DRINK: Egg Nog for the Holidays

When I was a child, the holiday season was not complete without the presence of a carton of eggnog.  My younger brother had a penchant for eggnog ice cream as well, but I was fond of the original.  It was that thick frothy sweet milk beverage that coated my lips, tongue, and throat with Christmas time goodness for that month that held all of my affection.

Fresh out of college, I learned a simple recipe that has become my staple holiday contribution/party trick since.    A very good friend of mine, with roots in Tennessee, gave me her grandmother’s Eggnog recipe: the original kind, made from scratch.

I know what you are thinking: why not just buy a jug of the stuff in the dairy case and add alcohol?  I thought so as well, until I made it for the first time.  And now, while I will drink the store bought version, I don’t consider anything eggnog unless it’s made using raw eggs.  Yes, it could be considered borderline dangerous.  But the apocalypse has passed, so enjoy responsibly.  I urge you to use local eggs that are fresher (I suggest checking out any number of farmer’s markets or specialty grocery stores.)  Just remember that the consumption of undercooked or raw eggs may increase your risk of food borne illness.  And to consume alcohol responsibly.

Grandma’s Kentucky Egg Nog

1 cup sugar

1 cup Bourbon Whiskey

6 eggs separated

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 quart heavy whipping cream

1 pint whole milk

  1. Whip together egg yolks and sugar until light yellow in color
  2. Continue whipping and add in bourbon, vanilla extract, and nutmeg
  3. In a separate bowl, whip egg white until hard peaks form then fold gently into the bourbon and sugar mixture
  4. Whip heavy cream until just beginning to thicken (I used to whip it to soft peaks, but found the egg nog was too thick to drink)
  5. Fold heavy cream into bourbon mixture
  6. Stir in milk as needed to thin for easier pouring and drinking
  7. Chill
  8. Garnish with more freshly grated nutmeg and serve

A family member, who is not a drinker, suggested the recipe should use corn liquor (moonshine) instead of whiskey for a more authentic feel.   I mean more holiday cheer.  I’m originally from Virginia, and my family tree has moonshine being made at its base.  But unless you don’t plan to go anywhere or do anything for three days instead of one, I recommend sticking to bourbon.

I was told the high percentage of alcohol kills any potential salmonella in the eggs.  I’ve been making at least one batch per holiday season since 1999 and no one has ever gotten sick.  Well, not from food poisoning…