grating of nutmeg, and just the right amount of sugar. (Plus a dunked cookie or two.) But mixing it up yourself can seem a little daunting (and holiday entertaining already has you frazzled). So you're just going to pick up a carton at the grocery store. But which brand should you buy? We recently conducted a blind taste test to figure out which is the best nationally-available brand of premade eggnog.
For those unaccustomed to consuming alcoholic drinks that taste like, well, alcohol, the toddy can be a bit of a challenge. To those who genuinely like the taste of whisky, rum, or almost anything except vodka (I can't recall coming across a tequila toddy, but such a thing is not without potential merit), the hot toddy is the way to go.
Since hot chocolate/cocoa is one of our favorite insides-warmers this chilly time of year, we set out to find the best. We tried 17 brands total. Find out how Swiss Miss compared to Ghirardelli and Jacques Torres, and which was like drinking pudding.
'Tis the season for warming beers—for velvety barrel-aged stouts and serious brews from Belgium. Over the last few weeks, we've also been sampling winter warmers and other winter seasonals: beers released specifically for Christmas and for sipping over the cold months ahead.
The holidays are a time when all kinds of special recipes get trotted out for an annual airing, and like those red-and-white sweaters with little reindeer buttons, some of them should be tossed out along with that string of lights that no longer works. Everybody has their own issues with certain seasonal dishes--I, for one, have never understood the desire to consume cranberry sauce--and the same goes for seasonal drinks.
Here's a shopping list for a mixed case of wine that will satisfy most needs for things that sparkle, refresh, warm you, and tickle your sweet tooth. What's even better is that only two bottles in the case will cost you more than $20, and most will cost you under $15. Hopefully, this means there's one less list you have to make, and you'll be able to stay within your budget this year.
While everyone else is getting ready for Christmas, Hannukah and the whole winter holiday experience, those who enjoy a good drink are gearing up for their own celebration: Repeal Day, December 5.
The old Smoking Bishop is one of a family of once-common drinks that now make their sole appearance during the holidays, if then. But this near-forgotten class of punches is worth rediscovering, for both culinary and social reasons.
Nothing puts your guests in the holiday spirit like a little holiday spirits. From books to bottles to shakers and bitters, there are plenty of gift ideas from the cocktail world that can add pizzazz to celebrations throughout the year.