Casual dining · Educational

Getting in the Christmas Spirit

I have a confession to make… I’ve never had EggNog.  I know! I’m sure you gasped audibly.  For whatever reason, we just never had it growing up, probably because my parents didn’t really drink and if you aren’t buying it to put alcohol in it, then you probably aren’t getting it at all.  By the time I was old enough to be around people who did drink EggNog, I figured I just didn’t like it, as I did with a great many things.  This past winter was my first Christmas with my boyfriend and it turns out that he really really loves EggNog.  He had several store bought containers over the course of that one month of cold we get in Arizona (only slight hyperbole).  It has recently come to my attention courtesy of Reddit post that EggNog is Way better homemade and then aged for several months! I had literally no idea… but it sounds awesome! It is in that spirit that I will assemble a variety of EggNog recipes in this post so that we can all take a little time now to make our upcoming Holiday Season that much better!  For the record, I was going to do this either way for myself, I figured I might as well share.


From: Imbibe by David Wondrich

Baltamore Egg Nog – serves 15

10 Egg yolk (12 oz)
3-4 oz sugar (beat eggs and sugar together)
2/3 of a nutmeg, freshly grated
5 oz Cognac
3 oz Rum
4 oz Madeira Wine
6 Pints Whole Milk (.93 gallons, so…)

3.6%abv

From what I can tell, all of the other ingredients add up to about 26 oz, which is about 0.2 gal. This is highly complementary to the amount of milk you have to use so in my case, I would feel very comfortable using one of my gallon carboys (for mead/beer making, you can find them at a local home brew store) to store this recipe safely and any extra left over for ‘quality control’.  Mr. Wondrich advocates storing this for 2-3 hours at a minimum, though he mentions nothing of a maximum time.   Assuming that everything your using in this recipe is about 40% abv, that’s a pretty low alcohol count.  However, assuming that one might use an overproof rum and cognac, as they would have when this drink was first constructed in the 1860’s, it reaches a much more reasonable 8-9% and really, who doesn’t need an excuse to get more bottles?


yiwshvmFrom: Imbibe by David Wondrich

Texian Egg Nog

1 bottle Mescal/Tequila (25.3 oz)
3 cups raw milk (24 oz)
10 eggs (yolk beaten in with sugar, white beaten separately then folded into mixture) (15 oz)
1 cup sugar (7.1 oz)

13.2%abv

The recipe above is approximately 71.4 oz which is about half a gallon so I would probably double it at minimum for aging purposes, since I have no intention of serving only 4/5 drinks after all this bother keeping it for months on end.  Mr. Wondrich also advocates for “grating a cake” of Mexican chocolate for some spice and body.  I’m not really following his measurement there, but the idea is a fantastic one.   I’m sorely tempted to try this recipe for novelty and the fact that I live in Arizona and it just feels right, but I also want to experience EggNog in a more traditional way so we shall see.  Maybe I’ll justify it by saying it’s a gift for my mother? This is easily the most potent recipe we have on here at about 13%abv… seeing as how my usual drink is an old fashioned or gin and tonic (double short), a little heartier might be just what I’m looking for.


From: Alton Brown website

12 large eggs
1 pound sugar (16 oz)
1 pint half-n-half (16 oz)
1 pint whole milk (16 oz)
1 pint heavy cream (16 oz)
1 cup Jamaican rum (8 oz)
1 cup cognac (8 oz)
1 cup bourbon (8 oz)
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (.16 oz)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

8.8%abv

This recipe, while boasting almost as much volume as the first, is a little more complicated.  Call me lazy, but using equal parts half-n-half, whole, and heavy cream just seems unnecessary.  Maybe it brings more to the texture than I’m giving it credit for but after a few months in the fridge I don’t see it making a huge difference.  In this recipe we essentially substitute the port wine in the first recipe with bourbon.  There is a slight increase in alcohol content with this change, though I’m not sure I would like the give and take as far as the flavor goes.  It is worth noting though that the small amount of salt is worth adding regardless of the recipe.  Dave Arnold in his book Liquid Intelligence  advocates using a saline solution in almost all of his drinks in order to make the flavors ‘pop’.


From Jefferey Morgenthaler’s Website

*note* the recipe below is scaled up to a gallon because that’s how much I need.
12 large eggs
18 oz (by volume) superfine sugar
3 tsp freshly-grated nutmeg
12 oz brandy
12 oz spiced rum
36 oz whole milk
24 oz heavy cream

7.5%abv

What I love about Morgenthaler’s recipe is that it is intended to be easy.  You blend it all together and voila! Done.


Clyde Commons Egg Nog

This next one is also from Morgenthaler and is on the above website, though personally I prefer to watch his video because I absolutely love Jefferey Morgenthaler and I think he is hilarious and everyone should see his videos.

12 large eggs
18 oz (by volume) superfine sugar
3 tsp freshly-grated nutmeg
12 oz anejo tequila
15 oz Amontillado sherry
36 oz whole milk
24 oz heavy cream

7.5%abv

Once again we see tequila making it’s way into EggNog.  While I continue to love the idea, I’m not sure I want to take the gamble on loving it after 4 months of “Work”.  That said, Tequila does have some rep as a harsher spirits and the whole point to aging the eggnog is to give everything time to mellow together.


Allrecipes.com variation

4 Cups milk (32 oz)
5 whole cloves
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
12 egg yolks (14 oz)
1.5 cups sugar (10 oz)
2.5 cups light rum (20 oz)
4 cups light cream (32 oz)
2 (more) tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

6.7% abv

This is the first recipe that comes up (along with the Alton Brown one above) that comes up when you google ‘EggNog’.  I wanted to take a peek at what the average consumer is going to find when they want to make EggNog and the result is not too bad.  Personally I was expecting a lot more spices in the recipes before so this one is a little more to my preconceived notions.  That said, 2 cups of light rum? I’m thinking the spices are more to make up for the complete lack of liquor (and therefore flavor) in this recipe.  I think if I were making this for people that don’t drink I would lean more towards this recipe but considering my occupation and the fact that I surround myself with distinguished (or at least prolific) drinkers… I might have to disregard this particular recipe.

*fun fact, there is one lady who gave this recipe one star out of five because it tasted too much like alcohol.  She even was so bold as to claim that her family did drink a lot, in spite of the evidence contained in literally the rest of her words.  Fascinating.

 


Conclusion

I think I’m going to end up doing two gallons, one classic and one tequila based.  For the classic I will probably do the Wondrich Baltimore EggNog recipe since I like the fact that it uses just the yolk and not the whites, which from what I can tell from online comments helps with the consistency.  I will probably look for higher proof liquors, even though they are not called for in Wondrich’s book explicitly.  I also might consider just adding in some extra whiskey and getting the best of both worlds (between Wondrich and Alton Brown).

The second gallon will most likely be the larger scale version of the Clyde Commons Egg Nog.  It’s simply too tempting to have a tequila variation, particularly when my boyfriend and my mother are tequila drinkers.  I will likely choose an extremely bold tequila for this one, since the only complaint I’ve seen online for this is that it’s balanced when it’s first made and aging it makes the drink almost too mellow.

I look forward to editing this post later with final results! Look out Christmas, I’m coming for you!

One thought on “Getting in the Christmas Spirit

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