Eggnog gets a bad rap for being hot cocoa’s less desirable cousin, but we’re here to argue its case. The drink—a decadent elixir made from cream, sugar, whipped egg whites and egg yolks—is sweet, silky and tastes pretty darn close to melted ice cream. (Come on: The old-school milk punch has been part of the holiday zeitgeist since the 1700s, so there must be something redeeming about it.) If you’re not convinced, spiking your glass with a bit of booze to cut the sweetness might just turn you into a believer. On that note, here are 17 eggnog cocktails that are bound to impress at Christmas cocktail hour.

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1. Classic Eggnog

You can’t go wrong with the O.G., especially when it only takes about 15 minutes to prepare. Upgrade it with whiskey, dark rum or cognac.

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2. Peppermint Eggnog White Hot Cocoa

The virgin version is just the Christmas Eve nightcap for your kids. (They’ll squeal over the crushed peppermints and mini marshmallows.) But the grownups will appreciate a finger or two of vanilla vodka or bourbon in their mug.

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3. Spiked Eggnog Italian Soda

Aged rum stars in this refreshing eggnog-inspired bev. Instead of using eggnog as a base, chilled club soda flavored with Italian eggnog syrup takes centerstage.

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4. Eggnog Egg Cream

Forget the dark, spiced spirits—this sipper is spiked with bubbly, bright prosecco. Buy an extra bottle for the apple cider crowd at your party.

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5. Eggnog Mexican Hot Chocolate

The recipe is dairy-free, since it calls for soy eggnog and soy milk, but you could totally substitute homemade or store-bought dairy eggnog. Now, would you like it topped with Baileys, crème de cacao or Frangelico?

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6. Pumpkin Eggnog with Bourbon

In case you still haven’t had your fill of pumpkin come December, this sipper has you covered. Canned pumpkin purée and pumpkin pie spices infuse the eggnog with lots of fall flavor.

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7. Eggnog White Russian

The original cocktail calls for vodka, coffee liqueur and cream. Here, eggnog takes over for cream before the drink is topped with whipped cream and nutmeg.

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8. Peppermint Cream Martini

Refreshing peppermint schnapps meets vanilla vodka and simple syrup to create a festive cocktail for the books. Simply substitute eggnog for rum cream liqueur or use a bit of both. (And don’t forget to coat the glass’s rim in crushed peppermint candies.)

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9. Homemade Eggless Eggnog

If the whole raw egg thing freaks you out, look no further than this egg-free alternative. What’s really important is the spirits (here, dark rum or bourbon) anyway.

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10. Beer, Nog and Bourbon Cocktails

Even the craft beer nerds at the cookie swap can get in on the nog-laced fun, thanks to this recipe that starts with your favorite porter or stout.

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11. Aged Eggnog Cocktail

Remember how you had to raise your sourdough starter like a newborn at the beginning of quarantine? This recipe is sort of the same idea: The eggnog will need at least ten days in your fridge to age and meld with the whiskey, rum and cognac.

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12. Iced Eggnog Lattes

Sweetened with brown sugar and finished with nutmeg-dusted whipped cream, this espresso bev is well worth getting out of bed for in the morning. Why not spike it with your spirit of choice on a lazy Sunday?

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13. Santa’s Magic Potion

Who knew Saint Nick was so into Irish cream? Feel free to substitute (or add) RumChata, amaretto, cognac or bourbon.

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14. Easy Keto Eggnog

Yup, this drink can be low-carb, so tell your keto-loving relatives to grab a mug. The key is using zero-calorie sweetener instead of sugar and trading dairy milk for almond milk.

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15. Naughty-Nice Hot Cocoa with Spiked Eggnog Marshmallows

We usually like our eggnog in liquid form, but these maple-vanilla marshmallows infused with coconut rum will do, too. Bonus points for garnishing each glass with a sugar cookie.

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16. Chai Eggnog

Rum, brandy or bourbon will taste divine in this dairy-free stunner that’s made with almond and coconut milks. Chai tea bags are steeped in the eggnog, so there’s maximum winter spice in every sip.

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17. Boozy Pumpkin Pie Shooters

Just look at those toasted meringue crowns. In case you need more convincing, these shooters are made with vodka and real pumpkin purée.

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RELATED: 28 Hot Cocktails to Warm Up with This Winter, from Hot Cocoa to Mulled Wine

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