Forget store-bought, cartoned egg nog. Make the real stuff, inspired by an Italian folk story starring Befana, an old lady who delivered gifts to children by broomstick every year on Epiphany Eve.

befana cocktail

Created by Martin Corriveau, Head Bartender at La Pentola at OPUS Hotel Vancouver, this Italian holiday cocktail is a delicious eggnog, with delicate aromas of fruit cake and spice; it can be prepared ahead of time and will require a blender, a fine strainer and a hermetic jar.


La Befana

3 oz of raisin-infused Jamaican amber rum (Appleton’s works well)*
2 oz Ramazzotti Amaro Felsina (an orange aperitif)
¼ cup of white sugar
6 oz milk
4 oz half and half cream
2 large organic eggs, or 4 oz of pasteurized liquid eggs
2 teaspoons of fresh grated nutmeg or mace

Beat the eggs in an electric blender and mix at low speed, then add the nutmeg and the sugar until dissolved. Pour in the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth. Store the mix in the fridge where it will keep for 3-4 days. It will layer therefore stir before serving, and sprinkle each glass with fresh mace or nutmeg. Enjoy with friends and family while snacking on a warm panettone. Yields 4 servings.


*To infuse the rum, pour half a bottle of rum in a hermetic container, preferably a glass jar, and add ½ cup of raisins. Let steep overnight at room temperature, then strain the rum through a fine strainer. Squeeze the raisins to extract every last bit of flavour. The leftover rum can be used for a rum cake.

Recipe Courtesy: La Pentola, 350 Davie Street in Yaletown, Vancouver