Eggnog has been around for a few hundred years, and though it didn’t start out as a seasonal drink, that’s just what it’s become. Sometime towards the end of October or the beginning of November you probably noticed the festive cartons popping up in your grocery store.
I love eggnog. I can’t get enough of it. One of my favorite things to do is to heat up a mug of the creamy goodness to slowly sip just after coming inside on a cold day. The fact that the drink can only be found in stores for two or three months adds to the feeling of urgency that I need to drink as much of it as I can while I can.
However, here in Costa Rica eggnog is available year round. It’s not associated with Christmas and it comes artificially flavored with rum. It is—in a word—disgusting. And as my family and I become more and more health conscious we try to steer clear of the artificial coloring and flavoring of store-bought eggnog. Even the eggs have been reduced down to some chemical ingredient!
Fortunately, eggnog is really easy to make. Ridiculously easy. Below is a dairy-free eggnog recipe that I adapted from Paleo Parents to suit my own tastes (namely, more egg!). Eggnog is traditionally served raw, and I’m not afraid to eat raw eggs. At the end of the recipe you’ll find a cooked version if raw eggs make you squirm.
This recipe uses a can of coconut milk for the creamy texture. My first few sips left a coconut aftertaste that was delicious, but not what I would consider part of a true eggnog. However, I found that after a few more sips I could hardly detect the coconut anymore and was very impressed at how eggnog-y my dairy-free eggnog was. If you’re not a fan of the taste of coconut you could double the amount of almond milk or even add a frozen banana for a little more creaminess.
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 cup almond milk
3-4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup maple syrup or sugar of choice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ freshly grated nutmeg (ground will do but not preferable)
1/8 tsp ground allspice
Spirits of your choice
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until incorporated, about 20 seconds. Serve with a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg.
Cooked eggnog version:
In a saucepan, heat the coconut and almond milk to about 160 degrees Fahrenheit—do not boil! In a medium bowl whip the egg yolks until light yellow. While whisking add 1 cup of the hot milk and continue to whisk—this will temper the egg yolks and keep them from scrambling when added to the saucepan.
After the milk and eggs are fully incorporated, add the mixture to the saucepan and whisk to combine. Chill for 1 or 2 hours. When cool pour into a blender, add the vanilla and spices and sweetener and blend.
One final note: if you prefer a dairy-based eggnog just substitute 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of heavy cream for the coconut and almond milk.
Darla Antoine is an enrolled member of the Okanagan Indian Band in British Columbia and grew up in Eastern Washington State. For three years, she worked as a newspaper reporter in the Midwest, reporting on issues relevant to the Native and Hispanic communities, and most recently served as a producer for Native America Calling. In 2011, she moved to Costa Rica, where she currently lives with her husband and their infant son. She lives on an organic and sustainable farm in the “cloud forest”—the highlands of Costa Rica, 9,000 feet above sea level. Due to the high elevation, the conditions for farming and gardening are similar to that of the Pacific Northwest—cold and rainy for most of the year with a short growing season. Antoine has an herb garden, green house, a bee hive, cows, a goat, and two trout ponds stocked with hundreds of rainbow trout.