It began with a trip to Florida. While staying at her grandmother's house, Brittini Rae, bar manager at Goldie's, discovered her grandmother's cache of recipe books, one of which — dog-eared, the cover worn, the pages tattered — called out to her. In the back of the book, she found a section on cocktails, including everything from the Sazerac to eggnog. Let the holiday drink magic begin.

Historically, eggnog is a descendant of the medieval possett, a combination of booze, milk and spices. Early eggnog was drunk primarily by the wealthy classes in the Old World (the ingredients were far too costly for the lower classes). However, the prevalence of dairy and booze in the American colonies meant that everyone was mixing up their own 'nog and customizing it with their booze of choice — first rum, later bourbon. And these days often it's both.

Brittini Rae's version stays relatively true to both the original and her grandmother's recipe — using eggs, spirits, milk, sugar and spices — but Rae tweaked it to highlight the season and, of course, to make it her own.

“I didn't steer too far from the recipe. I wanted to add a seasonal kick to the cocktail so that's where the homemade apple spice bourbon came into play,” Rae says. “I also added malt to the milk, because who doesn't LOVE malt? Mix that with eggnog and they play really well together.” As for the Miracle Mile chocolate chili bitters, they add a particularly Angeleno bent to the drink.

Goldie's batches up the spiced eggnog because Rae feels that it loses a great deal if made by the individual glass. Guests can still order single servings, but the recipe's consistency is maintained. If you aren't so inclined to mix up a batch yourself, you can sip a glass — or three — at Goldie's through New Year's.

Spiced Eggnog

From: Brittini Rae, of Goldie's

Serves: 25-30

12 eggs, separated

1 cup sugar

1 quart milk

2 cups spiced bourbon (see recipe below)

1 cup Jamaican rum (Brittini Rae likes Blackwell)

1 quart heavy cream, whipped

1 cup Nestle Carnation malted milk

Just under a tablespoon of vanilla extract (or 2.65 teaspoons)

About 10 dashes Miracle Mile chocolate chili bitters


1. Blend the milk, malted milk, and vanilla extract together until smooth.

2. In a separate bowl beat egg yolks slightly, adding sugar, a little at a time, and continue beating until smooth. Pour in the malted milk, bourbon, and rum.

3. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until they stand in peaks. Fold egg whites and whipped cream into yolk mixture, gently but thoroughly. Add about 10 dashes of Miracle Mile chocolate chili bitters, then refrigerate.

4. Serve cold, shaving nutmeg on top and then “burn” the shavings using a butane lighter (normally for about 5 – 7 seconds).

Spiced bourbon:

(1) 750 ml bottle of good bourbon of your choice (like Buffalo Trace or Hirsch Select)

5 Gala apples, quartered

3 cinnamon sticks

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 tablespoon whole allspice

1 pinch cloves

1. Place all ingredients in a glass container with the bourbon and let sit for a minimum of 24 hours at room temperature.

2. Strain out the apples and spices; store in a clean bottle.

Lesley blogs at 12 Bottle Bar, tweets at @12BottleBar and is the author of the book “Gin: A Global History.” Email her at Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.

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