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Getting ready for the annual tree trimming party

Four years ago, a friend and I followed this recipe for aged eggnog. We made our batch at Thanksgiving. On Christmas night, we served it to friends and loved ones who commented that it was ‘good but too boozy.’ The next year, we made it a few weeks earlier and noted that it had mellowed a bit more.

I now make the ‘base’ in September and stash it away in the fridge until early-mid December when I serve it at my annual tree trimming party. I’ve tweaked the types and amounts of spirits and find the alterations have resulted in a better eggnog. Use organic or non-organic eggs and milk, etc., but don’t skimp on the booze. Quality counts.

If you weren’t ready for the holidays waaay back in September, you can make it and let it age at least a week. It’s going to be wicked boozy, so you’ll want to follow the recipe below and then add additional 1 cup heavy cream (not whipped) and 1 cup whole milk to taste.

Before you begin, I do recommend you read this article about using raw eggs. While I understand the concern of using raw eggs, no one who has sipped a nip of my nog has reported any stomach upsets (or worse).

Eggnog ‘base’ ingredients:
(make at least one month before anticipated serving date)

  • 12 large eggs yolks (use the egg whites for a few omelettes or the like)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 c. Four Roses Single Barrel bourbon (alternatively, blend a higher-quality with Bulleit or Costco brand)
  • 1 cup Bushmills Honey
  • 1 1/2 cup Hennessy Cognac VSOP or Ferrand 20 year reserve
  • 1/2 c. Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 quart (4 cups) whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch fine salt
    Optional: Add 1/2 c. of Goslings Dark Seal rum

Ingredients needed when it’s time to serve the nog:

  • 12 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream (to be whipped)
  • Freshly grated nutmeg (I leave a small grater and a few whole nutmegs in a small bowl on the serving table)

    To Make the Base:

    1. Whisk the yolks and sugar in a large bowl until well blended and creamy
    2. Add the the remaining ‘base’ ingredients and stir to combine.
    3. Transfer the mixture to a 1-gallon glass jar and tightly seal the lid. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 week and up to four months. Some folks on Chowhound report aging it for a full year but that freaks me out, so I just make the base in the fall and stash it in the fridge. I use 2 liter pop plastic bottles to store the base. DO NOT use anything that has contained milk products, i.e., no reusing milk gallons, etc.

    To Serve:

    1. Whisk egg whites using a stand mixer on on high speed until medium stiff-peaks form, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the mixer bowl and set aside.
    2. Place the cream in the stand mixer bowl (washing and drying the bowl in between uses) and whisk on high speed until medium peaks form.
    3. Stir the eggnog base with a rubber spatula to re-combine, then add it to your serving vessel. Some use a punch bowl. I use a large glass drink dispenser with a spigot.
    4. Gently whisk the eggnog together until just combined and no large pockets of whites or cream remain (do not overwhisk or you’ll deflate the eggnog). Serve over ice, if desired, and garnished with grated nutmeg. If you have left overs, store in the fridge for up to a week.
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