Vanilla Eggnog

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It’s the 22 of December today (thank you Ms. Obvious). But my point is that you probably already have your Christmas menu ready. You may have even finished your Christmas meal grocery shopping. And you might be eggnogged out. And yes, let’s pretend that is a verb now. But the 22-31st of December (and mid-July, as per my mom’s and my tradition of freezing a carton and opening it when it’s nearing 100° outide) is prime eggnogging season folks!

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So, on the off chance you do love egg nog and have not made your own yet this holiday season, I thought that three days before Christmas would give you plenty of time-along with whatever else you’re sure to have forgotten the first time you went to the store- to get what you need to make this simple holiday drink that kicks it’s store bought cousin’s (third cousin twice removed, thank you very much) sickly sweet and overpowering butt.

This particular recipe for cooked eggnog has been tried and approved, by multiple guests. Sadly, the last time I made this was two, very long years ago when Juan and I were celebrating Christmas with my French ‘host family’.

Celebrating French Christmas is quite different than celebrating American Christmas. Life revolves around a beautifully decorated table for about 3 days before pants start tearing at the seams and the once decadent and irresistable Chocolate mold of a teddy bear, turns into the eyesore that reminds you that you might have diabetes. Time is taken to spend 2 hours talking around an ‘apéro’, or the French version of cocktail hour, and by the time you mosey over to the table, you’re already pretty full. Another two hours and tick by by the time you’re ready for the ‘buche de noel’ and you’ll probably roll yourself up to bed after a quick espresso or herbal tea around midnight. This is usually on the 24th, so Christmas morning rolls around and the adults indulge in a 2 hour breakfast as children race their new police cars and set up their games.

Anyway there were ten adults who partook in the drinking of this recipe and even after a very intense, traditional French Christmas dinner including champagne, foie gras, escargot (in butter), and a whole onslaught of other culinary delights, people still found it in themselves to try this recipe and rave about it for days afterward! Sadly, I was pregnant at the time and only took the quickest of sips so that I could be sure everyone was telling the truth!

If you do not have brandy, cognac or a more traditional, bourbon will do the trick nicely. I’m giving you the amount of alcohol that Alton Brown recommended for the simple reason that I’m not sure what size our shot glass is! (gulp) I am fairly certain that we actually doubled the brandy in this recipe for a slightly stronger cocktail meant to be sipped before dinner.

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I would wish you happy holidays and Merry Christmas right here and right now, since I bet there may be people soon on the road, but I do have a couple more holiday treats in store for you guys, so I’ll leave it at drive safely if you’re already on your way back home for the start of Christmas week…unless of course you’ve consumed some of this stuff, then you should probably steer clear of driving for one more cold winter’s night.

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This recipe was adapted from Alton Brown’s eggnog recipe.

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Vanilla Eggnog
 
This cooked vanilla nutmeg eggnog is velvety and in it's grown-up version, the brandy adds an extra hint of caramel flavor. The perfect drink for your end of year festivities!
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Ingredients
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 packet vanilla sugar or 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 oz. brandy
  • 4 egg whites+1 tablespoon sugar
Instructions
  1. Whisk the egg yolks and ⅓ cup of sugar until it turns a light yellow. Set the bowl aside and bring the milk, the vanilla, and the nutmeg to a boil. Remove from heat and temper into the yellow egg mixture by slowly pouring the milk into the egg yolks and constantly stirring.
  2. Chill this in the refrigerator or the freezer. Right before serving beat your egg whites into stiff peaks while gradually adding the tablespoon of sugar.
  3. Whisk the egg whites into the egg yolks and serve. Garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon.

 

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