Sherry Wine News

Sherry vs. Eggnog

Happy Holidays, Sherrylovers! In the festive spirit, U.S. guest writer Derek Brown has Sherry take on eggnog in a special holiday edition of Sherry vs. Everything.

Eggnog is one of the most beloved and hated beverages I know. Every time I mention it, I’m likely to get either a confused or quixotic look. The former is from cartons of eggnog with that odd almost plastic-y aroma and melted butter hue, not to mention the mouth coating texture that’s reminiscent of Kaopectate. The latter is from such and such’s grandmother’s recipe, commonly derived from that person’s heritage or familial tradition. These range from eggnog to near-versions like Coquito or Rompope, also holiday favorites in their respective countries.
My recipe is from my grandmother. Gram's recipe was not culled from family history, it came by way of a simple mistake: instead of adding one cup of “brandy or Bourbon or rum,” she added a cup of each, juxtaposing the “and” for “or” in her head. Whoops! Although Gram had seven children, so it’s very possible that her “mistake” was also to her benefit during the busy holiday season. Either way, we always had very festive Christmas’s, if anything else.
Whether intentional or not, Gram was onto something. Using a few different spirits including brandy, Bourbon and rum in the right proportions can add dimension and flavor to the nog. Some people even use Tequila or Apple Brandy with surprisingly good results. However, whatever base spirits you use, I would argue that eggnog is best with the addition of Sherry.

Firstly Sherry is peppered throughout old recipes for egg nog, so it’s not entirely a modern ingredient. Though Sherry drinks have entered the current vernacular as the trade of hipster bartenders, they’re drawn from a long past in America by way of colonists and even our first commander-in-chief, George Washington, whose recipe called for a healthy portion of Sherry. Secondly, from a flavor perspective, Sherry has exactly what it takes to enhance eggnog. Adding an oxidative style of Sherry—meaning it has additional aging in barrels, such as Amontillado, Oloroso or Palo Cortado—lends complexity to the mix with flavors of dried fruits, almonds, walnuts and even savory notes of smoke and salt.
The question of sweetness can be settled with Sherry too. Using a medium sherry, or slightly sweet Sherry, can cut the use of sugar and create a wonderful profile of dark, syrupy fruits like sweet plums. However, I warn anyone who has an old bottle of cooking Sherry or antique version of “Sherry,” meaning long over-exposed on the liquor shelf, it’s time to buy a new bottle. The words “cooking” and “Sherry” should be reserved for different paragraphs of a recipe or in relation to an action: I’m going to cook and drink Sherry.
In keeping my grandmother’s legacy alive, we serve eggnog at my dressed-up bars during Christmas—they’re decorated in holiday themes and renamed Miracle on 7th Street from Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve—and serve it as a shot. The recipe has been ever-tweaked by two of our top bar guys, JP Fetherston and Paul Taylor, so it no longer resembles dear Gram’s recipe entirely. That’s OK, I believe traditions are best when they evolve. So, in keeping with that logic, let’s evolve yours—drop the cartons, use fresh eggs and add Sherry.

Below is the recipe we currently use at Miracle on 7th Street. Though I recommend using the suggested proportions, I’ll leave it to you and your family to determine just how faithful your portions and reading comprehension is. Happy Holidays!

Miracle on 7th Street Eggnog

Approximately 20 servings

·      1 cup (8 oz.) Amontillado Sherry
·      1 cup (8 oz.) Brandy
·      1 cup (8 oz.) Dark Rum
·      1 cup (8 oz.) Rich Simple Syrup
·      1 Quart (32 oz.) Heavy Cream
·      1 Quart (32 oz.) Whole Milk
·      12 Eggs Yolk
Blend egg yolks, combine ingredients and blend with immersion blender or whip with hand whisk. Serve chilled in punch bowl and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Share this Article
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of El Consejo Regulador.
Derek Brown
Derek Brown is a leading spirits and cocktail expert with four of the country's most respected craft cocktail bars, James Beard Award nominee Mockingbird Hill, Eat the Rich, Southern Efficiency and the twice James Beard Award-nominated Columbia Room, located in Washington, D.C.
Visit website
Derek Brown @betterdrinking
07 December 2017
Share this Article
Stay up to date on the lastest news from the Sherry region and events taking place near you.
Follow us

Meet the maker

Victoria Frutos Climent
Bodegas Real Tesoro &...
José María Quirós Sacaluga
Bodegas Tradición ,...
Reyes Gómez Rubio
Sánchez Romate ,...
Juan Manuel Hidalgo
Emilio Hidalgo ,...
Ignacio Lozano
Osborne , Enólogo
Jan Pettersen
Fernando de Castilla...
Manuel José Valcarcel Muñoz
Bodegas Fundador SLU...
Rocío Ruiz
Bodegas Urium ,...
Salvador Espinosa Rodríguez
Bodegas y Viñedos Díez-Mérito...
José Carlos Garrido Saborido
Bodegas Argüeso ,...


Classic, Passionate & Uniquely Spanish

Receive the latest news from Sherry Wines.

Subscribe now!


Thank you for joining our sherrylover community. We respect your privacy and promise to only send you news and events related to the D.O. Jerez and Manzanilla and their wineries.

In compliance with the current regulations on the Protection of Personal Data, we inform you that any personal data that you have provided to us, will be treated as long as you do not communicate otherwise, by REGULATING COUNCIL OF THE DENOMINATIONS OF ORIGIN "JEREZ-XÉRÈS -SHERRY "," MANZANILLA-SANLÚCAR DE BARRAMEDA ", and" VINAGRE DE JEREZ "in order to provide the requested services, answer your questions and send you information that may be of your interest. The recipient may exercise their rights of access, rectification, deletion, opposition, limitation of processing, data portability and not be the subject of automated individualized decisions (including the preparation of profiles), sending signed request by postal mail with subject "Data Protection ", To the address: Avda. Alcalde Álvaro Domecq, 2. 11.402, Jerez de la Frontera. Cádiz, clearly indicating the contact information and sending a copy of your identity document. You can also exercise the right to file a claim with the Spanish Agency for Data Protection (