When we leave Telluride, we often encounter those who are transfixed by our existence. You get to live where? How high is that?! Traveling reminds us that our life in the mountains is unique, very unique in fact. This is particularly the case in winter, when Telluride’s mountains, weighted with new snow, seem to close in, and we seek each others’ companionship.

Where we live, winter lives for nine months a year. As soon as the first snow falls in October, every species of bird—minus the magpie and the raven—haul south. The bears and prairie dogs dig in deep, and the river clamps shut with ice.

Those death-dark days push us into each others’ homes. We bring cinnamon bread fresh from the oven. We bake cookies with our grandmother’s recipes. We pour tequila into apple cider and dust the glasses with chili salt. Here, we say, we’ve brought something. We want to tell our friends that we love them. But really, more than ever, we wish for a handshake or a hug. The nights are long and silent in this box canyon—dark minus the ancestral glow of the stars and moon—and our hunger for warmth is constant.

It is at such a time of year that we need, more than ever, a good eggnog recipe. Something to warm our souls when the nights are long. Something that we can share. And something we can use as excuse to invite friends and neighbors in and say, “Here, stay a while. Tell me how your year has been.”

This eggnog is nothing close to the kind you might get in a latte at this time of year (something I also love). It is boozy as only the best the eggnogs are. And it gets better the longer it sits, so make it a few days or weeks in advance and enjoy it through the holiday season.

Singli Agnew, a friend from Colorado College, passed it along to us. Her great grandfather discovered the recipe during World War One. He was making eggnog and was called to battle. He hid the batch behind the piano. When he returned a few weeks later, he tried it, as any good soldier would. The amount of alcohol in it kept it from going bad, and he decided that time had only helped the concoction. He continued to make it during his Tenth Mountain Division training sessions, storing it in the woods to offer to friends when their work was done. May you enjoy it with your loved ones this holiday season.

Singli Agnew’s Great Grandfather’s World War One Eggnog (slightly tweaked by us)

Makes 1 gallon, you decide how many that serves (recipe can easily be halved)

You’ll Need: 1 dozen eggs separated, 1 cup dark rum, 1 cup brandy, 3 cups bourbon, ½ cup triple sec, ½ cup Kahlua, 2 qts whole milk, 1 pt cream,  3/4 cup sugar

Beat egg whites until they stand. Beat egg yolks separately until they’re lemon colored.

To the egg yolks, add sugar, cream, milk and stir. Add liquor. Fold in egg whites. Chill the batch and serve. Dust servings with nutmeg.

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