We're all familiar with store-bought eggnog, the creamy, sweet holiday beverage that comes in a carton. Some of us enjoy it cold straight out of the refrigerator, some choose to spike it for a little extra cheer, while others take it steamed with a shot or two of espresso. But is there a better way?
Seattle-based cook, author, urban farmer and Seattle magazine contributor Amy Pennington says yes. This year, she's challenging her readers to make their own eggnog instead of buying it pre-made from the store. She takes it a step further with this recipe by aging the frothy drink (a minimum of nine days and up to three weeks total) for added flavor and a refreshingly thinner consistency.
According to Pennington, adding alcohol to the eggnog not only makes for a more festive party atmosphere but it also kills any bacteria that may threaten to spoil the eggy concoction. Surprise your guests with a batch of your own this holiday season and don’t forget to add a dash of nutmeg on top!
Aged Vanilla Eggnog
Makes 8 lowball glasses | start to finish: 20 to 30 minutes
1 1/2 cups bourbon or whiskey
½ cup dark rum
½ cup brandy
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean pod
2 star anise, dry roasted (optional)
1 1/4 cup whole milk
¼ cup heavy cream
Whole nutmeg, for grating
Combine all of the spirits and set aside. In a large bowl or standing mixer, add the eggs and sugar. Beat on low speed until all of the sugar has dissolved, about 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the mixer to the lowest setting and slowly add the spirits, drop by drop at first to temper the eggs. When all of the liquid has been added, strain into a clean glass jar (using a strainer will catch any solid bits of egg), cover and store in a cool dark place. Invert the jar occasionally, or at least every three days, for at minimum of nine days and up to three weeks total. Five days before serving, add the vanilla bean pod and star anise, if using.
To serve: strain out the spices and place the eggnog mixture into a large bowl or container. Add the milk and heavy cream and stir to combine. To serve, shake a ladle-full (about ½ cup) of eggnog with ice until frothy. Serve immediately, over a lowball filled with ice and top with some freshly grated nutmeg.