Eggnog is one of those much maligned holiday traditions, taking it’s place right alongside jewel speckled fruitcakes and mincemeat pie. Being a lover of eggs, sugar and cream, I never quite got why people hate it so much, but it’s popularity seems to have waned even further in recent years due to food safety concerns as well as the heart-attack inducing amount of cholesterol in one glass of this creamy eggy concoction.
Given my recent trip home and another planned for Christmas, I decided to stay in Manhattan for Thanksgiving this year. Thoughts of wandering out to the Thanksgiving Parade did cross my mind but I quickly dismissed them given the lunatic crowds that were sure to be lining the streets of 6th Ave.
Although I had my Thanksgiving meal earlier this week with friends, something just didn’t feel right with letting this day of thanks pass by without some holiday cheer. Eggnog seemed like the perfect mid-afternoon pick-me-up, but after perusing a few recipes online it seemed far too complicated, and used about six more eggs than I was willing to ingest in one sitting.
I decided to take a hack at reinventing this childhood favourite as a grownup cocktail. The result? a warm eggnog, that’s quick to make, a pleasure to drink, and something that will get you tipsy faster than you can burn the marshmallows on your yams. By getting the eggs nice and frothy before adding the hot dairy, you’ll have a nice full bodied elixir, that’s satisfyingly rich without being thick or cloying. The brandy is optional, but really, what fun are the holidays without a little happy juice?
2009 has been a rough year, full of ups and downs, but despite my unemployment for most of this year, I’ve been able to put food on the table every day this year and for that I’m most thankful. If you have something to be thankful for, let us know in the comments, and please consider giving back, with a donation to the World Food Program through Blog Away Hunger.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
2 large high quality eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup brandy or bourbon (optional)
Bring 2 eggs up to room temperature. Add the eggs to a blender and blend on high until a light creamy yellow color.
In a small saucepan, heat 1/3 C sugar with the half and half and cream over a gentle heat until you can see steam rising off the surface and some bubbles start to form around the edges of the pan. With the blender running, slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the eggs through the lid. Add the vanilla and continue blending the eggnog for a minute.
If you want to make your eggnog alcoholic slowly pour in up to 1/3 C brandy or bourbon into the running blender. Serve hot in small glasses with some nutmeg freshly grated on top.