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One Last Hurrah for Holiday Spirits

Eierpunsch is best enjoyed with friends.

One of the delights we discovered on our Christmas-market-travels through Germany was Eierpunsch, a hot, creamy and exceptionally boozy beverage that offered a nice change when we’d had our fill of mulled wine. I’d read that Eierpunsch was like eggnog, but it didn’t seem anything like eggnog to me – other than being yellow and delicious (the mound of whipped cream and chocolate shavings on top didn’t hurt). None of us could quite identify the flavor profile of Eierpunsch, and I assumed it was something I would only get to drink if I was in Germany in December.

Then, this week, the Washington Post featured a recipe for milk punch, a cocktail most famously served by Brennan’s, that famous New Orleans restaurant. Milk punch sounded a lot like Eierpunsch to me, and that got me thinking… and so down the rabbit hole of the internet I went, on the hunt for an Eierpunsch recipe.

It turns out that Eierpunsch and eggnog are related, as Eierpunsch is also made with eggs (it literally means “egg punch”). The cheater way to make Eierpunsch is to use an egg liqueur called Eierlikör, to which you add milk, cream, rum and spices. Recipes to make it from scratch generally involve eggs, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, white wine and (if you really want to kick it up a notch) rum.

Since I suspect my corner liquor store doesn’t carry Eierlikör, and since I’m not super-psyched to drink slightly-less-than-raw eggs, and since (for reasons I can’t explain) I had all the ingredients for milk punch, I decided to give Brennan’s recipe a try instead. It was delicious but really rich and – true to its name – it packed a serious punch. Plus, it was cold. So I added milk and warmed it up. And voila: almost-Eierpunsch! Okay, so it wasn’t the real deal, but it sure tasted close to what we enjoyed in Germany.

If you want to try the real thing, the recipe below appears to be reliable. Otherwise, if you’re not inclined to mess with eggs, you can try my variation on milk punch. Either way, you’ll be ringing in the New Year in high spirits!

Happy New Year, everybody!


1 cup strong black tea, slightly cooled

8 egg yolks (for a thicker drink) or 4 whole eggs

6 Tablespoons sugar

1 bottle of white wine (something dry or sweet)

juice of one lemon

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

5-6 whole cloves

3-4 Tablespoons dark rum (optional)

Beat the eggs and sugar with a little of the wine, then whisk in the remaining ingredients. (You can wait to add the rum at the end, if you don’t want any of the alcohol to evaporate.) Heat gently over the stove for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it starts to bubble. (Don’t let it come to a boil, unless you want it to be non-alcoholic.) It will thicken slightly but won’t be as thick as eggnog. Remove the cloves. Serve warm with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and some chocolate shavings.

Mockingbird’s Milk Punch

1 ounce dark rum

½ ounce bourbon

1 ounce simple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ounce heavy cream

¼-½ cup milk (depending on how strong you want it)

Note: To make simple syrup, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan; bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 minutes. Cool before using. Store simple syrup in the refrigerator.

Mix everything together and heat gently. Serve warm with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and some chocolate shavings.

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