Advocaat is a Dutch liqueur that is very thick, rich and creamy with a yellow color. Usually made with a brandy base, it contains egg yolks, lots of sugar, and vanilla. It can be thought of as something like an egg custard liqueur or simply a very boozy version of eggnog.
Spices such as nutmeg or cinnamon are sometimes added. It is known as Eierlikör in Germany.
Advocaat is originally from Holland, but some claim that it originated in the Caribbean or in South America, and that it was made with avocados, which is how it got its name.
According to this story, the Dutch discovered a drink called abacate, variously reported to have come from such locales as Java or Brazil, which was made with brandy and avocado.
The Dutch used egg yolks as a substitute for the avocado to try to imitate it. The word advocaat is also the Dutch word for lawyer or “advocate.” Advocaatpeer, on the other hand, is the Dutch word for avocado.
How the drink came to be associated with lawyer’s is unknown, although some say that it was invented by a lawyer, which sounds far-fetched being that the drink is so similar to various other egg-based drinks that it need not have been invented at all.
Given the drink’s similarity to eggnog, a version of which is known is enjoyed in many countries, it is not necessary for the Dutch to have derived the drink from the avocado version, despite the similar sounding names. The original full name of the drink was advocatenborrel which could be translated to “lawyer’s drink.” Advocaat contained a larger proportion of alcohol than most eggnogs, so it was usually served chilled in small glasses similar to a shot-glass.
It may be difficult to find advocaat for sale at liquor stores, although some larger well-stocked stores may carry Bol’s or Warninks brand advocaat.
Although Advocaat is often classed a liqueur, it is much easier to make than most liqueurs since there is no need to wait for the ingredients to steep. It is as quick as making most other eggnogs. Some modern recipes use both whole eggs and egg yolks, but advocaat traditionally used only the egg yolks, resulting in a much deeper yellow or mustard-like color than you would get should you add whole eggs. Modern recipes also cook the mixture like a custard, probably due to fears of using raw eggs. The liqueur however, is high in alcohol at around 40% ABV, which should prevent further bacterial growth, and research has shown that eggnogs using raw eggs are safe, especially once aged, as all the salmonella is eventually killed. To alleviate any concerns about food poisoning from raw eggs, simply allow the advocaat to age for a bit before consuming,. It would be best to get the best quality eggs you can find for the best tasting result.
Some modern recipes also add whipping cream or even condensed milk. This will result in a heavier liqueur than the original versions, which did not use any dairy. You can find recipes for raw or cooked advocaat online.