Whether you’re a traditionalist, you like to try new flavors or you only drink it when it’s served to you in a toast, this is the time of year for the holiday for that special seasonal drink: eggnog.
In a time when everyone is meant to come together, eggnog can be a divisive force, and people usually either love it or hate it.
But in the spirit of holiday togetherness, we brought together a few classic recipes and a few new interesting twists that will hopefully have everyone (responsibly) enjoying a toast with that popular holiday classic.
The Russi family favorite
Of course any solid foundation starts in the home and, as someone who didn’t grow up in a household that did a lot of noggin’ — a term I’m trying to coin for drinking eggnog that I really hope catches on — so I checked with my in-laws.
My mother-in-law shared with me the Russi family recipe, which is a pretty classic take on the creamy drink. Because that part of my family traces its recent heritage to upstate New York, by way of Italy, it’s known as one of the “Rochester recipes.”
It’s a relatively simple, but extremely potent way to jump-start any holiday party.
Ed. note suppose the whiskey and rum are optional. But the sprinkle of nutmeg, I’ve been told, is mandatory, for maximum Christmas cheer.
- 5 eggs
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 32 ounces of milk
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 3/4 cup of whiskey
- 2 tablespoons of dark rum
Mix the eggs, sugar, vanilla, half the milk, whiskey and rum in a blender until they are well mixed.
Pour into a pitcher that has the remaining milk in it. Stir and enjoy.
For teetotalers, kids and the otherwise nonalcoholic crowd, there are, of course, lots of options to choose from, but if you don’t have a particular favorite, here’s an easy enough one to make:
The New Year’s Day classic
This recipe is another classic take on the holiday drink that’s a little more family friendly.
- 6 Eggland’s Best eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 quart milk
In a large microwave-safe bowl, beat together eggs, sugar and salt until thoroughly blended. Stir in vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
In a smaller microwave-safe bowl, cook the milk in the microwave on high or full power, about 3 minutes. Stir and continue to cook on high power for another 3 minutes or until bubbles form at the edges of the milk.
Slowly stir 1/4 cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture. Stir vigorously until the ingredients are well combined to bring both mixtures up to the same temperature and to avoid scrambling the eggs. Continue to add the hot milk, 1/2 cup at a time, until all of it has been combined. Stir vigorously after each addition.
Return the mixture to the microwave and cook on high for another 2 to 3 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, several hours or overnight. Just before serving, pour the eggnog into a punch bowl or a pitcher. Garnish or add stir-ins, if desired. Serve immediately. Makes 1 1/2 quarts, or 12 (1/2-cup) servings.
Hipster foodie version
If you like to go all out and impress friends with your devotion to the ’nog, this drink is sure to do the trick, courtesy of AltonBrown.com.
A caution s the name might suggest, this alcoholic drink is a little fancier than and more complicated to make than your average eggnog. This version yields 8-10 servings, eventually.
- 12 large eggs
- 1 pound sugar
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 pint half-and-half
- 1 pint whole milk
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 1 cup Jamaican rum
- 1 cup cognac
- 1 cup bourbon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Separate the eggs and store the whites for another application.
Beat the yolks with the sugar and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl until the mixture lightens in color and falls off the whisk in a solid ribbon.
Combine dairy, booze, and salt in a second bowl or pitcher and then slowly beat into the egg mixture.
Move to a large glass jar (or a couple of smaller ones) and store in the fridge for a minimum of 2 weeks. The recipe on AltonBrown.com implies it could be stored for up to a year. Or, yes, you could also drink it right away.
Stir, garnish with a pinch of nutmeg and serve.