Caroline Glover always knew when company was about to arrive for the holidays because her dad would get out the hand mixer and a large yellow bowl to start his eggnog-making process.
“On the second day, when he’d fold in the egg whites, he’d always give us kids a spoonful; it was such a treat,” said Glover, the James Beard Award-winning chef behind Annette at The Stanley Marketplace in Aurora.
Hays’ Eggnog (named after her dad) is on Annette’s menu for the rest of the year, and will be available at the restaurant’s Scandinavian New Year’s Eve Brunch, too. It’s a boozy one with both Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum and a dry Plantation Xaymaca rum plus a whole lotta cream.
Traditionally, eggnog is made with milk, cream and holiday spices like nutmeg and then spiked with rum, whisky or brandy (or a combination of liquors). Bartenders are putting their own creative spins on the decadent holiday drink that some culinary historians think dates all the way back to early medieval Britain.
From a tropical riff on the Yuletide classic at an island-themed bar to an eggnog-centric ice cream dessert, here are eight more places in and around Denver to find nog this December.
The Red Barber
Instead of hibernating this winter, the frosé machine at The Red Barber is churning out tasty frozen “eggless” eggnogs for the rooftop bar that has a sunny indoor space with board games, holiday inflatables and mischievous gnomes and elf decorations. The frozen nog is made with whisky, brandy, oat milk, holiday spices and then garnished with a candied lemon.
3770 Walnut St., Denver; theredbarber.com
Sleigh Bar in McGregor Square
The Sleigh Bar has taken over Milepost Zero for the month of December and, in addition to events like holiday movie trivia, Santa visits and drag bingo, the bar is slinging all kinds of festive cocktails. The Brr-bon Eggnog is concocted with Old Forester bourbon, gingerbread eggnog and is served with a crown of whipped cream and a cute little cinnamon Teddy Graham garnish. Exercise some restraint; the outdoor ice skating rink is calling.
1601 19th St., Suite 150, Denver; mcgregorsquare.com
Silky and decadent, there’s no denying that eggnog belongs in the dessert category. Recognizing this, The Bindery chef and owner Linda Hampsten Fox serves a rich and texturally dynamic deconstructed eggnog ice cream. It comes with a burnt cinnamon mousse, cognac mousse, nutmeg crumble, eggnog ice cream, a clove-pinecone syrup and a gingerbread pretzel cookie.
1817 Central St., Denver; thebinderydenver.com
You could get store-bought eggnog, grate some nutmeg over it, give it a nip of booze and call it a day. But that’s not the Christmas spirit! Eggnog only comes around once a year so why not impress your holiday guests with an extra special homemade pumpkin spice and maple eggnog from Lady Jane? Head bartender Stuart Weaver’s beloved eggnog is available for takeout and you can pre-order it online. It’s also available at the LoHi bar this holiday season.
2021 W. 32nd Ave., Denver; ladyjanedenver.com
Next Level Burger
For a non-alcoholic nog, Next Level Burger — a plant-based burger joint — serves the Notorious N.O.G. Shake that you can order with either organic coconut or soy soft serve. The shake comes with an organic bourbon flavoring that’s swirled in and the creamy dessert is dusted with holiday spices.
1605 E. Evans Ave., Denver; nextlevelburger.com
Known as the “Beach on Broadway,” Adrift is slinging a creamy piña colada-inspired eggnog that’s made with pineapple, dark rums, coconut cream, cinnamon and spices that your tastebuds will recognize from Caribbean drinks. The bar is decked out in holiday decor and is known as“Snowdrift” for the month of December. It feels like the kind of place Santa would vacation at after his overnight shift.
218 S. Broadway, Denver; adriftbar.com
Sky Bar, a lounge that celebrates the Golden Age of Travel, serves nostalgic cocktails as well as remakes of those classics. For the holidays, bar manager Austin Hay’s riff on eggnog is made with rye whisky, Jamaican rum, sherry and a housemade allspice cinnamon syrup. It’s creamy, spicy and packs a nice boozy punch.
2501 Dallas St., Suite 311, Aurora; skybarstanley.com
Après in the Clouds at Halcyon
Your first order of holiday business: Book a cute winterized cabana on the rooftop of the Halcyon, a hotel in Cherry Creek. Then, order yourself the eggnog that comes in a teddy bear cup and that’s made with Maker’s Mark, Laird’s Applejack (an aged brandy) and then colored blue with spirulina. Other cocktails include Warm Regards that you can order in a thermos with tin cups and a holiday punch with spiced pear liqueur, Grand Marnier and more festive ingredients.
245 Columbine St., Denver; halcyonhotelcherrycreek.com
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