Friday, October 11, 2013 Best Eggnog

I know it's early to be talking about eggnog.  I know, I know.  But the thing is, THIS is the time to make the eggnog so that it's beautiful and mellowed by the time you're drinking it at Christmas.  Same sort of thing with fruitcake.  All those beautiful things you eat at the end of the year have to be made ready months ahead of time so that they have the chance to age properly.  So get yourself a good bottle of bourbon, whip some of this lovely stuff up, and leave it in the back of your fridge until Christmas.  Don't poke it, pull it out, or anything.  Leave it alone.  It will be waiting for you when the fire is crackling and the Christmas music is playing.

Note:  This is some strong booze.  Some really, really strong booze.  And you can let it age in your fridge for a year.  Or two, if it lasts that long.  Just be careful when you finally sample it, because it may knock you on your rear.

Best Eggnog

For the eggnog:
12 large eggs yolks (reserve the whites)
2 cups granulated sugar
2 to 4 cups bourbon
1 quart (4 cups) whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
¾ cup Cognac or brandy
½ cup Myers’s dark rum
Pinch fine salt

To serve:
12 reserved egg whites
1½ cups cold heavy cream
Ice (optional)
Freshly grated nutmeg

For the eggnog:
Place the reserved egg whites in a very clean and airtight container and freeze until the eggnog is ready to serve. Combine the yolks and sugar in a large bowl and whisk until well blended and creamy. Add the the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to a 1-gallon glass jar and tightly seal the lid. (Alternatively, you can bottle it.) Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 week and up to 3 weeks.

To serve:
The night before serving, place the frozen egg whites in the refrigerator to thaw. When ready to serve, let the egg whites come to room temperature. Place the egg whites in the very clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to a large punch bowl. Place the cream in the stand mixer bowl (no need to wash the bowl) and whisk on high speed until medium peaks form, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to the punch bowl. Stir the eggnog base with a rubber spatula to re-combine, then add it to the punch bowl. 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 in punch cups over ice, if desired, and garnished with grated nutmeg.

Makes 16 servings

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