'Tis the season for overly caloric cocktails, especially the frothy, creamy varieties that employ a somewhat unlikely ingredient: an egg. While we're not one to diss store bought eggnog—the Stonyfield Farms version is incredible—the kind with copious amounts of booze are just all that much better. Below, some eggnog updates, international equivalents and one very special Midwestern entry for cold weather cocktails with an added dose of protein.

Chef David Santos of West Village eatery Louro channels his familial roots with a Portuguese Eggnog ($13), a nod to the birthplace of his parents. The drink includes lots of spices, including cinnamon and, surprisingly, black pepper, an uncommon attribute in the Season of Sweets. Instead of a traditional brandy, Santos uses aged Brazilian cachaca, distilled from sugar cane. 142 West 10th Street, (212) 206-0606

In Astoria, Arepas Cafe has their own version of Ponche Crema Casero ($5), a creamy Venezuelan version of eggnog. Tastoria Queens tackled a bottle ($30) on a recent visit and discovered that Arepas Cafe owner Riccardo Romero and his brother bottle and label the drink themselves, adding a personal touch to the drink. The brothers fortify their egg, cream, sugar and spices mix with rum for a touch of added sweetness. 3307 36th Avenue, Astoria, (718) 937-3835

Puerto Ricans celebrate the holiday season with a chilled drink called Coquito, a rich cocktail made with egg yolk, coconut milk and sweetened condensed milk. They're doing a version at Park Slope's Bogota Latin Bistro for $12, packed with a heavy pour of rum to warm up the belly. If you couldn't tell from the cinnamon stick garnish, this cocktail also heavily employs warm winter spices like nutmeg and cloves that taste of the season. 141 5th Avenue, Park Slope, (718) 230-3805

And one to make at home...


The upper Midwest have been drinking them for decades, and the Times called them "Dickensian" a couple years ago, but the Tom and Jerry cocktail still goes underserved in the five boroughs. Invented by a 19th century British journalist, the yuletide drink is essentially a high-class eggnog mixed with brandy and rum, delicately spiced, and served piping hot.

In the spirit of holiday charity and cheer, we've found a single-serving recipe that's guaranteed to deck your halls. Amass all the ingredients below and put the kettle on.

Tom and Jerry:

  • 1 egg, separated
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 oz rum
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of cardamom
  • ¼ cup hot milk
  • ¼ oz brandy
  • freshly grated nutmeg

Pour hot water into a large mug (just to keep it warm). Beat the sugar and spices into separated egg yolk until it thickens, then stir in rum. Beat the separated egg whites until stiff then gently fold into the rum mixture. Stir the entire mixture once more. Dump the hot water out of the mug and pouring the newly-made mix in, carefully stirring in your brandy and milk. Top off with nutmeg, find a fireplace, and enjoy. (Scott Heins)