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Current Obsession: Spiked Vegan Egg Nog At Gracias Madre

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Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist
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Call us nitpickers or details people, but it's the little things in life—and in the food world— that get us excited. Whether it be an off-the-wall menu item, a particularly stylish bathroom or a restaurant's signature scent, we get stoked on the minutiae that makes our dining scene unique. Consider this the sacred space where we feel safe to express our current obsessions and openly explore our favorite things.

This week, it's Gracias Madre's vegan egg nog.

What it is: If you're veering from dairy, one of the trickiest things to find during the holiday season is a decent egg nog, which is traditionally made using eggs, cream, and milk spiked with nutmeg, sugar and brandy or bourbon.

But Gracias Madre has a solution to the Great Vegan Egg Nog Dilemma. And we think it's just as good, if not better, than the original.

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Traditional egg nog's origins are said to be rooted in England. According to Mental Floss, "most culinary anthropologists believe modern eggnog descended from a thick, boozy, late-medieval concoction called posset that was composed of hot milk and hooch enhanced with whatever spice the lord of the castle had on hand." Later in the 13th century, monks started adding fancier, more expensive ingredients like figs and eggs into the mix, and drank the beverage to toast special occasions and holidays.

At Gracias Madre in West Hollywood, they take a more meditative approach to their modern Mexican twist on egg nog. Beverage Director Jason Eisner and his team make the drink, which they call "Not Your Madre's Egg Nog," by using a combination of coconut milk, house made chocolate bitters, a house blend of chai masala spices, a drizzle of caramel agave, and Mezcal El Silencio Espadin topped with a cocoa powder snowflake stencil.

Why it's rad: We have to say "thanks" to Gracias Madre for turning the traditional egg nog on its head, not only by making it dairy-free, but also for adding mezcal as the base spirit instead of brandy. It's not at all as heavy or custardy as traditional egg nog, and has an awesome smokey characteristic from the addition of mezcal.

Because the coconut milk is much lighter than cream, it means that you can enjoy a second round—or an order of holiday tamales—because you won't feel like you've got a Santa belly.

Plus, we love stylish cocktail garnish that's both stylish and utilitarian, and the hand-cut snowflake stencil that outlines the cocktail's dusting of cocoa is just that.

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Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist
Where to find it: The vegan egg nog will be available through the holidays. You can find it at Gracias Madre at 8905 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, (323) 978-2170.

How much it'll cost you: $15 a pop.