Have Eggnog Will Travel
Text and photos by Meda Kessler
Nothing says holidays like a road trip to Louisiana for million-calorie drinks and meat pies
We first tasted Maggio’s eggnog three years ago at a Christmas party. A Fort Worth restaurateur known for his Louisiana roots and his wine acumen was sipping a creamy, partly frozen concoction.
“You gotta try this,” he said between sips. “I’m not a big eggnog fan, but this is incredible.”
A half gallon — sourced from Louisiana — was stashed in the fridge, and throughout the evening, we helped ourselves to little cups of what’s officially known as an eggnog daiquiri, ignoring the bottles of vino and bubbly set out for the festivities.
Guynell Whetstone, a Fort Worth-based wine rep and party host, learned about the eggnog while on a sales call with a colleague in the Bayou State.
We got another chance to indulge in the boozy slushie last year. With holiday travel on hold due to the pandemic, an impromptu road trip got us out of the house and on the road to Natchitoches. (By the way, it’s pronounced nah-cuh-dish.)
With ice chests in the back of the car and orders from friends in hand, we hit the road early for the almost-five-hour drive to this historic town located on the banks of the Cane River. Movie buffs know it as the city where they filmed Steel Magnolias. Tony’s Beverages in Shreveport gets a lot of credit for creating daiquiri eggnog, but we prefer a holiday drink run to the more quaint Natchitoches, where houses and businesses get decked out for the Christmas celebration, which runs through Jan. 6. You’ll find excellent options for food there, too. But your destination isn’t in the historic downtown; Maggio’s Package Liquor sits on the edge of the business district. An unassuming building that also holds an event space, it bills itself as the oldest drive-thru liquor store in America. (A weathered wood sign out front says it was established in 1967.) And, yes, there’s a drive-thru option with double lanes.
Frankly, we were expecting more of a dive. While Maggio’s doesn’t look like much from the outside, it’s spacious and well-stocked with beer, wine, liquor and a big menu of frozen drinks, which you can also order at the counter. For 8 bucks, you can get a 44-ounce cup of eggnog, which is seasonal, a Tom Collins or drinks such as the Demon Drop, Pink Alligator or Flaming Phoenix.
Our traveling party opted for waters all around for the road and watched as the helpful staff wheeled out our frozen to-go order on a dolly and loaded up our coolers. Other customers didn’t bat an eye.
Before we left, we asked if they would share the recipe or at least tell us what was in the eggnog. The answer was a polite, but emphatic, no.
If a trip to Louisiana isn’t in your plans, check out Blackland Distillery’s seasonal cocktail at the swanky tasting room in Fort Worth’s Foundry District. Made with Blackland’s small-batch Texas Pecan Brown Sugar Bourbon and its Rye Whiskey, the eggnog is rich and creamy with a sweet bite thanks to the bourbon. And you can re-create it at home, as Blackland’s products are available for purchase online and at area liquor stores.
2616 Weisenberger St., Fort Worth, 682-268-5333, blacklandfw.com
Blackland Distillery Eggnog
Serves 4 to 6
- 1½ cups Blackland Texas Pecan Brown Sugar Bourbon
- ½ cup Blackland Rye
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup vanilla almond milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 6 whole eggs
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ tablespoon aromatic bitters
- 2 dashes cinnamon
Combine all ingredients and blend thoroughly with an immersion blender. Pour over ice. Serve with freshly grated nutmeg.