Every year, my mention of a certain holiday libation evokes the following response from a certain kind of person:
“Eggnog?! Blehhk! No, thank you.”
These people, to put it as kindly as possible, are philistines.
Okay, perhaps that’s a tad harsh. Typically, they are simply unexposed to the pleasures of the real deal. For these folks, there is a Pavlovian response that actually eliminates salivation when eggnog is mentioned due to associations with pasty, viscous, cloying crap in a carton.
Fortunately, we have a weapon against this sort of injustice. We can take up arms against the scourge of… whatever the hell that store bought stuff actually is.
A single sip of the light, airy, nutty, boozy nectar, fresh from your hand mixer instantly kills the nog prejudice.
I never had much of a taste for the stuff until perhaps three years ago. A friend of mine had what seemed to be a pretty serious seasonal addiction that year. Three of us were looking to get a drink somewhere on a Friday night, and he wasn’t going to settle for anything that didn’t involve nutmeg and stiff-peaked egg whites.
In fact, he wouldn't set foot into any establishment that couldn’t meet his needs, so he began making phone calls. We were sorely disappointed to discover that the first five or six likely candidates would not be receiving our business.
Eventually, a place I’d always found overrated (mashed potato egg rolls, should give you an idea of why I feel the way I do…) responded, yes, eggnog could be had.
Turns out, we’d spoken to the general manager on the phone, and it was she, not the bartender, who’d concocted the yuletide drink. She had the intention of offering it up to the staff, but our apparent enthusiasm prompted her to pour a mug or two for us.
I don’t recall if that version truly knocked my stockings off, but it must have at least removed any coal previously deposited in them. And it absolutely obliterated any previous prejudices.
No adaptations here. This is the Alton Brown recipe and it's hard to beat. It's simple, classic, and produces excellent results. However, some of us like our 'nog a little extra boozy, so I added light rum to the mix.
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
- 1 pint whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 ounces bourbon
- 1.5 ounces rum
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 4 egg white
- In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat egg yolks, gradually adding 1/3 cup of sugar, until they lighten in color and sugar dissolves.
- Add milk, cream, bourbon, rum, and nutmeg, and stir to combine.
- Rinse beaters and reattach to hand mixer. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and extra tablespoon sugar until stiff peaks form.
- Whisk egg whites into the liquid mixture until combined.
- Chill and ladle into small cups to serve.