Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Making Eggnog

I have a confession to make and it might come as a surprise to some. I suffer from an addiction of the worst kind. As with all addictions, I've tried half-heartedly to quit. I swear.

Yes, I'm addicted to eggnog. I admit it. I love that sweet, thick and creamy, noggy goodness. I can't remember the first time I had eggnog but I remember the last.

In case you don't know, eggnog is a beverage that's (somewhat) popular in the U.S. and Canada. It's only available "fresh" in stores during November and December each year. In general, eggnog is made from eggs, cream/milk, sugar, and seasoned with cinnamon and/or nutmeg. If you're drinking eggnog at a holiday party, it'll usually have a liquor in it such as rum, whiskey, or brandy. I searched around for the history of eggnog and it's not really known where the drink or its name came from. It seems that it probably originated somewhere in England sometime between the middle ages and the 1600s. Eggnog then came over to the new world during the 1700s and has been loved ever since.

We are fortunate in the U.S. to have a never-ending supply of the industrially-made, "fresh" eggnog. You can get it at any supermarket and even some convenience stores in milk-style containers:

I like drinking eggnog straight up, even right out of the container sometimes (don't tell anyone) but probably my favorite is in coffee. I use it instead of half-and-half or milk. I've also used it as the basis for a good holiday martini. Oh yeah, don't even remind me about those evil Starbucks' eggnog lattes...

This past Sunday night, while writing the original version of this post, I got the bright idea to try to make my own eggnog from scratch. I had never attempted it and I thought it'd be fun. I ran out to the local Acme market and bought the ingredients that I needed according to a recipe I found online. Pretty simple, actually (note that only half of the milk is/was used):

I messed up the recipe by mixing the sugar with the egg whites rather than with the yolks. After mixing the egg parts separately, I figured that it didn't matter and ended up throwing everything in together. Here's an work-in-process shot:

I put the mixture into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before pouring a nice small glass of virgin nog:

YUMMY!!! It tastes so good! Simple and delicious. Give the recipe a try and see for yourself. I'm off to put some nog into me.

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