My Nod to Nog

It's never too early to start thinking about holiday eggnog!
It’s never too early to start thinking about holiday eggnog!

I’ve always been a lover of eggnog. Since barely old enough to measure ingredients and work a spoon, I quickly found that eggnog was a simple (yet uber-satisfying) treat. Every year as Thanksgiving creeps closer, my mind begins wandering to thoughts of sweet, noggy goodness.

I took an informal poll on my social media sites a few years back and found (with a few surprises) that around 80% of my friends and tweeps enjoy this fantastical holiday beverage, too. The other 20%? They probably don’t like kittens or unicorns, either.

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This year? I’ve upgraded and embraced the season with an even better recipe – and a healthy desire to mix up a high-test batch for holiday enjoyment.  Since this recipe warrants a 2-3 month “quiet time (for the development of nuttier, depth-filled flavors), I began the process today.

Being a local gal, I couldn’t simply buy the cheapest boozy ingredients – instead I leaned towards Northwest ingredients. But with that in mind, I suspect I doubled the overall cost ingredients by going local top-shelf. Fortunately, there was a little leftover to be enjoyed in other ways. Fresh eggs and dairy aren’t necessarily required, but neither is stopping to help lost puppies, right? 😉

Below is the basic recipe. My suggestion? Find small containers for your un-whipped egg whites and freeze them individually so that when the time comes for drinking, you can simply whip up a batch of egg whites to fold into the nog (I’ve found the egg whites were one of the keys to end-product deliciousness!). I’m fortunate enough to have an oak keg, albeit a small one, so flavors from the oak will mix and marry during its early winter sleep. Although not required, I suggest keeping whatever vessel you use in the fridge and give it a little whirl each day or two to help some of the seasonings incorporate into the nog fully.

The hardest part? Waiting 2-3 monthss to enjoy this vat-o’-nog! If  “tested” within the first week, the booziness will still be very much in your face. After the second week, the flavors developed more – mellowing the booze and bringing more of the nutmeg flavor. After a month or two? Holiday perfect-in-a-glass! Truth be told, I just finished the last of eggnog that was originally made two years ago! If you can stand to be patient, the payoff is phenomenal!

DSC09672HOLIDAY EGGNOG:

  • 12 large eggs – yolks separated
  • 1 pound sugar
  • 1 pint whole milk
  • 1 pint heavy cream (find something local!)
  • 1 pint half-and-half
  • 1 C bourbon
  • 1 C dark rum
  • 1 C brandy
  • 1 tsp. (or to taste) nutmeg (fresh-grated, if you have it)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 seeds of 2 split/scraped vanilla beans

Beat egg yolks until pale yellow and thick. Add sugar gradually, then whisk in milk and cream. Add vanilla, whiskey, rum and brandy – stirring to mix.

Before serving: thaw egg whites and beat until stiff. Fold into eggnog. Cut nog with a small percentage of whole milk or cream if you prefer a lower-test nog. Sprinkle with nutmeg and serve!

dsc05655Can’t wait? Snuggle up with your favorite person, a scoop of Snoqualmie Ice Cream‘s new Sun Liquor Eggnog Custard and enjoy!