This time of year, indulgences are commonplace. Whether it’s a second helping of dinner, an extra finger of bourbon, or a seasonal treat like eggnog, we are all planning on hitting the gym right in the New Year.
Originating in Britain quite some time ago, eggnog was a drink associated with the aristocracy. The Brits originally mixed it with brandy or sherry, but those spirits were quite expensive in newly-revolutionized 18th century America. Being the resourceful bunch that we are, we turned to domestic whiskey – bourbon in particular – as a substitute.
Eggnog is readily accessible. Pre-mixed cartons are available in the dairy section of any grocery store. Pour the chilled mixture in any glass with a little nutmeg on top and you are ready to go. For those that are interested in something homemade, this recipe from Alton Brown is as good as it gets. It’s an easy recipe that can be served chilled, or can be spiked with bourbon if you need to grease the Christmas party wheels:
• 4 egg yolks
• 4 egg whites
• 1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
• 1 pint whole milk
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
• 3 ounces of your favorite bourbon
In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup of sugar and continue to beat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir in the whole milk, heavy cream, and grated nutmeg until combined.
In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Beat in the one tablespoon of sugar into the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Whisk the egg whites into the chilled mixture. Chill and serve.
For the spiked version, add the 3 ounces of bourbon at the same time the whole milk, heavy cream, and nutmeg are added to the yolk-based mixture.
This recipe will make about 6 or 7 cups of eggnog.