There are few things as festive and soothing this time of year as a perfect glass of eggnog. What "perfect" means here is quite a particular thing, depending on who's doing the sipping. What follows is my own personal treatise on the subject. After years of skipping eggnog altogether, I realized that it's not actually eggnog that I'm avoiding, it's the stuff you buy in the carton, which is way too thick and cloyingly sweet, and lacking the essential spices that I believe make it so special.
To remedy this problem, I first asked myself what it was that I believed went into the making of the perfect eggnog. Rum? Brandy? Bourbon? Cream? Half and Half? Eggs? Spices?
So after many hours of tortuous research (I'm here for you guys), I think I've come up with the recipe for the perfect eggnog that I've always imagined sipping as I decorate the tree or wrap presents or hang out with the fam. Feel free to personalize this however you like, because really, eggnog should be more personal than opening a carton, don't you think?
Long story short, the verdict came in thusly... no cream, only egg yolks, lots of nutmeg and vanilla, and as for the alkyhaul? Why choose? I use all three... bourbon, rum and brandy.
This would be perfectly wonderful without any alcohol at all, which is how I remember drinking my Mom's eggnog long before we began to rely on that carton in the store. The recipe makes about 6 cups, but you can double it if you have the storage and expect long lines at the eggnog bowl. Oh, and you really must make this right away. It gets better the longer it sits in the fridge, so by New Years it ought to be awesome!
6 large egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups half and half
2 cups of whole milk
3/4 to 1 cup of bourbon
1/4 cup dark rum
1/4 cup brandy
Pinch of kosher salt
1/2 of a whole nutmeg, grated
3 teaspoons vanilla
1. Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk until well- blended and creamy (the yolks should get rather thick – you can use a standing mixer or I use a blender).
2. Add half and half, milk, bourbon, rum, brandy, salt, and vanilla. Grate the nutmeg into the bowl and then stir to mix thoroughly.
3. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Grate more nutmeg into each glass when serving.