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.
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 my tried-and-true 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 to be a frothy treat when gently folded into my ‘nog). I’m fortunate enough to have an oak keg, albeit a small one (2.5-gallons), so flavors from the oak will mix and marry during its early winter sleep. Yes, even boozy ‘nog needs to be refrigrated. I suggest keeping whatever vessel you use in the fridge and give it a little whirl each day or two to help keep those ingredients prone to settling a change to blend better.
The hardest part? Waiting 2-3 months to enjoy this vat-o’-nog! If “tested” within the first week, the booziness will still be very bold. After the second week, the flavors developed more – mellowing the booze and bringing more of the nutmeg flavor. After a month or two? Holiday perfection-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 Truth be told, I just finished the last of eggnog that was originally made two years ago!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 in moving beyond months to YEARS is phenomenal!
- 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!