Indulge in one of Yuletide’s greatest pleasures, and make a batch of this heady, creamy, from-scratch eggnog. I can’t imagine one of my Christmas parties without a big bowl of nog—and, according to the evidence, neither can my friends. One year, instead of entirely omitting it from the menu (because everyone had been moaning about their expanding waistlines), I compromised with a half batch, which disappeared quicker than an elephant at a magician’s act in Las Vegas. Luckily, I had the ingredients handy to whip up more, and it evaporated, too. It’s so easy to make, why buy the supermarket variety?
To keep the eggnog cold, place a pint of vanilla ice cream in the punch bowl. It will melt slowly, and its flavor will complement the eggnog. For a break with tradition, try chocolate ice cream.
This eggnog contains raw eggs, which have been known to contain harmful bacteria. When serving this recipe, take these precautions. Purchase fresh eggs without any signs of cracks, and wash the eggs before using them. Do not serve eggnog to people with compromised immune systems.
Yield: Makes 2½ quarts; about 10 servings
6 large eggs, separated
1¼ cups superfine sugar (see Note)
¾ cup dark rum
¾ cup brandy
¼ cup bourbon
1½ quarts heavy cream or half and half
1 pint high-quality vanilla ice cream, for serving
Freshly grated nutmeg, for serving
1. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer at high speed, beat the egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale yellow. Beat in the rum, brandy, and bourbon, then the cream.
2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer at high speed, with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into the eggnog. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.
3. Transfer to a punch bowl. Using scissors, cut the container away from the ice cream, keeping the ice cream intact in one piece. Place the ice cream in the eggnog. Grate the nutmeg over the eggnog and serve immediately.
Amaretto Eggnog: Omit the bourbon. Substitute ¾ cup Amaretto for the brandy. Decrease the sugar to 1 cup. If desired, add ¼ teaspoon almond extract. When serving, substitute toasted almond ice cream for the vanilla ice cream.
Make Ahead: The eggnog should be chilled for at least 4 hours before serving, and served within 24 hours.
To make your own superfine sugar, process regular granulated sugar, about ½ cup at a time, in a food processor or blender until finely ground. It will take 1 to 2 minutes per batch.