A homemade eggnog to get through the holidays

Chef Dez shares his take on the classic holiday drink

The holiday season is a very special time of the year that is celebrated with favourite food and drinks alike. Family and friends come together to eat, drink, and commemorate the precious relationships that they hold with each other. Throughout the years there have been many beverages and appetizers made to help capture the essence of the season and these gatherings.

Eggnog is probably the first seasonal beverage that comes to mind. Eggnog is a drink that seems to have originated in Britain from a drink called a posset. This was a mixture of eggs, milk, and ale, sherry, or brandy. Posset was served in small, carved, wooden mugs called “noggins”, and thus the name “eggnog” was created. In North America the recipe was altered with rum as the replacement for the ale, sherry, or brandy.

In today’s world, eggnog is not necessarily served with alcohol and is a favorite for many of all ages. Due to the hustle and bustle of the season and hectic schedules, many consumers tend to buy it pre-made in a carton rather than making it from scratch. The varieties available to us at our local grocery stores also include a light version that is lower in fat, and at some locations, a no-fat variety. However, making eggnog from scratch adds an old-world classic holiday touch to your celebrations and the taste is incredible.

This recipe is my gift to you, loyal readers. This eggnog is so rich and fresh tasting, that any store bought variety will definitely shadow in comparison. If you can, try to buy whole nutmeg and grate it fresh versus pre-ground as a garnish. Essential oils of the nutmeg are released at the time of grating and add an extra aromatic essence to your mug of holiday cheer. The flavour difference is amazing.

Food and beverages are a great social aspect of bringing people together and even more wonderful when you have made them from scratch. Always remember that seasonal beverages do not have to contain alcohol to be enjoyable. A heated cranberry or grape juice, for example, with the warming spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and star anise can be made to replace mulled wine. Furthermore, there are so many choices of fantastic herbal teas and syrups for coffees that capture the essence of the season beautifully. Whatever beverage you choose to help celebrate during the holidays with your cuisine, please drink responsibly and have a magnificent time.

Homemade Eggnog

“The constant stirring of the egg mixture, while it is cooking, is vital to ensure that the eggs don’t become scrambled eggs”

6 egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup whipping cream, 1 cup whole milk, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, Pinch of salt, 1 additional cup of whipping cream, 6 tbsp dark or spiced rum.

In a stainless steel bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until smooth.

Mix in the 1 cup of whipping cream, the milk, nutmeg, and salt until completely combined.

Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water. For a more temperate heat, make sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Whisk the mixture constantly until it reaches a temperature of 175 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove the bowl from the heat and immediately chill uncovered in the refrigerator until cold.

While the mixture is cooling, whisk the remaining cup of whipping cream until soft peaks form.

Once the egg mixture is cold, gradually fold it into the whipped cream from the previous step.

Stir in the rum, pour into glasses and garnish with more freshly grated nutmeg.

Makes just over five cups.

Chef Dez is a Chef, Writer, & Host. Visit him at www.chefdez.com


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