When the weather outiside is frightful, Egg Nog is so delightful!

In my book, nothing says chilly weather like semi-strong drinks of dark rum and bourbon mixed with comforting things like spices and cream. So, when a winter storm is covering much of the U.S. and even decides to make it down to Houston, Texas, where I am, I figure it’s time to invest some energy in warming drinks.

Egg Nog is weird because it’s not a warm drink. Yet something about it is still warming. Of all the winter beverages, this punch is probably my favorite because it combines everything comforting, i.e. bad for you:

  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 4 c milk
  • 1 pt cream
  • 6 oz bourbon
  • 6 oz dark (or spiced) rum
  • 1 nutmeg, for grating

It’s not a lot of ingredients, but it makes for a fantastic punch, and it’s all about whipping the egg whites to stiff peaks. You see, a lot of nogs use a lot more cream, but they don’t whip the egg whites. This one substitutes most of the cream by whipping the whites and giving them more body so that they can act like cream. It also means that it separates rather quickly, though.

Here’s what you do:

  • Whip the yolks with 1/2 c. sugar, then beat with milk, cream, bourbon, and rum.
  • Whip the whites with 1/3 c. sugar until they form stiff peaks.
  • Fold whites into yolk mixture. 
  • Pour into glasses and grate fresh nutmeg on top. 

There are two keys here: first, use a large stand-up mixture. When I tried to do this with a friend’s cheap hand mixture, it failed miserably. I couldn’t get the whites to form peaks. Perhaps they weren’t cold enough, but all I know is it didn’t work. I used my mother-in-law’s hand mixture, and hers worked fine, though, so it might not have been the mixture, but I suspect that it was. It just wouldn’t beat fast enough to incorporate the right amount of air into the whites.

Second, use fresh nutmeg. Ground is fine if you don’t have any other choice, but the fresh nutmeg grated right into the glass with a Microplane (this is the original one I have) sets the drink apart. The nose of the fresh nutmeg makes the drink.

Egg nog is a curious drink because it’s heavy but it doesn’t feel heavy. In fact, at our last Stay at Home Cocktails Ladies’ Night, this is the only drink that everyone wanted seconds of. Not that the other drinks were bad, of course, but this one was a crowd-pleaser. Even women want more of it. It’s spicy and tastes of liquor, but then it hardly seems as if it has any liquor in it. It’s just the right amount of sweet, too.

This is a recipe to impress people at your next cold event. Something about frothed eggs makes everyone feel warm inside.

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