The very fact that an eggnog can build up an ardent fan base is impressive. Even more so when you consider that Sun Liquor pours its famed nog just during the briefest of windows: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
This season, however, the beverage has taken on a life of its own. It will actually be available on store shelves, and apparently eggnog that's aged 30 days is old enough to host its own party.
Sun Liquor's first annual Nog Ball happens December 11 at the distillery's production facility on Capitol Hill. Festivities include the season's first taste of the 2014 eggnog, but revelry will also be fueled by beverages from 2bar Spirits, Caffe Vita, Hilliards, Snowdrift Cider, and For a Song Wine. Because a night of drinking nothing but eggnog sounds digestively dicey.
Food comes via Off the Rez, Top Pot, and Snoqualmie Ice Cream. The ball grew out of an eggnog crawl organized last year by a few nog loyalists; it was by all reports a delightful and protein-rich evening.
So what's the BFD about Sun Liquor's eggnog? This tradition began in 2006, when an employee mentioned his grandfather's recipe for aged eggnog. Head distiller and nog czar Erik Chapman was intrigued and started experimenting. Every year he made a bit more, no small thing considering he cracks eggs by hand and beats the raw whites and yolks separately in batches of a dozen: "I can't find a way to not separate the eggs and have the same awesome texture."
The legend grew. So did the crowds. This year's iteration is made with bourbon, barrel-aged rum, and apple brandy; the combination is aged at least 30 days, though trial versions in Chapman's fridge have gone as long as 90.
The combination of booze + time breaks down the proteins and fat, delivering a silky, tongue-coating texture. You'll find this fine concoction in our December issue: the 25 best cocktails in Seattle.
If we ever did a feature of the 25 most elusive cocktails, this nog would probably be in there, too. Last year was the first time Sun bottled its holiday creation—that batch of 100 single-liter bottles disappeared faster than tickets to Burning Beast. This year Chapman predicts about 700 milk bottles, stylishly designed, will be released.
After the ball, look for nog bottles starting December 12 at Total Wine and More locations in Northgate Lynnwood, Belevue, and Tukwila. Though I can't imagine they'll be there for long. And yes, it will reliably appear at both Sun Liquor outposts, the bar and the distillery-bar, on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Keep an eye on Sun's Facebook page for specifics on selling bottles there, too.
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