Liquor Name: Belle Meade Bourbon
Distillery: Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery
Food Pairing: Hatcher Family Dairy Eggnog and sugar cookies
Aroma: Rye spice, vanilla
Where to Find It: I like to go to the distillery in Marathon Village so I can pick up some last-minute gift bottles (and a bottle of Single Barrel for my pop).
When I think of the holiday season, I often feel nostalgic for both my Gran and Grandma’s cooking. One recipe I miss in particular is their boiled custard—I’ve never found a store-bought version that I like as much as theirs. And though our family’s culinary grimoire holds the likes of popcorn balls, persimmon pudding, and pecan pie, it doesn’t contain the recipe for that coveted custard. So, left with few options, I began to get curious about another creamy treat—eggnog. Because I’m from a generations-old Tennessee family, we never had eggnog, we only had boiled custard (for hardcore Southern folk, boiled custard is the only acceptable holiday dairy treat; eggnog is considered an inferior, Yankee-fied cousin of custard). In fact, when I recently asked my dad about eggnog, he practically leaped out of his chair and exclaimed, “I never had eggnog one time growing up and neither did you!”
Well, I may get coal this year, because I have a confession to make . . . I recently found, tried, and fell in love with (spiked AF) eggnog. I’d still rather have my Granny’s custard, but since I cannot, I’m excited that Hatcher Dairy makes a concoction that still manages to take me back in time—even if it’s to a place where eggnog wasn’t allowed. Add a little Belle Meade Bourbon, and you’ve got a one-way ticket to sleepy town via one of the best cold-weather nightcaps imaginable. Note: Lots of folks opt for rum rather than whiskey in their eggnog, which as an avid rum drinker, I totally understand. But Green Brier’s whiskey has just enough charred molasses notes to take care of my sweet tooth, and its robust, rye-induced spice doesn’t get lost in sweeter cocktails. Consequently, this is a (rare) instance in which I’m Team Whiskey. Pair this spiked eggnog with simple sugar cookies, and you’ll feel like Santa—or, if you’re like me, a kid in your grandma’s kitchen.