Vanilla Bean Eggnog //

When the kids were little I was sort of panicky about holiday traditions. “Quick! We have kids now! We have the make this time of year the most freaking amazing, absolutely epic, filled with candy canes and gratitude and making sure they don’t turn out to be entitled jerks all with a smile on our face holiday season!!” I sound fun, right?

While showering (which is when I get the chance to do all my deep thinking) I started to make the mental list in my head of all the fun things I wanted us to do this season. And then it hit me. There was never really a need to force the traditions and holiday cheer. The tree will be decorated, we’ll have many cups of hot chocolate, I’m sure we’ll see some Christmas lights, we’ll open our stockings just as we’ve done for the past 3 years, I’ll have a tea party for my nieces (and nephews if they’re brave enough to join us) we’ll watch my niece dance in the Nutcracker, we’ll watch Home Alone (already done!) and Elf and we’ll eat lots of cookies.

Without my even realizing it our family has our traditions. They may be a bit wonky and they don’t necessarily happen every year and there are some that I’d rather we not repeat. But in spite of my frazzled “let’s force the kids to love this freaking season otherwise I’m going to feel like a complete failure as a parent!” which as you can imagine doesn’t bring joy to any of us, we love this time of year and we do it all right.

I don’t think there is any one way to avoid the frenzy at some point or another in a month where we have something “festive” planned nearly everyday but I’ve learned to not force the joy and just feel it instead.

Vanilla Bean Eggnog //

Let’s put this Eggnog into the category of sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t but every year it does make an appearance I’m so glad it did. It is the quintessential holiday party punch bowl cocktail and is fun to have around for those late night present wrapping sessions. Traditionally it’s made “adult” with bourbon but you know what? I’m partial to rum. It is absolutely indulgent and for me a little goes a long way but it is just the sort of thing that reminds me that this time of year is special and can be celebrated in simple ways such as sip after sip of creamy, vanilla-flecked and nutmeg topped Eggnog.

Get the recipe for this cocktail and my homemade Ginger Beer over at Live.Love.Lux. by Electrolux. Sara ( and I have been building up quite a delicious database of recipes over there so take some time and check them out.

Vanilla Bean Eggnog //



8 Responses to “Vanilla Bean Eggnog”

  1. Ksenia @ At the Immigrant's Table

    I know what you mean about traditions that don’t actually happen every year. I find that those are my favourites, like the time I made cinnamon buns for Christmas morning, or when my parents made Gluhwein… The memories have a magical quality to them, like a patina that takes over a favourite film you’ve rewound a thousand times… But they still manage to pinch your heart. And I think that if they did happen every year, they might just lose some of that sparkle.

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Ksenia, your words are so stunning. Thank you. I love that image of a patina over your favorite film. It’s so true. I feel so much better when I can sit back and just let each year be what it wants to be. There is so much more joy in that and really, that’s what it is about.
      Thank you for your beautiful comment.

  2. Laura

    The light in your photos is gorgeous, as always. And the addition of aged rum in eggnog? Yes, please. What a timely reminder for the winter holidays to not force the joy to happen, as you said. Too often as parents, I think we allow ourselves to get so stressed out over coordinating the many details of daily life that we in turn cause unnecessary stress on our children. It is so helpful to be reminded to simply breathe and to be intentional about not becoming frazzled. Thank you for that.

  3. Rebecca

    I love the idea of adding vanilla bean to eggnog– the tiny black specks always give just a hint of elegance. Do you think the recipe would be irreversibly compromised if the rum were eliminated? While I enjoy the idea of alcohol, the reality never works out very well for me. 🙂

  4. Kate

    Dear Ashley,
    I made this trifle over the holidays, and it was SUCH A HIT. Thank you for sharing such beautiful recipes and writing about your life and family. I always enjoy steeling moments away to read your blog.


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