Eggnog

Yesterday, we talked a little bit about the history of eggnog, as well as the ingredients and associated debates with how to make a quality eggnog.  Whether you’re a British brandy purist, a colonial rum lover, or a bourbon boasting American, eggnog is wonderful treat, especially this time of year.  So, time to gather up some ingredients and whip up some of this rich and creamy beverage, either in a punch bowl or a mug for yourself.

eggnog ingredients

Large batch recipe:

One of my favorite recipes for eggnog for parties calls for the following:

  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup of castor sugar
  • 3 cups of whole milk
  • 3 cups of heavy cream
  • 8 ounces of brandy / dark rum / bourbon
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 1 whole nutmeg, freshly ground

The first step is two beat the egg yolks with 1/2 cup of the sugar until the sugar is well and fully integrated and the yolks turn very pale.  Once you have a nice smooth pale mixture, blend in the milk and cream, along with half of the ground nutmeg and all of the seed scraped from the interior of the vanilla bean you have split in half.  After you’ve combined the dairy and spices, pour in your liquor of choice, or a mixture of them, as you see fit (if I”m not using brandy alone as I am want to do, I’m quite a fan of a 1:1 mixture of bourbon and dark spiced rum), mixing as you pour.  You can now set this mixture aside to chill until close to service.

Just before serving the eggnog, in a clean mixing bowl whip the egg whites and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar until soft peaks form.  Now, in the punch bowl or pitcher you’ll be serving from, fold the whipped egg white mixture into the chilled liquid mixture, and you’re ready to serve.  Sprinkle a pinch of nutmeg on each filled cup, and there you go.

Single serving recipe:

One of the things I’ve heard quite often as to why people only have eggnog on special occasions is because they don’t want to make a big batch just to have a cup or two themselves.  While the desire not to mix up a punch bowl’s worth of eggnog is both understandable as well as probably a sound choice when it comes to your health, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a single cup of eggnog at home.

My personal favorite recipe calls for the following:

  • 4 ounces heavy cream
  • 3 ounces brandy (you can just as easily use dark rum or bourbon here, but may want to drop to 2 ounces, depending on how strong you like your drinks to taste.)
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 small egg
  • fresh grated nutmeg

To make yourself a nice single cup of eggnog, combine all ingredients into a shaker with 3 cubes of ice.  You can add a pinch or two of nutmeg now if you like, or save it solely for a garnish.  Shake the mixture vigorously and continually for at least 1 minute, or until the ice cubes have completely melted.  You don’t want to have to shake forever, or water down the drink so much, which is why we only use a small amount of ice.  Now, strain into a mug or rocks glass, and then use a bar spoon to scoop the thick, frothy foam from the shaker onto the top to form a nice head.  Garnish with a light grating of fresh nutmeg and you’re all set to enjoy your very own, personal cup of eggnog.

 

eggnog

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