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Eggnog may be the traditional way to get in the spirit, but what if you swapped out that boring old brandy or whiskey for something a little more unusual? At Anvil Bar & Refuge in Houston, the answer is Kenny Freeman's Ango Nog, flavored with a long pour of Angostura bitters. That's right, instead of dashes, we're talking ounces of the stuff, which at 44.7% ABV goes toe-to-toe with other boozes. Don't worry, that dasher top pops right off.
While you might expect a drink full of bitters to be, well, bitter, this one is actually surprisingly well balanced. There are hints of bitter on the front, but we found we got more of the pie spice that you'd expect in eggnog—vivid cinnamon, nutmeg, and such—without having to shake any in directly. The Angostura darkens the color of the drink from the standard creamy white to more of a burnt sienna, but don't worry, the texture and flavor from the heavy cream and egg are spot on.
One warning: Ango Nog is deceivingly strong. There's only a hint of alcoholic burn in the flavor, but this is boozy stuff. After one—alright, a double—we were feeling a buzz. If you have one of those big, 16 ounce bottles of Angostura around and have been wondering just when you'll go through it all, here's your answer. Whip up a batch, and this may just become your new favorite eggnog recipe.