Eggnog has that distinctive flavor. I didn’t always love it, but as I got older and the association with fun times around the holidays grew stronger and as I realized how amazing it is mixed with some holiday ‘spirits’, grew very fond of it. I don’t make my own but the second I see it in the stores, I get some to keep on hand at home. I put a little dollop in my coffee every morning and if I’m going to a party, I whip up these Simple Vegan Eggnog Cocktails.
The holidays are busy – BUSY. I have a whole blog post about how to navigate it with ease here and here – you can tell this is a subject I talk about a lot. Part of keeping the holidays enjoyable for yourself is to rely on those healthy convenience foods that are designed for exactly that purpose. I wanted to keep it really simple this year. I understand that amazingness of the frothy, fresh taste of the homemade kind but I’m usually working overtime the whole holiday season and I need a cocktail quick. I created this Simple Vegan Eggnog Cocktail so that you can pick it up at the store and whip it up at home in a matter of minutes.
Eggnog? VEGAN? The two don’t seem to go together but the good news is that a non-egg and non-dairy options is so easy now. You may need a vegan recipe for so many reasons. Food allergies are one major reason that kids or adults in your life may need these kinds of adaptations. No dairy? No problem. Many people have issues with eggs. And others go vegan for environmental and/or animal rights. No matter why you’re eating plant-based, there are a lot of options for you. This type of eating can actually be a lot easier than you may think. My guide on Mastering Vegan Baking is a place to start for better understanding substitutions you may need to make and it’s actually a lot easier than you may think. Baking is probably the hardest with the replacements, but you’ll be surprised how many options you DO have. And for vegan eggnog, you just buy one of several varieties at the store and call it a day.
In order to make this Simple Vegan Eggnog Cocktail, you just need a couple, simple items. I have a lovely trick that I employ to make my own vanilla extract. Take a small 375ml bottle of brandy and stick 1-2 vanilla beans in it and let sit for 12 months until you can use it as your own extract. It makes a mean eggnog cocktail. Of course many people don’t have vanilla brandy sitting around so I wrote the recipe to include brandy and vanilla extract separately.
Another pro-tip is to make sure you use fresh nutmeg. They come in these cute little, circular brown ‘nuts’ and you can just use a simple hand-held grater to grind it up, releasing a much fresher flavor than the powdered kind. Grating it right on top of your beverage creates the most wonderful aroma that reminds you instantly of holiday baking. Plus it’s delicate and beautiful. Your guests will be so impressed. If you don’t care for nutmeg or you don’t have any, you still have options. You could easily substitute with some pumpkin spice mixture or you could use simple cinnamon or cardamom. Don’t let the lack of one ingredient hold you back; you can always get creative in the kitchen to add in or swap ingredients to your taste.
And if you don’t want a vegan recipe, that’s cool, too! You could absolutely use a regular eggnog that you buy in the store that’s dairy-based and mix it up with the instructions below and create an incredible cocktail. It’s always up to you and your preferences.
This recipe calls for brandy but again, you have options. Use whiskey instead or even rum if you want to get creative with the alcohol. I wouldn’t suggest using vodka, gin or tequila because the flavors will be very off. You can always add more alcohol (be careful!) or of course, less, is very common to create a lighter drink. This is so easily made into a mocktail by eliminating the alcohol altogether. Remember, during the holidays, you need to take breaks from drinking sometimes.
Make the Simple Vegan Eggnog Cocktail
In order to make this Simple Eggnog Cocktail for Christmas Eve, just stop by the store and nab your favorite dairy or non-dairy eggnog. Honestly, I often buy a lower fat variety because eggnog is FULL of saturated fat and sugar and I’m eager to cut it down a little bit. That’t the main thing you need to create this recipe. Experiment with different brands and varieties until you find your favorite. Make sure and pick up a bottle of brandy while you’re there and, if you need it, the vanilla extract and a nutmeg nut. Alternatively, if you’re on the go, just nab the powdered kind and that will work just fine.
The way I wrote this recipe is for ultimate simplicity and so you just pour the ingredients into a rocks glass over ice and garnish it. I always pour this beverage over crushed ice because it creates an eggnog slushy and again, dilutes it a bit for longer sipping and enjoyment. If you want to get fancy, use a shaker to shake the eggnog, vanilla and brandy over ice so it’s extra frothy when you strain it over ice.
I hope you enjoy my Simple Eggnog Cocktail this season! If you need some more inspiration for healthy yet boozy beverages this winter, check out my Gin Ginger Beet Cocktail with Thyme, SoCoNut Cocktail, Hazelnut Coffee Champagne Cocktail or Smashed Cranberry Holiday Champagne!
Simple Vegan Eggnog Cocktail
- 4 ounces brandy
- 3 cups vegan eggnog (use regular if you prefer)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Fill 2 rocks glasses with crushed ice then pour in 2 ounces of brandy each. Add 1.5 cups eggnog then top with vanilla extract and stir with a spoon or cocktail stick. Top with about 1/4 teaspoon each freshly grated nutmeg and serve immediately.
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
Thanks for visiting! If you’re like me: obsessed with eating, wine, going out and traveling, you’re in the right place. Champagne Nutrition® LLC is a Registered Dietitian-run concierge virtual practice helping clients look and feel better. On this blog, you’ll ﬁnd cocktails, mocktails, and plant-based recipes that are easy to make quickly at home and pack for leftovers on your adventures.