The moment the clock runs out on Thanksgiving, it starts ticking for Christmas, which means one central thing: Eggnog is back in play.
A once-a-year indulgence famous for sitting in one’s stomach like a liquid brick, a little eggnog tends to go a long way. And yet: We still crave it, we still buy it, we still consume coffee products vaguely based on its flavor profile.
Eggnog made by Wisconsin-based Organic Valley (which generally retails for $4.99 a quart) is a nice variation on the theme. It’s pale, rather than yellow in color, and it’s less rich and less sweet than the usual stuff. It’s dairy-forward, not egg-forward, and the overall sugar content is moderate compared to the standard-issue nog. It still packs a creamy punch calorically (180 calories for a half-cup serving), but compare that to the conventional stuff (as many as 220 calories for the same amount) — it’s not diet, but it’s not as bad as they come, either. And while Organic Valley doesn’t go down as clean as a glass of milk, it doesn’t coat the interior of your mouth, either, unlike many of its colleagues.
From a rum mixing perspective, Organic Valley gives you a lighter, punchier drink than you may be used to — the flavor of the rum comes through more clearly than with the standard nog, so buy good booze (Myers’s Dark comes to mind).
So: A lighter eggnog. Blasphemy? A slap in the face of tradition? Perhaps, perhaps. But it’s also nice to be able to enjoy a more elegant, slightly fresher-tasting twist on a Christmas staple.