I always hated eggnog. Growing up, I could think of nothing worse to choke down in the name of Christmas spirit. Except fruitcake. My mom loves it (she also loves fruitcake, WTH), and would get it from the store every year and be the only one drinking it whilst professionally ignoring the faces of horror that my brothers and I had perfected solely in honor of the yearly nog. Mom gave zero f***s. When I got old enough to realize that YOU COULD PUT ALCOHOL IN THAT, my attitude changed a bit. Because, let's be honest, you could put alcohol in puddle water and I'd probably be like: this Foraged Rain Cocktail is soooo complex and earthy, you guuuuuys.
But you know what? Everything changed the day I tried homemade eggnog.
E. V. E. R. Y. T. H. I. N. G.
Homemade nog is so profoundly different and astronomically better than store bought that, IMO, they shouldn't even be called the same thing. But also: homemade eggnog with homemade eggs. I MEAN COME ON. It's almost safe to say that I got chickens just so I could make fresh eggnog. Completely true story.
Let's be honest: people are scared of raw eggs. But listen, you guys...if there was ever a reason to add alcohol to your drink, this is it. Safety first. Aside from the fact that alcohol helps kill off the bad things (if you put enough in) you just need to be smart about your eggs--make sure they are clean, make sure they are fresh, make sure they don't look or smell funny. Or get pasteurized eggs from the store. Or cook the base. Just saddle up and quit being a wimp (if you have a doctor's note, you are excused from being called a wimp). Once you try it, you'll never go back. JOIN ME........
And then there's the whole thing about aged eggnog. When you put enough of the alcohols in the nogs, you can actually let it brew for WEEKS in the fridge and it takes it up so many notches in flavor and texture. Here's a great article on all that.
So...let's nog, shall we? This is a recipe I did for BHG.com (7 Cocktails that Pair with Classic Christmas Movies), and hopefully you can tell by the mug what movie it goes with.
Makes roughly a punch bowl's worth.
6 fresh whole eggs
1 cup sugar
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 cups brandy
30 drops cardamom bitters
grated cardamom and nutmeg to garnish
Start by separating your eggs: yolks in a medium mixing bowl, whites in another. Cover and refrigerate the whites. Whisk together the yolks and the sugar until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Whisk in milk, cream, brandy, and bitters until thoroughly combined. Cover and refrigerate mixture 1 to 24 hours (with enough alcohol in it, eggnog can be left in an airtight container to age for several weeks, which will create a thicker, richer beverage. If you are skipping the alcohol, homemade nog must be used within 24 hours).
Before serving, whisk egg whites (if you've aged your nog, you'll need fresh egg whites) until they form stiff peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the nog mixture. Serve immediately, dusting the foam on each individual glass of nog with grated cardamom and nutmeg. If you don't want to go to all the trouble of making homemade eggnog, just add the brandy and bitters to store-bought--and also, you're dead to me.
If you're feeling like you need your own set of Marty Moose mugs (and I know you are), you can get them here.