A Toast to You: Happy Holidays from Algonquin

Today marks our last blog post until we return on January 3. Until then, we leave you with the recipe for the perfect holiday drink, courtesy of our editorial assistant/resident mixologist, Daniel Nowell. Wishing you a bright and cheery holiday season!


The holidays are the time of the year for thick, rich cocktails, and that means an excuse to bust out one of my favorite tricks: egg whites. A well-shaken egg white gives cocktails a full, smooth body that makes you seem like a much more impressive mixologist than you really are. Truthfully, I don’t even really know the science of it—I understand that there is a term called emulsification, but basically I’m hoping that the booze and a good long shaking make the egg okay to drink. The other good news about egg whites is they work with any spirit—they’re most common with gin, but I’ve used them with rum, tequila and, for this drink, bourbon. I believe this drink is a riff on something that Dale DeGroff calls an Admiral or Admiral’s Nog or some such thing, but I haven’t been able to find the recipe and have been making this variant recently. Use these ingredients as a guideline, but feel free to improvise—like Thanksgiving foods, all these holiday flavors are more or less interchangeable and taste best when mixed.


Admiral’s Nog


2 oz. Bourbon. (A sweet, wheated bourbon like Maker’s Mark is a good fit here)

1 egg white (Just crack straight into the mixer and use the shell to strain the yolk)

2 oz Apple cider (Martinelli’s, usually)

Two dashes bitters

One dash vanilla extract

Liberal sprinkling of cinnamon, likewise with some nutmeg


Combine the ingredients with ice and a shaker, and shake until the outside of the shaker is freezing cold. Like I said, having no understanding of why this is safe to drink (but with enough experience doing it to assure you it is), I just shake for a long time—at least 20 seconds. Strain into a chilled glass of your choosing. I use an Old Fashioned glass, but this would look good in a martini glass, too. Garnish with cinnamon. The resulting drink will be as thick and creamy as eggnog, but without the cream, and with a pleasing fruit flavor to match the spice. Happy holidays, and cheers!


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