Yes, there's a day for that! And if there were ever a day for Egg Nog today would be the day!
From holiday parties to Christmas eve next to a fire, eggnog is the signal that the holidays are here. Thankfully, it’s traditionally only served during the winter, because this is pure comfort in a glass. So, grab those ugly Christmas sweaters and celebrate the season with this luxuriously creamy libation, kissed with holiday spices.
Egg nog (or Eggnog – it’s interchangeable) was either something some clever stick invented or it developed from posset. The word nog comes from “noggin,” which was a small carved wooden mug used to serve alcohol (I wonder where the phrase “use your noggin” comes from then? – as that relates to engaging your brain!). But the Medieval Brits also called egg nog, egg flip, thanks to the method of “flipping” it between two pitchers to mix it.
What is it? Egg nog is essentially an alcoholic runny custard. It’s made with milk or cream and sugar, and of course eggs, which are whipped to make the drink frothy. You can use rum or brandy, or even bourbon as your spirit. A sprinkling of cinnamon or nutmeg gives the finishing touch.
Did you know that eggnog (which is just a horrible name) traces its roots back to a 14th century England drink called posset (another delicious name)? Well, posset was a drink of hot milk curdled with ale, and over time, eggs were added; a step towards eggnog as we know it. Milk and eggs were expensive commodities at the time and it didn’t take long for this fabulous-sounding drink to lose popularity. But all that changed when the American colonies were formed. Thanks to a questionable trade triangle, we had all the rum we wanted. We also had plenty of land for all the chickens and cows we could ever need. Thus, eggnog was the indulgent draught of the masses and, as far as I’m concerned, still is today.
My eggnog recipe is pretty special. It could be that it’s actually flavorful and doesn’t just taste like sweet milk (or maybe it’s just the bourbon, who knows?), but the holidays aren’t the holidays without it.
Ultimate eggnog recipe
3 cups (700ml) whole milk
1 cup (240ml) heavy or double cream
3 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean pod, split and seeds removed
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish
5 eggs, separated
2/3 (130g) cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup (175ml) Bacardi Dark Rum, or bourbon
In a saucepan, combine milk, cream, cinnamon, vanilla bean, vanilla seeds, and nutmeg. Bring to the boil over a medium heat. Once boiling, remove from the heat and allow to steep.
In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar until combined and thick ribbons form when the whisk is lifted. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to mix until the mixture is combined and smooth. Add bourbon or rum, and stir. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 3 days.
Before serving, beat the egg whites in a large bowl or stand mixer until soft peaks form. Gently fold into eggnog until combined. Serve and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
Happy holidays, friends!