This is the best type of alcohol for eggnog

The craving for treats to satisfy your sweet tooth, plus a strong drink to lift your spirits (oops) when holiday season rolls around is only natural. Just because you're self-isolating doesn't mean you'll be immune to either of these wintry urges, and we have just the cure for both: eggnog. This delightfully creamy beverage has been around for ages, and whether you love it or hate it, you gotta admit those 13th-century monks were on to something (via Time). Eggnog has come to be associated with the best holiday traditions, from snuggling up with a warm blanket to the smell of cookies wafting out of a kitchen.

But first, where did eggnog come from? Why do we put aside our feelings about salmonella once a year to happily glug a cup full of what is essentially heavy cream and raw eggs? Even you store-bought 'noggers (stores can't get away with the raw egg part, according to Time) must be just a little bit curious. Early versions of eggnog were known as "posset," a hot, milky beer from medieval England (via Time). By the 13th century, the aforementioned monks had gotten their hands on the drink, and added in some eggs and figs. Traditionally, eggs and milk were signs of wealth, so an eggnog toast would signify good fortune and health (via Time). But to strike the right balance between eggy, creamy, sweet, and boozy, you have to be armed with an important key ingredient: the right kind of alcohol.

You don't need expensive liquor for egg-cellent 'nog

Eggnog is a combination of egg yolks, egg whites, cream, sugar, and alcohol (via The Manual) — and it's infinitely riffable. Nutmeg? Definitely. Coffee? Breakfast eggnog! Vanilla? Yum. Ginger? Now it's a health food! According to The Manual, you have similar leeway with the alcohol, but strong and dark are non-negotiables. Whiskeys are great for eggnog, from bourbon to rye (via The Manual). If you're not the whiskey type, go for some dark rum or brandy. The high alcohol content will balance some of the sweetness, but don't waste your best scotch on a drink this sweet and creamy. It won't make much of a difference, and the nuances of an expensive bottle will be lost in the mix (via the Manual).

The main priority when it comes to eggnog is really beating everything. Beat the egg yolks, then the sugar into the yolks, then the rum or whiskey into the mix, then the cream (Joy Of Cooking via Epicurious). Different recipes will call for letting the mixture stand or chill at various stages of the mixing process, and many put the remaining egg whites to good use — usually folding them into the final mixture where some may float to the top like an ethereal eggy cloud (via Kitchn). Martha Stewart even whips some of the heavy cream and folds it in as well, yielding an extra fluffy, decadent treat.