How Best to Toast the Holidays

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Coming up before you know it will be the perfect opportunities for holiday toasts. But what should we toast with? Diet cola just doesn't seem appropriate when there are some really traditional holiday drinks available — e.g. eggnog and champagne. Assuming only one will do, on what basis should one choose? Both contain at least some alcohol, so a designated driver could be useful in either case. Maybe we should anticipate the post-New Year's resolution to lose weight, in which case calories certainly count. Here's an ingredient list  and a calorie count for a classic bowl of eggnog:


8 egg yolks:                490 calories

3/4 cup sugar:             540 calories

2 cups whole milk:       430 calories

2 cups heavy cream:  1,680 calories

1.5 tsp nutmeg

1.5 tsp mace

pinch of ground cloves

1/4 cup bourbon:           140 calories

1/4 cup dark rum            128 calories

TOTAL:                           3,346 calories

Now, this recipe would make about 41 ounces of eggnog; say you were going to drink a six-ounce cup, then you'd consume 6/41 = about 15 percent of the volume, and about the same percent of the calories, or about 502 calories!

That's a pretty hefty toast!

Champagne, on the other hand, has about 45 calories per ounce, so drinking a 6-ounce flute of the bubbly would yield 270 calories.  That's not an amount to sneeze at — but it's much less than the egg nog!

So the decision is up to you — anticipate the New Year's Resolution and stick with champagne only, go for the richness of the egg nog, or go for broke and have them both? Just remember that designated driver and get home safely!