Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Pick-Your-Liquor Eggnog Recipe

Every Christmas Eve, my mother makes eggnog. Not the overly sweetened kind from a carton that gives eggnog a bad name. Real, homemade eggnog with whipped eggs that tastes like Christmas in a glass. Since we're not spending the day together this year, I called her for the recipe. Which I should have known would go something like: 1. a list of ingredients without quantities 2. vague preparation instructions 3. "It's done when it looks right." 4. a casual mention afterward of a really important step that she failed to mention earlier. This is just the kind of cook she is - it comes so naturally to her that she barely has to pay attention to what she's doing. After asking a series very specific questions, I was able to piece together the recipe (with actual instructions) to share with you here.
Christmas Eve Eggnog 
Quantity: Approximately 8 tumbler glasses
Time: Active: 15 minutes Resting: At least 2 hours
6 Eggs, separated
1 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
2 cups Half & Half
2 cups Lowfat Milk (1% or 2%)
1 cup Liquor (Your choice, can be a mixture)
Ground Cinnamon & Nutmeg, to garnish

Separate the eggs into 2 different medium sized mixing bowls. Be sure not to get any yolk in the bowl with the whites (the fat won't allow them to whip as much as you need). Whisk the sugar into the egg yolks for 2-3 minutes, until the sugar dissolves and the yolks lighten slightly. Add the vanilla extract, half & half and milk; whisk to incorporate. In the second bowl, whip the egg whites until they are very fluffy, approximately 3 minutes. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the yolk mixture.

Here's where it gets fun. At this point, you can add 1 cup of whichever liquor you'd like, or a mixture. My mother likes to mix of rum, brandy, bourbon and sherry. She adds it into the egg mixture, pours the whole thing into a pitcher and let's it chill for at least 2 hours, or as long as overnight.

I like to let the guest decide which liquor they prefer for their drink. So I'm letting the mixture chill (again at least 2 hours) without adding any liquor, and presenting a pitcher of virgin eggnog. Then in a tumbler glass with ice, pour a shot of the guests' choice of liquor - I like KahlĂșa, while my husband prefers Bourbon - you can use almost anything you have in your cabinet. Grand Marnier also goes wonderfully. Then fill the remainder of the glass with the virgin eggnog and stir to combine. Top with a sprinkled pinch of cinnamon & nutmeg.


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