Egg nog holds a special place in my heart. I always know the Holidays are coming when it becomes available. You can bet your tiny hiney that the moment I see it appear, it’s going in the grocery cart.
Sometimes, I like my egg nog to be an adult beverage. But for me, adding rum or brandy or what have you to grocery store nog just doesn’t do it for me. A few years ago, a friend that I worked with suggested that I just make my own.
So, I set out to do just that. I had tried a few different recipes. One required me to separate the eggs, combine the yolks with the milk and cream, whip the whites with sugar into a meringue, and fold the meringue into the yolk mixture. It was a bit time consuming, and considering I let my egg nog sit in the fridge to let the alcohol mellow for a few weeks, all that work ended up being for naught. That frothiness from all that folding and such just dissipated after a day or two. I found another recipe, which I didn’t try at the time, that required a pasteurization process. Essentially, it was a crème anglaise with nutmeg and added booze to it. Like I said, I didn’t try it because it wasn’t for me at the time.
That same friend that suggested I make the nog ended up suggesting a blog he followed which had a recipe worth trying. I haven’t looked back since. Looking at his website, you’ll see that his recipe isn’t pasteurized or cooked in any way. Considering the amount of alcohol, it shouldn’t be an issue. I’ve made it before, let it sit in the fridge for three weeks, and consumed it with no issues whatsoever.
Last year I made the same recipe, as usual. I made about a gallon of which was going to be for a Christmas party I was having. The plan was to let it age in the fridge for about three weeks (more on why later.) A couple weeks in, I wanted to sample it to see how it was tasting. That very night, into the next day, I got very violently ill. Now, to this day, I still don’t believe that it was the egg nog that made me sick, but rather the questionable week old leftovers that I had eaten all day instead. However, I could never actually rule it out as being the culprit. The only way I would have been able to, was to sample some more. I was not prepared to endure another 24 hours of feeling like death, nor was I willing to potentially subject my guests to a potentially sickening concoction, so I reluctantly decided to dispose of the whole batch. No homemade egg nog for me last year 😦
This year, I’m not taking a chance. I’ve taken the super simple, easy peasy, and fantastic recipe that I’ve been using and decided to pasteurize it. If you want to be safe, I can show you how to do it without making scrambled egg nog. If you want to be a little risky, I can show you that too.
This nog can be consumed 24 hours after it is made. But I highly recommend that you give it at least 14 days in the fridge. Reason being, the strong alcohol will actually smooth out and mellow over time, leaving less of a bite, and more of the flavor behind. Alcohol has a higher evaporation rate than water, so you’ll actually lose a little volume in alcohol. Don’t worry, though, your egg nog will still be plenty strong.
Either way you prepare this, make sure to take it out and whisk it together daily, as egg nog tends to separate. Especially the unpasteurized version.
Oh, and be sure to use some decent quality booze in this. At least something that you could stand to drink on it’s own. I threw in Knob Creek bourbon, E&J XO Brandy (not great but not bad), and a pretty decent black spiced rum called The Kraken.