With Thanksgiving behind us, the holiday season is officially underway. It’s the time of the year synonymous with traditions, rituals, comfort, friends, and family. While we certainly have quite a few favorite things that this season brings—pine-scented potpourri, gingerbread cookies, peppermint mochas—if there is anything that is a holiday staple, it is that delicious, oh so creamy drink known as eggnog.
Given the perpetually empty shelves at the grocery stores, it’s clear that we all love our ‘nog dearly. In fact, we love it so much that local cafés even now regularly offer the highly coveted eggnog latté. For some, however, the consistency of the eggnog is a little too thick for one’s tastes, and while that gets cut down in an eggnog latté, we’re not always in the mood to settle for coffee.
So what’s the alternative? The eggnog tea latté!
That’s right! You can craft your very own, in-house eggnog tea latté, and we’re here to help!
Let’s assume that you were lucky enough to pick up a carton of your favorite eggnog, what’s next? The key to a good eggnog tea latté is the tea. Some people like to pair their eggnog with an already spiced tea, such as a chai, but we think it’s better to have more control over the level of spice in your drink. For this reason, we recommend beginning with a simple, cost-effective black tea, such as Keemun Imperial.
With Keemun Imperial as your base, you can elect to punch up the spiciness by infusing your tea with your own spices, such as a cinnamon stick or whole clove. However you elect to do it, be sure to brew your tea as you normally would (at 205°F / 95°C for approximately 60 seconds). Since you’ll be mixing this, only make half of the amount, whether it’s a half of a mug, half of a cup, or half of a pot.
While you are preparing your tea, be sure to gently warm your eggnog in either the microwave or over a stovetop. Just be careful not to overheat it. It doesn’t need to be piping hot; we only need it to be room temperature or slightly warm. You’ll want equal parts eggnog to equal parts tea (although, if you want your drink thicker or thinner, you can increase or decrease the ratio of eggnog to tea, respectively).
When both are ready, carefully and slowly pour your tea into your eggnog, first aiming for the center before spiraling outward in tight concentric circles. As soon as you’re finished, give your drink a gentle stir. If you wish to make it even more seasonally appropriate, you may want to consider adding a cinnamon stick for good measure and a dash or two of cinnamon or nutmeg.
You’re all set with your very own, hand-crafted eggnog tea latté!
With that said, keep in mind, too, that you are certainly welcome to experiment with your eggnog tea lattés as well. For example, while Keemun Imperial is the safe choice, an exciting alternative would be a good, dark tea, such as Lao Liu Bao. This earthiness from this tea complements the rich, sweet, and spicy character of the eggnog without accentuating it, leaving a really complex drink.
Another solid alternative tea would be the Xinhui Mandarin Gongting puerh. A full-bodied tea with a strong citrus flavor, unlike Lao Liu Bao, this tea would amplify the sweetness of the eggnog with a pleasant, slight acidity.
Lastly, for those who fancy the adult version of this beverage, you can use any of the above recipes, taking care to add a small, half ounce of spiced rum for taste. In fact, if you’re feeling especially adventurous, you may even want to try using our authentic Lapsang Souchong with the adult version! After all, a touch of smokiness with a pinch of spiced rum in your eggnog just might make for a winning combination!
Whatever you decide to try, be sure to tweak to your liking appropriately, and it’d be wonderful to hear about your results below!