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Deluxe Eggnog

"Dec 25--Cloudy and thawy--very muddy--Christmas day--good many drunken ones around town & some few arrests for drunk & disorderly--got up 12--read paper--went down to Charley Ockel's [saloon] & got some egg-nog."
                                    --Alf Doten, 1866, as quoted in Imbibe! by David Wondrich

Our national love affair with eggnog goes back to the founding of the republic: George Washington’s version was purported to contain rye whiskey, brandy, rum, and sherry! While such an unholy mixture of intoxicants—all miraculously hidden by the drink’s silky richness—might be a little too indulgent (and painful after the fact), there’s no need to settle for artificial substitutes either.

Our favorite recipe, which uses rum, Asbach (German brandy--you can use cognac instead), and Grand Marnier, has been a family favorite for decades, but let your taste and pocketbook be your guide when choosing the booze. Freshly grated nutmeg, however, is not optional!

A few things: We do not cook our eggnog. Of course, there is always a possibility, as with any food, that you could get sick from drinking eggnog that contains raw eggs. However, with an appropriate amount of alcohol, you needn't worry. Apparently, eggnog gets safer over time as the alcohol kills any errant harmful bacteria. So no need to drink the whole batch at once (although that has been known to happen). You can mix up some eggnog and enjoy it all month long.

You will have a lot of egg whites left over after making this. If you aren't a fan of egg white omelets, use them to make meringues or have a whiskey sour party. You can also freeze egg whites and use them later.

Other articles you might enjoy: Chocolate Bark or Clusters, Savory "Rugelach", Orange Ricotta Pillows

Deluxe Eggnog
Makes about 18 servings

This is Ethan Becker's favorite version, and has graced our holiday table for many years. Be sure to let the egg yolks mingle with the liquor in your refrigerator for the full 3 hours. If you don’t, your nog may taste more like a naughty omelet than holiday cheer.

Beat in a large bowl until light in color:
        12 egg yolks
Gradually beat in:
        1 pound confectioners’ sugar
Add very slowly, beating constantly:
        2 to 4 cups light rum
Let stand, covered, in the refrigerator for 1 hour to dispel the eggy taste.
Add, beating constantly:
        2 cups Asbach or cognac
        2 quarts (64 ounces) heavy cream
        1 cup Grand Marnier
Refrigerate, covered, for 3 hours. Serve sprinkled with:
        Freshly grated nutmeg


Suzanne's picture

Ive always lightly beaten the white just till frothy and added them at the end. Having chickens don't like to waste their effort!! This looks interesting though. Absolutely LOVE eggnog and would drink it everyday if not for the calories. Skim milk doesn't cut it. Whole milk not so bad. Use to make this my breakfast minus the booze. Happy Christmas!
meg's picture

Yes! You can absolutely do that with the egg whites. A lot of recipes tell you to do that. We really like it this way, though. It's devastatingly rich, but so, so good. We save the egg whites for other cooking projects--meringues or egg white frittata (or whiskey sours--as if you hadn't already had enough alcohol from the eggnog!). Happy Christmas to you as well!
Doris 's picture

That is what the original recipe in Joy of Cooking instructed you to do. So I have been making it that way for well over 20 years. It makes the eggnog luxuriously fluffy and light. I always get raves from this recipe.
Nancy's picture

Can I modify this recipe for nonalcoholic eggnog?
john's picture

You can flavor the eggnog with vanilla extract or coffee instead... just add "to taste" and forget the vast quantities of liquor listed here.

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If you really want to make things easy on yourself, you can buy prepared pesto and pizza dough at most supermarkets.

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