Don’t even think about getting store-bought eggnog this season, because now you have a recipe for eggnog that is probably a century old.
The women in my family have passed this recipe down for generations. It supposedly originated with my great grandmother Morgan, who would serve it to her guests in Mississippi. Since then, it’s been getting Christmas party guests inebriated since the early 20th century. When my cousin’s wife served it at their Christmas party, a lady fell off the front porch. That, my friends, is a successful party.
Best of all, this vehicle for alcohol tastes sort of like a cream-filled donut. It might put you off when you realize you’re drinking eggs, but consider that this recipe is only a teaspoon of vanilla and a cup of flour away from a pastry. Plus, every third delicious cocktail mixed in the city these days includes egg whites for a nice frothy topper. Even if you or your guests don’t consider themselves “eggnog people,” give them a sip and they will be converts.
Just a few things to note about this recipe:
1. It is important you get free-range, organic eggs, from the farmer’s market if possible, because this is a recipe made with raw eggs. (Though, we’ve never had an issue in all our year’s of making this recipe.) While there has been no definitive study on the prevalence of salmonella in conventional eggs and free-range eggs, I personally feel much better knowing my eggs came from a nearby farm, owned by the nice Amish farmer I hand my money too at the farmer’s market, instead of a large operation with hens penned into tiny, dirty cages.
2. The original recipe calls for four cups of bourbon, which is a liter of 80-proof alcohol. My aunt cuts that in half. I use three cups. It’s up to you and your own moral compass. Using the whole bottle, though, will definitely get a guest dancing on the table to Mariah Carey.
Preparation time: 15 minutes active, four hours total, with option to let stand overnight. Makes two pitchers.
12 eggs, separated. (Store egg whites in fridge.)
1 lb confectioners or powdered sugar
2 to 4 cups bourbon (see above)
1 quart whipping cream and 1 quart half and half (or any other heavy cream you might find at the farmers market)
Freshly grated nutmeg (or, if you’re like most people, a pinch from a jar of grated nutmeg)
- Preset radio to an all-Christmas station.
- Beat the yolks until they are light in color.
- Beat in gradually 1 pound of confectioners sugar.
- Add very slowly, beating constantly, 1 to 2 cups of bourbon.
- Let mixture stand covered for 1 hour to “dispel the eggy taste.”
- Then add 1 to 2 more cups of bourbon.
- Add 1 quart of whipping cream and 1 quart of half and half.
- Refrigerate covered for three hours.
- Beat until stiff (but not dry) 12 egg whites.
- Fold them lightly into the other ingredients.
- Recommended: Let rest overnight, to let egg white froth settle.
- Serve with a pinch of nutmeg in a clear rock glass.
- Due to bourbon, eggnog mixture will keep for a couple weeks. Make it at the beginning of the season for a welcome treat for guests!