Monday, December 20, 2010

Got Eggnog? I Do Now!

A couple of weeks ago the lovely people at Got Milk? invited me to a Shake Up Holiday Cocktails With Milk event. While there I was introduced to someone who I think has what is possibly the best job on the planet: Professional mixologist Duggan McDonnell. Duggan travels around to various events partying and inventing cocktails. I'm sure it's more complicated than that but this is what I surmised after having a couple a couple of his Cinnamon Sake Horchatas. After a rum-filled Frothy Vanillanog I think I started calling him Sir Mixalot and trying to give him a soul shake but it's all a blur.

The event was held at the awesomely trendy Bar Lubitsch. (The phrase 'awesomely trendy'? SO awesomely trendy.) 

Duggan was there to show us how milk can be incorporated into many holiday cocktails, and boy did he ever. One of my favorite things was learning how to make eggnog from scratch to use in the Vanillanog. I'm not an eggnog fan, and I consider that one carton I buy every December for my husband an act of pure love. But this eggnog was light and frothy, and I think the mixture of cinnamon and spicy chile delicately dusted over it at the end was pure genius. Looks like my local grocer will only have to stock three cartons this year instead of four.

Along with the eggnog and the Horchata mentioned above I also had a Caribbean Milk Punch and a PB&J Granita. That last one isn't as scary as it sounds, although I'd rather eat my peanut butter than drink it. But I loved the individual mix stations the Got Milk reps had set up to make our own PB&J's:

The Got Milk people sent us home with our own cocktail shakers and recipes for all of the drinks we sampled. This one is small and perfect to carry in my glove compartment. Not that I would do that. Who shakes up cocktails in the car? That's dangerous, and besides I'm too busy talking on the phone to Ryan Seacrest.

Here is the recipe for the Frothy Vanillanog, otherwise known as the Only Eggnog I'll Drink. (Ours had rum in it. Of course.) You can find the rest of the recipes for the drinks we sampled that night on the Got Milk site. The best part is – they are to be made in a large quantity in a punch bowl, so you don't have to play bartender all night. The last time I had to do that at one of my parties I got really cranky and started putting my finger in everyone's drink. Just so you know.

Frothy Vanillanog
Serves 8

1 quart milk
8 egg whites
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
Cinnamon powder to taste
Spicy chile powder to taste

Whisk thoroughly in a punch bowl until all ingredients are thoroughly integrated.  Spike with an alcoholic elixir if so desired, add ice and dust with a blend of cinnamon an spicy chile powder.

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Duggan McDonnell was named one of the best mixologists in the country by Food & Wine Magazine. He's the owner of Cantina Bar in San Francisco.

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