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Know Your 'Nog

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Nothing leaves visions of sugarplums dancing in the head quite like a glass of classic eggnog enjoyed in front of a warm fireplace. A dessert in itself (though truffles are a nice addition), the rich drink is an extravagant treat best served among family and friends following a festive holiday meal.

This recipe serves a crowd, as drinking eggnog alone would be a little depressing (I suggest you have a glass of Pinot or something).



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Jim Beam, whiskey.

  • Start with 12 egg yolks and beat until light in color,
  • Then gradually beat in a pound of confectioner’s sugar.
  • While beating constantly, very slowly add 2 cups of the liquor(s) of your choice.
  • Use a dark rum such as Mount Gay for a sweeter drink, or combine all three liquors to taste.
  • Cover the mixture and let it stand for an hour, which will get rid of the extra-eggy taste.
  • Next, while beating constantly, add 2-4 cups of your liquor of choice (some people like a little more) and 2 quarts whipping cream.
  • A cup of peach brandy adds a nice twist.
  • Cover the mix and refrigerate for three hours, then beat 8-12 egg whites (until stiff but not dry) and fold into the other ingredients.
  • Serve topped with freshly grated nutmeg and let the holiday cheer begin.

Opinions vary on which liquor is the best ’nog base — rum, bourbon or brandy — though bourbon seems to be the most popular. Tommy Schleif at Riverview Wine and Spirits says he usually goes with either the 7-year Jim Beam or Evan Williams Black Label (his personal favorite).

No time to make your own? Head to St. John’s or The Meeting Place for head bartender Marty Bohannon’s signature spiced eggnog fizz cocktail, the Rum Chatta Fiz. The flip-style drink is a mixture of Horchatta Mexican rice milk, 1.5 ounces spiced rum and an egg white shaken three minutes and served sprinkled with nutmeg. “It’s loosely based on a traditional recipe, but tweaked,” says Bohannon, who changes the ingredients slightly from year to year. Previously he used both brandy and rum, but when he decided to substitute the cream in the old recipe with rice milk, he decided it was sweet enough to remove the brandy and up the rum content.