Well, folks, it’s time of year again. I repost this recipe every year because I’m a man on a mission. You see, I love egg nog, but I can’t stand the thick, gelatinous goop they sell at the grocery store. Even if you were to cut it with alcohol, it’s still so overly-pasteurized and full of preservatives that it would be anything but enjoyable to slug down at a Christmas party. So a few years ago, I set about concocting the simplest, tastiest Egg Nog recipe I could, and after many trials and errors, here’s what I came up with.
In terms of cocktail history, Egg Nog is nothing more than a brandy or rum (or both) flip made with the addition of cream or milk. The 1862 Bar-Tender’s Guide by Jerry Thomas calls for a nog made up of a tablespoon of bar sugar, a tablespoon of water, a whole egg, cognac, rum and milk, shaken and strained, with some nutmeg grated on top. The problem I have with Thomas’ recipe is all the extra water that comes from the melting of the ice, not to mention that extra half ounce he calls for. Watery egg nog, anyone? Yeah, no thanks.
So I did a lot of research, in cookbooks and on the web, and tried a bunch of different recipes and methods. Some called for cooking the eggs into sort of a custard, but that’s a heck of a lot of work and results in something that can only be described as thick glop. Others required separating the eggs, beating them independently, and folding them together. But again, it’s too thick, I’m too lazy, and I think that fluffy texture you get doesn’t make for a very good cocktail, which I always want to be silky-smooth.
This is the recipe I devised (see at the bottom of the post). It can be made in just about any home or bar, since the ingredients are fairly simple. It can be done entirely in a blender, so there are no whisks or beaters or rubber spatulas or stovetops needed. It yields two healthy servings, so you can easily multiply it to serve more. It doesn’t use a ton of heavy cream, so it’s fairly light. In other words, it’s practically perfect.
One note about blenders. This recipe works great in home blenders, but the commercial models are designed to heat whatever they’re blending, which can result in scrambled eggs by the time you get around to the sugar. If you’re using a Vita-Mix or similar commercial blender, cut that initial blend time down to a quarter minute or so, or if your blender is multi-speed, set it to the lowest possible setting.
Another note: I removed the original 3 teaspoons of grated nutmeg from the original recipe many years ago, and updated this post to reflect that in 2018. It doesn’t do anything worthwhile having the nutmeg in the batch, it’s plenty to just grate it on top. Also, getting rid of it means it doesn’t settle to the bottom and you won’t have to shake the Eggnog every time you want to serve it. If this bothers you, feel free to add it back in. But trust me on this one, it’s better without it. Just grate a little on top and serve.
Clyde Common’s Añejo Tequila and Amontillado Sherry Egg Nog
Our tequila-sherry egg nog at Clyde Common has been so overwhelmingly popular over the years that I figured I’d share the recipe. It was originally included in this post, but now I’ve moved it to its own page so you can print it out for your own use.
I’m honored to say that my eggnog recipe is featured in the New York Times Cookbook, one of the bibles of cooking out there. Amanda Hesser did a beautiful job of re-presenting Craig Claiborne’s original 1961 edition and updating it with some more current recipes and techniques. I’m proud to say that my recipe is featured alongside Craig’s, as a sort of modern interpretation of the older technique. Pick up a copy here, it’s indispensable in any kitchen.
Egg Nog Print Me
- 2 large eggs
- 3 oz/90 ml (by volume) superfine or baker's sugar (NOT powdered!)
- 2 oz/60 ml brandy
- 2 oz/60 ml spiced rum (I use Sailor Jerry’s)
- 6 oz/180 ml whole milk
- 4 oz/120 ml heavy cream
- Whole nutmeg cloves, for garnish
- Beat eggs in blender for one minute on medium speed.
- Slowly add sugar and blend for one additional minute.
- With blender still running, add brandy, rum, milk and cream until combined.
- Chill thoroughly to allow flavors to combine and serve in chilled wine glasses or champagne coupes, grating nutmeg on top immediately before serving.
Recipe printed courtesy of jeffreymorgenthaler.com