How to Make Your Eggnog Into Jello Shots

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[Photographs: Elana Lepkowski]

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As a child, I never saw anyone drink eggnog. My parents and grandparents never served it. My friends' homes were all nog-free, too, as far as I could tell. It became something of a bogeyman to me, something gross that sleazy uncles in books drank to keep warm.

As an adult, though, I've become an eggnog lover. To me, the good stuff tastes like rich spiced milk. It's custardy, but not eggy, delicious with rum or brandy or both. Still, I feel like it's fusty with tradition. The same old drink, year after year after year. Eggnog needs a change. A way to get your party guests excited again.

Making eggnog into jello shots gives the old-school drink some fun new clothes. These yuletide bites are still rich, spiced, and alcoholic, but they're a bit more entertaining than the old punch cup.

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You'll start by making a traditional eggnog. We like to use a stand mixer for perfectly blended results. And, while the classic eggnog recipe works beautifully, you can also get creative with your flavors: You've got plenty of options.

Don't have time to make the eggnog from scratch? That's fine, too. Store-bought eggnog works just as well, and the shot-making method is pretty much the same.

Working with powdered gelatin may seem a little intimidating, but it's easy, I promise. You'll separate a portion of your eggnog and warm it gently, sprinkling the gelatin on top to bloom and then mixing it in so it can get completely hydrated by the warm liquid. You'll then mix it back into the rest of the eggnog and top it with nutmeg.

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While just about any container can be used to form the jello shots, silicone molds are a dream to work with. They're wonderfully flexible, allowing you to pop out your jello shots without causing cracks.

In a pinch, though, you could also make these in paper cups or mini muffin wrappers. Or, if you'd like to offer your guests a bit more of a wallop, you can double the size and serve your eggnog jello shots in cups, to be spooned and savored.