Mass produced supermarket variety Holiday Eggnog was never a favorite, but it’s all I knew. The script is flipped with a luscious home-made nectar by friends Jaime and Mark. Their recipe is honed from years of trials and experimentation which saves us all time and costly error. Why re-invent the wheel when yours is perfectly round?
Having said that, I substituted a wheated bourbon. You may guess why I chose this one.
Most culinary historians agree eggnog originated in medieval Britain and called a “posset”. Primary ingredients were milk, eggs and sherry, combined and used for celebrations. Despite association with grog and wooden cups called noggins, (grog-nog?) there is no definitive answer on the name.
Holiday Eggnog Matrix
The secret to delicious nog is fresh ingredients, and it’s customizable to your individual taste. Changing the brandies and/or the whiskies can change the mouthfeel and taste from smooth and mild to a much spicier libation. A final tweak is proof level of the bourbon or whiskey. Higher proof equals spicier flavor.
The mildest and smoothest is the cognac and wheated bourbon. Cognac is lower proof than armagnac and other brandies and wheated bourbon is famous for smoothness. Rye whiskies are known for spicy flavor and combining that with a higher proof armagnac or brandy yields the most liquor forward combo. If you want to experiment or adjust the finished flavor use the matrix and vary the recipe until the angels sing.
Smoother to Spicier:
Cognac – Armagnac – Brandy
Wheated Bourbon – Rye Bourbon – Rye Whiskey
45% ABV – 50% ABV – 55%+ABV
Home-Made vs. Commercial
Re-visiting why you may be less than impressed with commercially prepared nogs, the F.D.A. allows you to call something eggnog with as little as 1% egg yolk. Needless to say they are light on alcohol in quality and quantity. That’s all you need to know, save one last thing.
Don’t think you can drink eggnog without repercussions. These babies have almost as many calories as a big mac in a cup, but it’s the holidays, cheers!
- Yield: 7-8 cups 1x
- 7 large whole eggs
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup Pierre Ferrand cognac
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/3 cup original Maker’s Mark wheated bourbon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Scald the milk (just short of a boil) in a saucepot
- Use a heatproof bowl to whisk the eggs until smooth, then add the sugar and continue whisking until fully incorporated
- Add the milk in a very slow stream, whisking continuously as you go
- Pour the mixture in a large saucepan and cook on lowest heat for five minutes, stirring continuously with a figure-8 motion. Do not cook longer than 5 minutes to avoid scrambled eggs!
- Strain the custard with a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl
- Stir in the cream, then liquors and vanilla
- Allow to cool completely – uncovered, then store in quart jars and refrigerate overnight. There will be some separation overnight, so shake or stir to re-incorporate all the ingredients before serving
Special thanks to Jaime Hall and Mark Burnett – Life Around The Bases