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 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 Truth be told, I just finished the last of eggnog that was originally made two years ago!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!

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!