Homemade Aged Boozy Eggnog
((This recipe is part of “Home for the Holidays Experience”)
True Friendships Endure Through the Ages
Here at Linger, my core values center around relationships and food. Prized possessions in life are friendships that endure through the ages. So it is my privilege, for this post, to introduce you to an old friend, Jonathan M., who is honestly one of the nicest people you will ever meet. My husband and I have known Jonathan and his wife Janna for over twenty years. He has a wonderful story to tell about a fabulous recipe that you will definitely want to try.
I give you Jonathan M., and his Boozy Eggnog Story –
As a kid, I always hated eggnog. My only exposure to it was whatever low-end swill Food Lion was selling. It always had fruity notes that didn’t mesh with the cream. As I got older I decided to try it again and had the good fortune to come across Trader Joe’s brand (which by the way is excellent). This made me realize I was probably wrong about the whole thing.
Eggnog is like Creme Brulee – Perfect in its Simplicity
I proceeded to buy cartons of eggnog every time I saw a new brand. I really started to appreciate it as a drink. Fortunately for me, this new-found gratitude dovetailed with a new-found love of Scotch and a disastrous foray into “from scratch” sourdough bread. Putting away my rolling pin for the moment (it’s never resurfaced) I decided to try and make my own eggnog – because like creme brulee – it’s perfect in its simplicity. Unlike creme brulee – it’s got hooch in it!
Anything Can Improve with Care and Age
As I wandered about the internet looking at recipes, I came across one by Michael Ruhlman, who is the king of all things charcuterie. He works in age and time the way Mario Batali works in Crocs. The title was something along the lines of Holiday Aged Eggnog, but all I saw was “Aged”. It’s been my experience with food that almost everything can improve with care and aging, so this had to be even better than fresh eggnog.
From Cream and Bourbon to Something More Complex
My trial run was just for my family and I only aged it a few weeks. I’ve gotten E. Coli once, so I was scared to play around with Salmonella or any other egg/dairy based spoilage. I opened up the mason jar with some trepidation, but it looked fine and smelled boozy, not at all spoiled. One sip and I knew I had something special. The flavor had evolved from just cream and bourbon to something much more complex. I don’t think that batch lasted the weekend.
The next year, I started a batch before Thanksgiving and made a little more. This batch was just as good, but I was nervous to give it out because it was so unique. Frankly, I didn’t want to poison my friends. I broke the batch down into pint jars and gave it to a few friends. It was a resounding success. Universally it was appreciated as something more sophisticated and special than what you grab out of the fridge at the grocers. Some people found it to be a little too alcohol forward, but others thought it was perfect as is. I had people asking for more almost immediately. Our friends call it legendary, incredible, and most often – STRONG.
Homemade Aged Boozy Eggnog
That started the beginning of the tradition for us. Now it’s sought after and a part of our Christmas tradition every year. We love taking an evening and dropping by our friend’s houses a week or two before Christmas. I bring the Homemade Aged Boozy Eggnog and Janna makes pumpkin rolls. It’s such a wonderful time to stop by each person’s house and step into their home for a few minutes. I love seeing their decorations and sharing with them something that I know they enjoy, something that took a lot of time to age, some planning, and a bit of effort to make. It’s a small way to show that we love them.
Eggnog That’s Good Even After a Year
PS – A buddy of mine moved one year and took his garage fridge from one house to another. At a party, later on, he discovered that he had about an inch of eggnog that had been left in the fridge inadvertently. He couldn’t believe he didn’t finish it all off at Christmas. He was a little scared to try this now 9+month old ‘nog. Being the mature adults we are, I dared him, he dared me and we decided to split it. It had begun to take on some butterscotch and custardy notes and tasted great. This year I’m leaving a jar for next year!
This recipe is taken directly from Michael Ruhlman’s recipe. Check out his site for many other awesome recipes.
Home for the HolidaysPrint
Homemade Aged Eggnog
Just when you thought you couldn’t improve on Homemade Eggnog – there’s Aged Eggnog! The flavor evolves from just cream and bourbon to something much more complex. This is the perfect gift for the Holidays. Friends will call it legendary, incredible, and most often – STRONG.
- 12 Egg Yolks
- 2 cups Granulated Sugar
- 1 liter Bourbon
- 4 cups Whole Milk
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- 3/4 cup Cognac or Brandy
- 1/2 cup Meyer’s Dark Rum
- Pinch of Kosher Salt
- Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a large container. Whisk until completely blended and creamy.
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir until well combined.
- Transfer to a one-gallon glass jar with a lid. Make sure and seal well. Store in the refrigerator for at least 3 weeks and up to 3 years.
- When ready to serve, top with homemade whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg.