Okay, so eggnog is one of those treats of which people have a variety of opinions. For some, eggnog might be a fond memory of childhood, or they find it too sweet, or they can’t stand the thought of drinking eggs (and many recipes use uncooked eggs – ick!). They either love it or they hate it. But saddest of all, most of us have only tasted store-bought eggnog and don’t know the sweet flow of flavor over the tastebuds from a perfectly concocted homemade blend!
Well, our family loves Christmas and all that goes with it. One of our pleasures during this season is eggnog, but we got tired of the super sweet and sludgy consistency of store-bought brands. Then a family friend, Dan Davis, gave us what we considered “the best eggnog” recipe. We were hooked! But our quest to find the quintessential recipe had us tweaking it here and there over the years. Our son, Cameron (the coffee guy) came up with this final, best-est tweak!
It takes about an hour to make, but oh, the indulgence of a flavor like no other! I do believe that once you try it, you’ll agree that it truly is “the best eggnog ever“!
Best Eggnog Ever – Recipe
Large Batch – Makes 2 1/4 gallons – but like our friend Dan said, “Do not cut the recipe in half. That would be against all known eggnog laws and etiquette – actual, inferred, and implied. Run out of eggnog too soon and any good lawyer will tell you that you could be sued for intentional infliction of emotional distress.” Yes, he had quite a sense of humor! (You really can cut the recipe down as desired – wink!)
- 5 qts. milk (divided between steps 1, 5, and 6)
- 10 whole cloves
- 3 t. ground cinnamon
- 36 egg yolks (we save the whites for angel food cake!)
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups light rum (as preferred and optional, of course!)
- 1 – 2 oz. rum extract (to taste)
1 qt. light cream
- 2 T. vanilla extract
1 t. ground nutmeg
1. In large saucepan (8-10 qts. size), combine 2 quarts milk, cloves, and cinnamon. Then slowly (to prevent scalding) bring this milk mixture to just under a boil. Stir occasionally. This takes about 20 minutes.
2. In a large* bowl combine egg yolks and sugar. Whisk together until fluffy. (*You’ll be adding the heated milk mixture into this bowl in next step, so be sure the bowl is large enough.)
3. Pour the hot milk mixture slowly into the egg mixture, whisking briskly.
4. Pour this mixture back into saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly for 10-15 minutes, or until thick (the longer the better for more thickness). This forms a custard-like consistency and should coat the spoon. Do not allow mixture to boil. Remove from heat.
5. Add 2 quarts milk to help cool the mixture. Let cool for about an hour.
6. Final step! Stir in rum, rum extract, remaining milk, cream, 2 T. vanilla, and nutmeg. Strain with metal strainer to remove cloves; you can do this while pouring into milk jugs or glass jars. (We prefer storing in glass as it gives the nog a longer shelf life, in the refrigerator, of course.)
7. Refrigerate overnight, before serving for best taste. Because the eggs are cooked, we have had no problem with this lasting a week in glass jars in the fridge. >:o)
** We have tried it without whipping cream and it tasted fine, just a thinner consistency, and obviously less fat involved!
More comments from our friend, Dan:
**If we’re planning to drink the eggnog soon, I put it in the freezer because we like it icy, almost slushy. You will find it tastes better the second day, so if you can stand to wait until then; you will be much pleased. My thing is that I drink it right away and enjoy it immensely. Then I drink it in coffee the next morning and it’s even better and by that evening, if there is any left, it is at it’s best. All this to say you don’t have to wait until the next day to serve, just make enough so it lasts until the next day!
*Occasionally, and for no apparent reason the custard curdles or separates – feels funny but tastes fine. I just run it through the blender before adding to milk and all is right with the world once again.
*** We have no problem enjoying this tasty treat, but there are several ways this can be done.
- It is a must to serve with nutmeg sprinkled on top.
- Serve it up in huge glasses.
- Mix it into even huge-er mugs of coffee! (try my son’s fresh roasted coffee! – wareaglecoffee.com)
- Sneak a glass from the fridge without anyone knowing. This is my preferred method since you don’t have to share, and that tends to make it last longer (wink).
For interesting facts on the history of eggnog, check these sites out: Christmas Traditions Explained – The Eggnog and Eggnog – Wikipedia
Enjoy “making merry” with friends and family and our delicious nog this Christmas!
‘Then we cried to the LORD, the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice….and has given us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. ‘Now behold, I have brought the first of the produce of the ground which You, O LORD have given me.’ And you shall set it down before the LORD your God, and worship before the LORD your God; and you and the Levite and the alien who is among you shall rejoice in all the good which the LORD your God has given you and your household. Deuteronomy 26:7-11