Eggnog: The Holidays in a Cup!

Eggnog: The Holidays in a Cup!
Eggnog: The Holidays in a Cup!

An excerpt from an article appearing in the student newspaper, La Papillote. Written by Goldie Radojevich, AOS Culinary Student.

What screams the holidays like eggnog? That amazingly sweet, creamy, tantalizing beverage that comes out of an innocuous carton from the cold case in your local supermarket. Who can resist one of our most favorite holiday staples of all times? No one. Let’s face it, eggnog is a comfort food. But what is it really? Loosely translated, eggnog means “egg inside a cup.” Food historians think that it evolved from an English drink called posset. The posset contains eggs, cream, wine or other spirits. Once brought to America, a new and improved version containing rum was born since rum is really the only spirit we have here in the New World (plus who doesn’t love sailing with the Captain?). It was then renamed “grog,” which over time turned into a type of phrase like “egg and grog” and then eventually into today’s word, eggnog. It is traditionally made with milk and/or cream, sugar, beaten eggs (gives it a frothy texture), and a liquor (rum, brandy, moonshine, or whiskey). The finished heavenly beverage is then garnished with a sprinkling of ground cinnamon or nutmeg. The holidays in a cup!

Everyone loves eggnog, but not everyone has been lucky enough to have had a homemade eggnog recipe handed down to them from their family or friends. I’ve been given some fantastic ones from my friends and stumbled upon some recipes throughout the years.

Traditional Eggnog

12 Eggs, separated
6 c. Milk
2 c. Heavy/Thickened Cream
2 c. Bourbon
1 1/2 c. Sugar
3/4 c. Brandy
2 tsp. Ground Nutmeg

In a large bowl and using a mixer, beat the egg yolks together with the sugar fro approx. 10 minutes (you want the mixture to be firm and the color of butter). Very slowly add in the bourbon and brandy—just a little at a time. When the bourbon and brandy have been added, allow the mixture to cool in the fridge (for up to six hours depending on how long before your party you’re making the eggnog). Thirty minutes before your guests arrive, stir milk into the chilled yolk mixture. Stir in 1 1/2 tsp. of ground nutmeg. In a separate bowl beat the cream with a mixer on high speed until the cream forms stiff peaks. In yet another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Gently fold the cream into the egg mixture. After ladling into cups, garnish with the remainder of ground nutmeg.

Santa’s Sleigh Cocktail (serves 4)

Crushed Candy Canes
2 c. Chilled Eggnog
1/2 c. Brandy
1/2 c. Amaretto Liqueur
1 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
2 scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream
4 Mini Candy Canes

Dampen the rims of 4 martini glasses and then line the rims with crushed candy canes. Combine eggnog, brandy, amaretto, nutmeg, and ice cream in a blender, process until smooth. Pour mixture into martini glasses and garnish each glass with a candy cane.

Eggnog Martini (serves 1)

1 oz. Spiced Rum
1 1/2 oz. Dark Rum
1/2 oz. Vanilla Vodka
3 oz. Eggnog
1/4 oz. Plain Syrup
Crushed Graham Crackers

Mix the dark rum, spiced rum, and vodka in a martini shaker. Add ice. Add in the eggnog and a dash of syrup. Dip the rim of a chilled martini glass in honey, then into graham crackers. Shake, strain and then pour into the chilled martini glass. Optional: garnish by adding a cinnamon stick, or a small amount of powdered cinnamon to the top of the drink.