I feel like I’ve always known eggnog, but I’ve never really known eggnog. As a kid I never liked it. So thanks a lot, childhood, for just training me to not care about the stuff even in those precious first few years of legal drinking. I’ve written pretty frequently on here how I "started from the bottom now I’m here" as far as types of foods that I’ll eat: at 4, it was literally exclusively tater tots, and now I have so few restrictions I’d probably try a piece of wood if a chef or Beau or hell, even you, faceless friend, was convincing enough.
And like so many consumables before it, eggnog has had that same story arch with me, where I was basically just a stone cold jerk to it for absolutely no reason while it was just chilling and doing its own thing and now we’re besties.
We do all kinds of things together as besties. Last night we did each other’s makeup. Today we’ve been gossiping about other beverages we hate to love and love to hate, you know, how like orange juice is really fun at first but then kind of gets to be too much all at once and you’re starting to think she’s kind of fake anyway. And what about water, like, she’s so popular but she doesn’t even have any flavor, but yeah I need her to survive so I guess she’s all right? I can talk to eggnog about anything, and if she brings enough booze the truth really flows out of me.
Anyway, in celebration of my two-year friend anniversary with eggnog, Beau and I decided to make some that we could enjoy together on these warm, muggy New Orleans “winter” nights to feel festive and classic. And, being us, we’ve gone pretty heavy on the booze, but you don’t have to feel pressured to do that at all. Just please know that we’re probably going to be annoyingly drunk at your holiday party, and hopefully you think that’s cute - or better yet, you'll join us by checking out the recipe below. Happy holiday, y'all!
We're gonna start by whisking our yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they're pale in color, about two minutes on high speed.
Turn the speed to low and slowly pour in the 1/3 cup of granulated sugar. Slow and steady. Scrape down that bowl with a rubber whisk as necessary to make sure all of our ingredient friends are combining just right.
In a saucepan, combine the pint of whole milk and cup of heavy cream.
Add in some freshly grated nutmeg - trust us it's waaaaay better to use freshly ground or grated then pre-ground!!
Whisk it together and transfer to a burner on medium-high heat. Bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally, and then immediately remove from heat and set aside.
Turn the speed on to low on your stand mixer and add the hot cream very slowly to the egg and sugar mixture - starting with just a teaspoon at a time for a few teaspoons, and then a tablespoon at a time, and then once half of it has been added, you can kinda just add the rest in all at once. Go slower than you want to here, as rushing this process is a very bad idea and will leave you with cooked eggs and sadness and regret.
Add Cognac to the cream and egg yolk mixture and set it in the fridge to chill for 45 minutes to an hour, and get started on the whites by whipping the egg whites on high speed with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Soft peaks means there's some structure to it, but not a whole lot. Yay.
Add in the tablespoon of sugar and the orange zest and whip with high speed until stiff peaks form. Reference photo above and below.
Wow those are some stiff peaks you guys.
Now, go ahead and fold the egg white into the yolk mixture and stir realllllly well until it is fully incorporated. You can now enjoy it immediately, or refrigerate it to enjoy within 24 hours - but don't hang onto it longer than that! Happy holidays!
Probably This Holiday Eggnog Beverage
Prep time: 10 minutes // Cook time: 1 hour // Makes 6-7 cups
(This is adapted from Alton Brown's recipe!)
- 4 eggs, yolks separated from whites
- 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 pint whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup Cognac
- 1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp orange zest
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg yolks on high speed until they become pale in color, about two minutes. Turn mixer speed to low, and gradually add in 1/3 cup sugar until fully incorporated. Set aside.
- In a medium sauce pan, combine 1 pint whole milk with 1 cup heavy cream and 1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once the mixture begins to boil, immediately remove from heat.
- With the mixer speed on low, add cream mixture to egg mixture slowly, starting with just a teaspoon at a time for a few teaspoons, graduating to a tablespoon, and once half of the cream has been added, add in the remaining all at once and whisk for about thirty seconds. You don't want to rush this process of tempering the egg as it will potentiall scramble the egg and leave you with lumps of sadness.
- Once all of the cream mixture has been added to the egg mixture, stir in Cognac and place in refrigerator to chill, about 45 minutes.
- In a stand mixer, whip egg whites up to soft peaks, meaning the egg white "foam" has some structure but won't hold a very solid shape. Add 1 Tbsp sugar and 1 tsp orange zest, and continue whipping until the egg whites form stiff peaks - see photos above for reference.
- Spoon whipped egg whites into cream mixture and stir to combine evenly. Serve chilled and enjoy within 24 hours (keeping egg nog refrigerated at all times).