Seen through a half-consumed bottle of Cruzan Single Barrel Rum, that little ceramic Christmas village sure looks cozy. See how the lights are still on in the church. Must be a little ceramic temperance meeting. (“The demon rum, it looms over our fair village like a tower of sin! We must drive it from our borders! Expel it from the credenza and send it crashing onto the Devil’s own hardwood flooring below!”)

Man, free rum goes down nicely. Especially in that eggnog recipe I included in the Xmas issue.

Yep, a goodly portion of the so-far-consumed press-kit rum was sacrificed to the nog gods. And it turned out better than expected. I did make a couple adjustments to the recipe I cribbed from Dale DeGroff. He called for equal parts bourbon and rum but I’m not a huge fan of bourbon at the best of times and I didn’t want it, with all its icky corn mash, mucking up my drink.

So for spirits, I went with two parts white rum (Bacardi) to three parts Cruzan. Glad I did. The Cruzan has a mellow, butterscotch flavour to it that worked really well. Most eggnog recipes I’ve read call for a spiced rum, though. So, just to be on the safe side, I grated about a teaspoon of cinnamon into the mix.

Beyond that, I stuck to the DeGroff recipe — the folding in of beaten-to-peaking egg whites and everything. It was the most work I’ve put into a drink in… well… ever. But the result was well worth the rigamarole.

Best. Nog. Ever.

Hmm. It’s just occurred to me that most of you will be reading this on Dec 31 and maybe you’re expecting some kind of appropriate drinking advice for New Year’s Eve. Sorry. I’ve always found New Year’s to be a bit of a letdown and, drinking-wise, it’s strictly a lowest-common-denominator affair.

Really, all I’ve got for advice is: Beware the Baby Duck. Cheap sparkling wine beverages give really nasty hangovers.