Christmas cocktails don’t get more festive than eggnog, and one expert has shared a variety of ways to serve it.

Patrick Pistolesi, master mixologist for NIO Cocktails unveiled his perfect formula for the creamiest drink and three unique flavour combinations to spike it with.

Traditionally, the sweet tipple combines a variety of dairy ingredients to make a thick, sumptuous drink, but it’s easy to customise with a variety of flavours.

As recommended by Patrick, gingerbread, cranberry-cinnamon swirl and spiced orange are all great options, all of which bring “warm comforting notes” to “complement the sweetness of eggnog perfectly.”

Here’s exactly how to make them.

Classic eggnog recipe

In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until well combined and slightly thickened. Add the milk, cream, vanilla and half a teaspoon of each of the spices to a saucepan and simmer over low to medium heat, stirring constantly.

Once the saucepan mixture is hot, gradually pour a small amount into the egg yolk mixture, whisking continuously to temper the eggs and prevent curdling.

Return the egg mixture to the saucepan with the remaining milk mixture and continue to cook over low heat. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens slightly and reaches a temperature of 70C. This should take about six minutes just take care to not let the ingredients reach boiling point.

Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes, then cover the eggnog and refrigerate it for at least four hours or overnight to allow the flavours to meld and the eggnog to chill thoroughly.

Before serving, add a shot of brandy, rum, or bourbon whiskey and give the eggnog a good stir. If it has thickened too much in the refrigerator, you can add a little more milk or cream to reach your desired consistency.

Patrick said: “If using a cinnamon stick, you can break it in half to release more flavour. If using ground cinnamon, you can add a pinch directly. Cook the mixture for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until the cranberries burst and release their juices, then add this to the eggnog mixture.

“The sweetness of cranberries adds a contrast to the richness of eggnog, while the warm notes of cinnamon create an inviting flavour combination.”

Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a gingerbread treat, and it can be incorporated into your eggnog recipe too.

The mixologist continued: “The warm comforting notes of gingerbread spice complement the sweetness of eggnog perfectly. Simply add a teaspoon of gingerbread syrup to your eggnog mixture. For extra flavour, sprinkle a pinch of ground ginger and ground cinnamon into the eggnog and these key spices will enhance the overall gingerbread flavour.

“Stir the eggnog mixture thoroughly to combine the ingredients. Top the eggnog with whipped cream and garnish with small gingerbread for an added touch.”