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Putting a little tipple in your tumbler is the perfect holiday antidote to family togetherness and cold winter nights (or balmy winter nights with the A/C blasting because, damn it, this is Texas). 

You’ll want to keep your options open all season long. Sometimes you’ll want to go all Martha with classic from-scratch recipes crafted slowly with love and care — or get lit quick with one-step cocktails garnished with immediate gratification. 

Here is your guide to both. 

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Boozy Eggnog

Early eggnog recipes from the European Middle Ages were often used as cold and flu remedies and usually included wine or ale. Other exotic ingredients might have been added too, such as figs, animal musk, and ambergris — a waxy substance secreted in the intestines of a sperm whale. We’ve skipped all that nonsense in favor of a classic recipe from the coast of Maine. 

Traditional New England Egg Nog (Slow)

(Makes 12 servings)

Ingredients

12 eggs

1 cup white sugar

1 cup bourbon (such as TX Bourbon Whiskey)

1 cup cognac (such as Courvoisier VS Cognac)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

3 pints heavy cream

Extra nutmeg for garnish

Directions

1. Separate egg yolks and whites, putting the whites in a glass or metal bowl. The yolks can go into any large mixing bowl.

2. Beat the yolks together with the sugar until the mixture becomes thickened and turns the color of lemons.

3. Slowly add your bourbon and cognac to the yolks while gently stirring.

4. Chill the egg yolk mixture in the refrigerator for several hours (at least two).

5. Once chilled, whisk in the heavy cream along with the vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set mixture aside.

6. Now whip the egg whites until soft peaks form (until you can remove the whisk or beaters and a peak will form but then droop). Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spoon or spatula as you whip.
7. Gently fold the egg whites into the bowl of nog until the mixture is smooth and blended. Chill for one hour.

8. Pour your eggnog into mugs or a punchbowl and serve with grated nutmeg sprinkled on top.

Tip: You can also serve eggnog warm. Just heat it gently over the stove or in the microwave. Watch it to make sure that it doesn’t boil.

Modern Five-Second Eggnog (Fast)

Ingredients

Store-bought eggnog –– any brand 

Bourbon whiskey, brandy, rum, and/or cognac –– any brand

Directions

1. Pour as much of your chosen liquor as you would like into a mug, then fill it up the rest of the way with eggnog.

2. Get thoroughly ’nogged.  

Spiked Hot Cocoa 

The first people known to drink chocolate were the Maya, who blended ground cocoa seeds with chile powder and cornmeal more than 2,500 years ago. The chocolate was spicy and bitter, and they made it frothy by pouring the beverage back and forth between two vessels. The Maya loved chocolate so much that they used it in their religious ceremonies, and some people were even buried with their favorite chocolate mug. With the addition of cream, sugar, and liquor, hot cocoa truly becomes a divine experience.

Old-Fashioned Spiked Hot Cocoa (Slow)

(Makes 12 servings)

Ingredients

16 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 qt whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 cup white sugar   

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

1 cinnamon stick

1 1/4 cups peppermint schnapps, coconut rum, amaretto, or coffee liqueur

Whipped cream or marshmallows for garnish

Directions:

1. Whisk the cocoa and white sugar together in a medium saucepan until well blended.

2. Slowly add the milk and heavy cream, whisking until no lumps remain. 

3. Add in the chopped semi-sweet chocolate, vanilla extract, salt, and cinnamon stick.

4. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture is heated through and the chocolate is completely melted. Do not boil. 

5. Once the mixture is creamy and smooth, remove it from the heat. Take out the cinnamon stick.

6. Add your choice of liquor to hot chocolate and stir to combine. 

7. Pour into mugs and garnish with whipped cream or marshmallows.

Tip: For extra frothy hot chocolate, blend the mixture in a food processor or blender before adding the liquor.

New-Fashioned Spiked Hot Cocoa (Fast)

Ingredients

1 packet instant hot cocoa mix 

Peppermint schnapps, coconut rum, amaretto, or coffee liqueur

Directions

1. Prepare the hot cocoa according to package directions, then pour it into a large mug containing your choice of alcohol. 

2. Get krunk. 

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