5 Days of Cocktails – Day 1: County Nog

In honour of all of those Christmas office parties cluttering up your social calendar this month, we’re celebrating inappropriate boozy get togethers with our ultimate Mad Men-stlye booze fest and the 5 Days of Cocktails! These are our favourite cocktails to celebrate the end of the year. Some drinks we have all year-round and others, like the County Nog, we only bring out for Christmas parties when we’re pining for spiced Christmas flavours.

5 Days of Cocktails

For those not accustomed to especially boozy cocktails (I prefer mine to come in at 3 ounces), here is a little reminder of restraint coming from Dorothy Parker:

“I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I’m under the table,
after four I’m under my host.”

With that out of the way, let’s get on to the party!

County Nog

Eggnog enthusiasts have all but ruined eggnog for everyone else. To them it either has to be a heavy custard affair that’s more appropriately eaten with a spoon or it’s the cartons of the prefab stuff, sometimes without booze and even worse, though I admire their greedy-passion for it, steamed into their morning latte.

County Nog

When I think of drinking eggnog, I think it’s got to be cold, boozy and in small doses so that it leaves me wanting more. It’s what to drink when you’re not really feeling like Christmas because of it’s powerful ability to evoke the Christmas spirit. It’s what Clark Griswold pours into his Christmas moose mug in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and is the iconic drink for taking people past the point of Christmas cheer and into something a bit merrier. This Christmas sipper is for the well-intentioned Christmas romantic.

County Nog

This recipe is based almost exactly on a recipe that appeared in the Globe and Mail two years ago and it comes from one of Toronto’s best mixologists, Aja Sax, currently bar manager of The Huntsman Tavern. It was created while she was working at The County General restaurant, hence the name “County Nog”.

Makes 1 cocktail

1 1/2 oz bourbon (I use Bulleit)
1/2 oz Grand Marnier
3/4 oz Earl Grey tea, steeped and cooled
1/2 oz cinnamon simple syrup
1 egg yolk
dash of Scrappy’s cardamom bitters (optional)
whole nutmeg for grating

In a shaker add the bourbon, Grand Marnier, Earl Grey tea, cinnamon syrup, egg yolk and bitters. Shake for 10 seconds, then add ice to fill the shaker and shake for an additional 20 seconds. Strain into a cocktail glass and using a microplane or other fine grater, grate the nutmeg over the top for a garnish.

Cinnamon Simple Syrup

makes 500ml syrup

250ml cold water
250g granulated sugar
1 cinnamon stick

Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring a little to ensure the sugar dissolves evenly. Once the sugar is fully dissolved, remove from the heat and cover for 20 minutes to allow the cinnamon to further infuse into the syrup. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator and use within 1 month.

 

6 Comments 5 Days of Cocktails – Day 1: County Nog

  1. Gina Alderman

    Oh man, I’m such an egg nog whore – guilty of all the above faux pas you mentioned. Except when I steam my egg nog it goes into a chai tea latte. Coffee and egg nog just isn’t as delicious as it sounds…..

    Reply
    1. JenJen

      I know your comment literally said it “isn’t as delicious as it sounds”, but my brain went “WOW THAT SOUNDS DELICIOUS!” and now I want to try it.

      Reply
      1. Gina Alderman

        Oh – definitely try the chai tea version. But if you put it in the coffee you’ll probably be like “meh”. It eggnoggy richness and spiciness pairs well with a sweetened chai really well. I find it loses its body in coffee, and the coffee also turns the eggnog spices bitter.

        Reply
          1. Gina Alderman

            I like the Organic Meadows one if you are combining it with something spicy (like the chai) – but if you are just having it on its own or with booze I feel it needs an extra little sprinkling of nutmeg.

            That being said I usually will just grab whatever is the “premium” brand at whatever store I am in (none of the ultra pasteurized junk though – has to be in the fridge, and never the low-fat options…blech)

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