Our household makes eggnog at least three times a year for special events, and some times more often. This year it has gotten quite a bit of attention…..calls from family to make sure we were making it, a live spot on WCAX with Anson Tebbetts, and I’ve even moved from making it for friends to making it for the parents of friends.
I discovered the eggnog recipe at about 4500 feet above sea level, while giving a flight check to an Air Force Colonel. We were in a Civil Air Patrol aircraft, and my friend Sid was our Air Force Liaison officer. It was around Thanksgiving and I had sold Sid some maple syrup. He asked me if I thought the syrup would taste good in eggnog. That led to a discussion of his family’s Thanksgiving traditions – which led to getting his family’s eggnog recipe, which then became my family’s favorite recipe, too.
This year, my oldest son Wesley asked to mix up eggnog for Thanksgiving. I put the recipe out on the Hoosier cabinet, along with a couple dozen eggs, and Wes started mixing. We usually make two batches, one with a little extra kick and another batch for those under age. I checked in on the progress and found that Wes had separated all two dozen eggs and had added the sugar….he just quadrupled the recipe to make its measurements match the number of eggs on the counter!
The recipe starts with six eggs. Only six. They are raw eggs, and I know there is a lot of talk and worry about salmonella in raw eggs. I’ve had raw eggs from the farm my whole life. My grandmother used to make what she called “custard”. . . just whipped up eggs, milk, maple syrup and a touch of vanilla. We had it sometimes as a breakfast drink because it was fast and loaded with protein. As a kid I’d blend up my own version, sometimes adding fruit or (if my folks weren’t looking) chocolate chips. I still eat raw eggs in different recipes, but I am mindful of where my eggs come from. If not my own, I use local fresh and clean eggs, and careful handling techniques. If you worry about salmonella, I’d recommend modifying this recipe into a cooked eggnog.
Separate the eggs. Mix the yolks with one and one half cups of milk. I use raw milk and cream from the Carpenter farm just up the road – again, if you’re worried about the raw version used pasteurized milk.
Add six cups of sugar. If you are making a small really special batch use granulated maple sugar – and if you don’t have maple sugar, then buy some from me!
For a grown up version, add one cup of light rum, and one and one half cups of good bourbon (add two Tablespoons of vanilla if you want the under age version).
Let this concoction stand for at least one hour.
Whip up the egg whites until stiff and fold into the liquid. Whip one pint of heavy cream and fold that into the liquid.
Let the whole batch cool over night. Sprinkle nutmeg and cinnamon over the nog in the morning.
I do not recommend drinking the grownup version while flying at altitude, or operating farm equipment. But visiting with family and friends, it can’t be beat!