If there’s a cocktail capable of encapsulating the L.A. food and drink scene — trendy bartender, twist on classic drink, avocados — in a single glass, it may well be vegan avocado eggnog.
In a city that has a vegan Mexican restaurant and a vegan ramen stand, it only seems fitting that said vegan Mexican restaurant serve a festive beverage for the holidays, and that it be a vegan eggnog.
At Gracias Madre, beverage director Jason Eisner has created a drink he calls Abuelita’s Champurrado, which — semantics notwithstanding — is his version not so much of the hot masa-based drink, but of eggnog. Eisner substitutes avocado for the egg yolks, which thickens the drink, giving it a consistency that mimics traditional eggnog. Add ginger, Meyer lemon peel, chamomile, Mexican canela (cinnamon), sage, housemade vanilla bean hazelnut milk, coconut milk and housemade almond syrup and you’re (almost) done.
To turn this drink into a cocktail, Eisner adds housemade aguardiente (which means burning water, and is a blend of tequila and mezcal). And voila: a vegan, avocado-based eggnog.
The cocktail is served hot, alongside a handful of organic popcorn and chocolate salt ($10). If Santa Claus happens to go vegan this year, he’s in luck.
And if you’re looking for a non-vegan version, Test Kitchen director Noelle Carter has more than a few suggestions in our recipes database.
8905 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, (323) 978-2170, www.graciasmadreweho.com.
I like to spike my Slurpees. Follow me on Twitter @Jenn_Harris_