If you need a little extra holiday cheer this year (who doesn’t?), whip up a batch of this old-school bourbon eggnog. It’s just like the stuff you used to drink as a kid, except with booze, and without whatever additives made it so damn sweet. Just know that once you try this method, you may never be able to go back to that saccharine shit they sell at the grocery store ever again.
Eggnog, by definition, is simply a blend of milk or cream, eggs, sugar, nutmeg, and liquor. Of course, if you ask a contemporary cocktail connoisseur, they're likely tell you that a homemade eggnog needs to age. While there's nothing wrong with aging it, I tend to disagree. Mostly because I'm really fucking bad at planning ahead, but also because a quick eggnog can be just as good (especially if you put fancy vanilla extract in it). In fact, it’s similar to a classic flip, an egg-based drink that dates back more than 150 years.
In his 1862 book, How to Mix Drinks (which was alternately titled Bar-Tender’s Guide and also alternatively titled The Bon-Vivant’s Companion), Jerry Thomas, who was largely regarded as “the father of American mixology,” offered this “recipe” for an egg flip: “Beat up, in a jug, four new-laid eggs, omitting two of the whites; add a half dozen large lumps of sugar, and rub these well in the eggs, pour in boiling water, about half a pint at a time, and when the jug is nearly full, throw in two tumblers of Cognac brandy, and one of old Jamaica rum.”
That sounds like total fucking nonsense, right? I make a lot of cocktails for my blog, Festive AF, and even I couldn’t figure out that one. But taking inspiration from old Jerry and his jugs and lumps and new-laid eggs, as well as newer eggnog recipes, I managed to simplify the process and adjusted the ingredients and proportions for modern times. And then I added really that good vanilla.
In lieu of beating shit up in a jug with a half-dozen large lumps of sugar, I use an immersion blender and two tablespoons of sugar. And instead of making a jugful (whatever the hell that means), this recipe makes a big-ass mason jarful (about 24 ounces). I also replaced the cognac and rum with bourbon. That said, a little nip of cognac certainly wouldn't hurt this drink, so if you happen to have a bottle collecting dust in your liquor cabinet, by all means, pour that shit on in. Tis the season, right?
FRESH BOURBON EGGNOG
Serves 3 to 4
2 large brown eggs
2 cups whole milk, half and half, or heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish
4 ounces bourbon
Add the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, and ½ teaspoon nutmeg to a blender or large pitcher. Blend well (with an immersion blender if you're using the pitcher), until all of the ingredients are well incorporated and the mixture begins to foam. Add the bourbon and blend again for at least 30 seconds. Serve immediately by pouring into a mug or stemmed glass, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 24 hours. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg just before serving.
This post originally appeared on thatsfestiveaf.com and is reprinted here with permission.
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Emily Farris loves good whiskey, bad words, red lipstick, and gold spray paint. Her work has appeared in lots of publications you’ve actually heard of, including Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, and The Cut. Emily’s first cookbook, Casserole Crazy: Hot Stuff for Your Oven, was published by Penguin in 2008, and in 2011, her essay on finding affordable healthcare ended up in The BUST DIY Guide to Life. In the spring of 2017, she started her craft and cocktail blog, Festive AF, as a form of therapy after You Know Who’s inauguration. Follow her on instagram at @thatsfestiveaf.