This time of year can be really tough for a lot of people. I’m talking, of course, about those who have to listen to me go on and on about how much I love Eggnog. The topic starts sometime around Halloween, and goes on until just after New Year’s Day, when I’m usually so bloated and overstuffed that I have no desire to ever see a frosty glass of nutmeg-dusted nog ever again.
But part of me wishes I could drink Eggnog all year round. I mean, think about it, if only it were a little lighter-bodied, it would make a great little bunch drink. Sure, I’d need to go for a pretty long swim after a glass of the stuff and a plate of French toast, but it would be delicious nonetheless.
Fortunately, there is a lighter version of Eggnog that’s acceptable to drink all year ‘round, and that’s the Brandy Milk Punch. I might get into trouble for oversimplifying this, but if Eggnog is nothing more than a Flip (spirit, sugar, whole egg, nutmeg) with the addition of milk or cream, then I would say that the Brandy Milk Punch is little more than Eggnog minus the egg.
Think about it: a nice spirit (or two), sweetened up a little, some fresh half and half or full-fat milk, maybe a dash or two of vanilla, and a little nutmeg? That’s a drink you can sip all year round that may just be one of the best brunch cocktails ever made. In fact, I like it so much I might even shut up about the damn Eggnog for a short time.
Brandy Milk Punch
1 oz brandy (you can use Cognac here, but the American stuff works just fine)
1/2 oz Jamaican rum (I reach for Smith and Cross, a nice and funky Jamaican rum)
1/2 oz 2:1 simple syrup
2 oz half and half or whole milk
2 dashes vanilla extract
Combine ingredients and shake with ice until cold. Strain over fresh ice in a chilled Old Fashioned glass. Grate fresh nutmeg on top and serve.