Gingerbread Bourbon Not-Nog

Dec 21, 2016

no noggin around….

We overheard a funny thing at the local liquor store the other day…..there is no pre-mixed boozy eggnog available in the city. The customer had been calling around and none was to be found nor would there be any before Christmas. The store employee suggested perhaps buying a carton of eggnog and a bottle of rum and calling it a day.

This was funny to us as we had no clue such a product even existed. Of course it does. Eggnog goes hand-in-hand with the holidays. Arguably the most traditional festive sipper. This pre-mixed combo without the fuss and ready to drink from the bottle is sure to become a holiday staple for some…..who are we to judge. This is a crazy, busy time of year. With all the shopping, the get togethers, the holiday baking, hosting and travelling we get that you may be looking for a quick fix. We get it…we’re so busy we barely found the time to write this blog post!


That being said, how hard is it to mix together a carton of nog with whichever brown spirit you’ve already got at home. As with most premixed drinks, the alcohol added is never top quality and usually inexpensive. You’ve likely got a bottle of dark rum, whisky or even a tasty Bourbon that would be much better.

Traditionally, eggnog started out as a drink made of ‘hot curdled milk with ale or wine, often sweetened and spiced’; nog was a strong variety of beer. Colonialists found whisky and rum to be more widely available and less expensive and quickly replaced beer and wine. By the 19th century eggnog’s popularity rose, becoming the holiday tradition we know and love today.


For most of us, eggnog stirs up nostalgic holiday memories. Be it a Christmas tree decorating drink, a Christmas Eve present wrapping refreshment, a Christmas morning fortification (it’s got eggs in it right?) or a Christmas dinner sweet toast, eggnog is all about Christmas. According to Stats-Canada, Canadians drink 5.3 million litres of commercial eggnog during the holidays. We’ve lost our noggin’s on the stuff.

As much as we love it, a quick look at the label on most commercial eggnog and you’ll soon understand why eggnog is not a year round staple. A small four ounce cup boasts a whopping 170 calories (mostly from fat) and around 70 mg of cholesterol (which is about a quarter of your daily recommended daily intake).

These gingerbread beauties were made and decorated by our little ones. We promised they would be prominently featured in our next blog post. They were tasty on their own but would be even better dunked into our gingerbread not-nog (Bourbon free for the kiddies of course!).

Our ‘eggnog’ came together out of necessity. Did we mention how busy things are this time of year? Well….we were tasked with making some nog for company recently but found we had none in the fridge. Rather than stepping out to the store for provisions we checked the cupboard and low and behold our ‘not-nog’ was born. Now it’s creamy and rich (thanks to almond milk, coconut milk and cashews) and nicely spiced with gingerbread syrup. Bonus is the syrup is awesome over ice cream, sticky toffee pudding or even plain yogurt. The extra bonus is this eggless ‘not-nog’ is vegan. Not something we aimed for but still crave-worthy and hopefully after you’ve tried it you’ll never drink eggnog from the carton again.

Gingerbread Syrup


2 cups raw golden sugar
2 cups water
1/8 cup molasses
2 Tbsp ground ginger
1 cinnamon stick
2 tsp allspice
1 Tbsp whole cloves
2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp black pepper

  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce to simmer and continue to cook over low heat 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Strain through a fine mesh sieve.
  4. Cool completely and then refrigerate.
  5. Use gingerbread syrup drizzled over ice cream or plain yogurt.
  6. Spice up cocktails or pour warm over sticky toffee pudding.

Gingerbread Bourbon Not-Nog

Yes it’s creamy, rich and vegan! Please don’t stop reading now….it’s also delicious.


3 1/2 cups almond milk
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup raw cashews

  1. Blend everything in a Vitamix or blender until the cashews are completely puréed.
  2. Strain through a fine mesh sieve.
  3. Return to blender and add 1 1/2 cup of the gingerbread syrup (or to desired sweetness).
  4. To booze it up! It’s the holidays after all
  5. Pour 1 oz. Bourbon over ice and top with gingerbread not-nog.
  6. Garnish with grated nutmeg and edible gold flake.

The Verdict 

Give your noggin’ a shake!

If this is the one thing you make from scratch this year it will be sure to impress vegan and carnivore guests alike. Who knows…maybe the big guy’s gone vegan this year (we know he doesn’t eat venison). With all those cookies Santa eats, washing it down with a vegan cocktail doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.

‘And I heard him exclaim ere he drove out of sight Merry Christmas to all and to all a nog night!’

our Bourbon…

Woodford Reserve Distiller's Select

Labrot & Graham Distillery Versailles, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Selected as the Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby and the historic Churchill Downs .

Woodford Reserve uses three different pot stills to create their award winning bourbon.

Sweet caramel, vanilla with a touch of spice and oak.

We love this on it’s own but in our ‘not-nog’ it adds rich flavour and packs a punch!

Like a good friend…we are just trying to push you outside of your comfort zone.

Live a little and expand your palate.

Happy Holidays and nog on!


Christie Pollard

Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers

After 10 years as a restaurateur, culinary instructor and caterer, a trip to France sparked an untapped enthusiasm for all things wine.  I gave up the restaurant life,  made a huge u-turn and dove head first into the vast world of wine.  I have never looked back and achieved my Sommelier certification with the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers in 2015.  I love sharing my pursuit of the perfect pairing in a fun, unfussy and ultimately delicious way with my friends, family and those I teach.


Josie Pontarelli

Red Seal Chef, Culinary Instructor

I graduated from the Stratford Chefs School in 1999 and achieved Red Seal Certification shortly thereafter. With this strong foundation laid, an opportunity to spend time in California presented itself. While there, I was intoxicated by the seasonality and quality of the ingredients everywhere I looked. This experience proved to be a turning point for me in how I thought about food. It inspired me to have a deep and enduring respect for the people, food and culture that go into the perfect dish.

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