‘Tis the season with sugared plums, roasted chestnuts, glazed hams….and creamy spiked eggnog. Eggnog is a traditional Christmas drink created with eggs, cream, sugar and nutmeg and spiked with rum or brandy – at least the adult version is. It’s a party favorite this time of year and several Los Angeles restaurants, bartenders and mixologists mixing up their own versions. Read ahead for this year’s best eggnog cocktails in Los Angeles.
507 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Marissa Grasmick, the talented bar director from Aestus, has just the right seasonal drink for holiday revelers. The “Paris, Tennessee” is an original made with cream, nutmeg, orgeat (this sweet syrup is created from almonds, sugar and rose water or orange flower water), cacao and Smith and Cross Jamaican rum. Grasmick’s eggnog version is a “rum-forward spiced, creamy seasonal cocktail.” Aestus, under the vision of Kevin O’Connor (formerly wine director and sommelier at Spago), features a completely open kitchen, giving its guests the unique opportunity to observe and become a part of the cooking process. The favorite lunch item is a smoked salmon tartine and for dinner a wood-fired grilled chicken.
8905 Melrose Ave.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Gracias Madre, known for its plant-based menu with a lot of Mexican flair (thanks to Chef Chandra Gilbert), has the perfect celebratory eggnog for vegans. Beverage Director Jason Eisner has created “Abuelitas Champurrado” made of house-made vanilla bean, hazelnut milk, dates, avocado instead of eggs (used to thicken the eggnog), coconut milk, sea salt, nutmeg, Mexican canela (cinnamon) and house aguardiente (a Portuguese alcohol). Eisner doesn’t stop at the cocktail – he serves it with salted, chocolate drizzled organic popcorn. Champurrado is traditionally served with churros in the morning and is also very popular at las posadas (the Christmas season) where it is served alongside tamales.
8265 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
California brasserie Terrine, which recently launched its new winter drink menu, is serving traditional eggnog for the season. Ryan Wainwright, head bartender, creates this creamy alcohol delight with Quinta Tawny Port, Torres 10 Imperial Brandy Gran Reserva, El Dorado EightYear Old Cask Aged rum, Varnelli Caffe Moka, demerara syrup (a simple syrup made from demerara or turbinado sugar), cream and one whole egg. Terrine is an unpretentious French inspired restaurant serving rustic French classics with California inspiration.
Paul Martin’s American Grill
2361 Rosecrans Blvd.
El Segundo, CA 90245
Paul Martin’s American Grill’s signature eggnog is made from scratch daily. Created with fresh eggs, cream, a dash of nutmeg, a splash of Maker’s Mark Bourbon and Myer’s Dark Rum, this classic holiday cocktail is a bar favorite at Paul Martin’s. The grill restaurant focuses on cooking and preparing dishes featuring seasonal ingredients from local farmers and purveyors of artisanal foods. Menu highlights include house-made roasted butternut squash soup, marinated skirt steak, fish tacos, brick chicken, French dip and mac ‘n cheese.
Salt & Straw
240 N Larchmont Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Salt & Straw, the small-batch ice cream purveyor that started up in Portland, is scooping a series of specialty ice cream flavors in December. Part of head ice cream maker Tyler Male’s holiday classics’ ice cream series is his spiked butterscotch eggnog, which is meant to be eggnog, just in ice cream form. This flavor is creamy and delicious, featuring a delicious egg custard base then blended with a homemade butterscotch that is created with real Scotch. Other holiday favorites being scooped this season include Bourbon pecan pie, mincemeat pie (which doesn’t contain actual meat), peppermint cocoa and butter roasted chestnut. All ice creams are prepared right here in L.A.
Related: Best Unique Holiday Desserts In LA