Nog-Hater’s Rejoice! [Warm Coconut Milk with Hazelnuts, Honey & Bourbon]
You did one of two things when you read that. You were either reminded of delicious holiday memories filled with family and boozy (or booze-free, if such a thing exists) thick eggnog, or like me, you retched a little in your mouth. There is no in between with the raw, egg-heavy concoction. You love it, or you want the word banished from the English language. I feel I closer concede with the latter group, unfortunately.
Last year, I made a chocolate-bourbon version that pushed me slightly more over to the former group, but I’m still not sold. I can’t help but think of the scene in Napoleon Dynamite where they’re working on the chicken farm and are offered a pitcher of well-beaten raw eggs for lunch. I can feel my lunch threatening to catapult through my system and onto the floor at the thought.
What is a girl to do? I’m sure you know the answer, which is obviously to create something that mimics the comfort and warmth of a boozy, spiced eggnog without the raw eggs… or any eggs at all. It can even be dairy-free altogether if you use soy/almond or rice milk in place of the cow’s milk. Vegans and nog-haters rejoice! We can have our “eggnog” and keep it down, too!
Warm Coconut Milk with Hazelnuts, Honey & Bourbon
serves 4 single servings
This is extremely close to eggnog in texture and warmth, though it has a very different flavour profile. It’s rich and nutty with hazelnuts being the most apparent flavour on first taste. If you want to play with the spices a bit, this might be nice with cardamom pods or cloves in place (or in addition to) the cinnamon and nutmeg.
1 14oz can creamy coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen)
1 1/2 cups unsweetened milk (soy, rice, cow, almond - whatever you have)
1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts, skins removed
1/4 cup honey, more if you like it sweeter
2-4 ounces bourbon, optional
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Combine the coconut and regular milks in a mason jar or bowl and pour in the hazelnuts. Let them soak for at least 2 hours, up to overnight for the best hazelnut flavour.
In a blender or bullet, blend the milks and hazelnuts for 1 minute. Using 2 layers of cheesecloth or a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl, strain the hazelnut pulp from the milks (you can save it and add it to cookies!). Pour into a sauce pot with the honey, bourbon and spices and bring to a gentle simmer. Let warm, whisking occasionally to make sure the honey has loosened up. Taste and adjust honey/bourbon if needed. If it’s too thick, add a bit more milk (or a bit of water) to thin it out to desired consistency.
Ladle into mugs and sprinkle with a little cinnamon. Glug it back and feel proud of yourself for getting to enjoy a creamy holiday drink without the use of icky raw eggs!
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