A Better Bourbon-Spiked Eggnog

Give your nog a nudge with this mixologist-approved interpretation

A coup glass with a cocktail on a green background

Photo: Alex Montoya

It’s said that some folks drink non-spiked eggnog. As in no booze. Weird, right? Even with the fun version of the holiday staple, the spirit you choose makes a difference. Chip Steel, head of the beverage program at Houston’s gourmet Le Jardinier restaurant, lends a recipe that elevates eggnog’s appeal with a bit of mixologist technique and more than a bit of—ho! ho! ho!—bourbon. His variation, born of a family recipe, even boasts a fancy-ish name, Garagiste Nog.

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“It’s a reference to the ‘garagiste’ winemakers of Bordeaux who brought a new, modern energy to the region by following their own rules and creating their own blends. In this case, Garagiste Nog doesn’t use traditional brandy, instead substituting bourbon and a little dark rum,” Steel says. “Although bourbon has its own kind of sweetness, it also brings dry, smoky, even bitter notes to the cocktail. While that extra bite is smoothed out by the richness of cream, it does add contrasting complexity.”

The result is a holiday tradition for his family. “Our special recipe has gained a cult following. We always make double or triple batches because no matter how much is made, it always disappears too quickly,” he says. “It does require a little upfront effort, as the mixture needs time to settle after the whipping and mixing. But all the cream, milk, and eggs create a very luscious cocktail. It really gets you in the mood for the season.”



    • 1 dozen eggs

    • 1½ cups sugar

    • ½ tsp. salt

    • 2 cups heavy cream

    • 2 cups light cream

    • 1 quart whole milk

    • 1 quart bourbon

    • 1 cup dark rum

    • Nutmeg


  1. Bring the eggs to room temperature and separate the whites and yolks. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites stiff while slowly adding ½ cup of the sugar.

  2. Beat the yolks in a separate bowl. While beating, add remaining 1 cup of sugar and the salt. When the yolks are pale and fluffy, carefully pour them into the bowl with the egg whites. Keep stirring the egg mixture while adding the heavy cream, light cream, milk, bourbon, and dark rum.

  3. Ladle into jars or jugs, cap, and store in the refrigerator for two days or longer for some of the foam to subside. Before serving, give the bottles a good shake. Pour into a punch bowl, and ladle into glasses. As a final touch, sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg.