If there's a beverage synonymous with the holiday season, it's egg nog. The merriest of guilty pleasures, egg nog is a requisite drinkable dessert found in most every refrigerator this time of year. And in the case of Chicago restaurants, it's all over menus. Here are some top spots for some out-of-the-box egg nog creations.
In case egg nog by itself is not extravagant enough, order an egg nog milkshake at DMK Burger Bar and send yourself spiraling over the edge. The beefy restaurant gets into the holiday spirit by pureeing egg nog with vanilla ice cream, malt powder, and nutmeg, making for a cooling, thick, and creamy alternative to standard nogging. There's also a candy cane milkshake, in case your holiday preferences skew minty.
Egg nog takes an elegant turn on the dessert menu at Telegraph. With egg nog custard, cranberry curd, brandy panna cotta, and chocolate-coated caramel pearls all in place, this is one holiday rendition that knocks tradition on its head. Cranberries and fresh cherry blossoms add tangy balance to the decadence of the egg nog, and it's all striated together to make for one wow-inducing centerpiece.
Leave it to Three Aces to put a novel, seasonal spin on Italy's most classic dessert. Egg nog tiramisu is new to the menu for the holidays, featuring layers of sweetened mascarpone, egg nog custard, lady fingers, and a final layer of toasted panettone bread crumbs and nutmeg.
One surefire way to break up egg nog's innate richness is by splashing it with club soda and vodka. Such is the case with the Egg Nog Royale at 2Sparrows. The brunch-centric restaurant combines brandy, Benedictine, North Shore vodka, allspice-infused brown sugar syrup, egg, half & half, club soda, and cinnamon to make for one festive, hearty, and bubbly libation. It's all capped off with some freshly grated cinnamon to imbue some heady essence.
Here's something you probably thought you'd never see: egg nog canelés. Canelés are a dainty French pastry with a custard center and a dark, caramelized exterior. Fixtures in the Bordeaux region, they're commonly made with eggs, sugar, milk, flour, vanilla, and rum. At Bad Wolf Coffee, the coffee shop with a serious knack for pastry arts, they update this fan favorite with a splash of egg nog, resulting in a canelé that's even richer than its classic counterparts.
Everyone's favorite place to line up for doughnuts is currently offering a seasonal special that ups the ante on the inherit richness found in all their decadent deep-fried creations. The egg nog old fashioned doughnuts make periodic appearances throughout the holiday season, made by finishing their salacious, cakey old fashioned doughnuts with a treacly egg nog glaze. It's definitely worth lining up early for.
Photos: DMK Burger Bar, Tom Harris / Hedrich Blessing (Telegraph), 2Sparrows, Doughnut Vault