John Bullock’s Egg Nog.

eggnog3An oldie from 2011. Be sure to start your eggnog now to ensure proper “nogginess” in time for Christmas. Cheers!

Whenever I think eggnog, I think of Grandpa John and *that* Christmas. It was Christmas Eve, and I’d driven from Richmond to spend the holidays with Nana and Grandpa John in Front Royal. I was probably a junior in college. That year Nana was spending Christmas in the hospital. So where in previous years I arrived to a slew of hugs and arms and twinkly lights and music and people and food, that year I arrived to an empty house. Everyone was waiting for Christmas Day to meet up at the hospital, but I couldn’t bear the thought of NOT spending Christmas Eve at Nana’s, so I drove up anyway. And let myself in with the key hidden in the mailbox.

Except the house wasn’t quite empty. Grandpa John was there. In his cups. Drunk as a damn skunk on eggnog. His own special creation. Definitely more nog than egg. But instead of rolling my eyes and groaning to myself, “GREAT! What a LOOOOOVELY way to spend Christmas Eve,” I accepted a glass. It tasted like battery acid. For the next 2 hours I listened to him rail about life, youngsters today, the state of the economy, and his childhood, wife, and children. Instead of running for the hills, I listened. Politely refusing any more battery acid. Jumping into the conversation when I could. I consider it the Christmas I grew the fuck up. Any other kid in his twenties might’ve hightailed it outta there, making their excuses as they ran. But I stayed. And TALKED to the man. Here was a guy who had married my Nana years after Pop-Pop passed away, but it wasn’t until that night I really got to know him. And he was a sweetie. Just an old guy worried about his wife spending Christmas in the hospital. And tweaking and tweaking that eggnog until it was juuuuuust right.eggnog1

Eventually Dad arrived to take Grandpa John to midnight mass (Lord help us all, I thought to myself) and then get him into bed after. That eggnog, and the stories I heard about their trip to church that Christmas Eve, definitely make it a holiday to remember. That’s a story for another time. Let’s just say the trip down the aisle for the communion wafer was pretty epic.

So when I came across this eggnog recipe, thanks to Brandon Fox, Richmond food writer extraordinaire, I was excited for two reasons. 1) it’s easy peasey, no cooking required, and 2) LOOK at the amount of al-kee-hawl this nog contains! Holy Crap! Definitely a noggy-nog to say the least. And one of which my Grandpa John would be proud. Hence the name change. It might not be his exact recipe? But I think he’d approve…and yes, mine is bottled, in the fridge, ready to go. I’ll check back in on Christmas Eve when it’s ready to let you know how it tastes. Hopefully NOT like battery acid…

Noggy Eggnog

tweaked slightly from a recipe at CHOW

12 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 quart (4 cups) whole milk
1 liter (4 cups) bourbon (Grandpa John used Jim Beam, but I’m a Maker’s Mark kinda girl)
1/2 cup Myer’s dark rum
1 cup good Cognac or brandy
pinch kosher salt
1 gallon jug

To serve:
1 whole nutmeg
10 egg whites
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Separate yolks and whites. Combine yolks and sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk until well blended and creamy. Add cream, milk, salt. Stir. At this point, I poured the liquid into the gallon jug through a funnel. Now add bourbon, rum, and Cognac. Stir with a whisk or put a cap on the thing and shake, shake, shake until well blended. Refrigerate for at LEAST three weeks, or if you can, up to a year.

Serve aged eggnog on the rocks with some freshly grated nutmeg on top. If you want to serve it the traditional way, pour it into a punch bowl. In separate bowls, whip 10 egg whites and 1 1/2 cups heavy cream to soft peaks and fold them into the eggnog. Serve in punch cups, garnished with freshly grated nutmeg. Mmmmmmmm….now THAT’s some noggy-nog. Merry Christmas!

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