Christmas eve is just a day away, and although I grew up with many family traditions, now that I live out of Canada and away from those that mean the most to me, many of those traditions have fallen by the wayside unfortunately. There are a few exceptions however … Baileys and coffee on Christmas day is something we had every year while opening presents. Even though opening gifts is much less of a spectacle as the years go by, the tradition holds fast and it always reminds me of large family celebrations.
The other tradition that I make a point of keeping alive is eggnog. For the uninitiated, eggnog is a thick milk-like beverage made with eggs, milk, heavy cream, sugar and a pinch of nutmeg, traditionally served cold on ice and often mixed with rum.. a lot of rum. Not exactly on the diet plan but what are the holidays for if not eating and drinking well? We’ll all just resolve to loose the extra few pounds in the new year anyway.
In Canada we would just buy the eggnog from the store, but now living in the Caribbean, eggnog can prove difficult to find (and expensive when you do) so I make my own which tastes exponentially better anyway. Most of the eggnog you buy at the store is pasteurized so its safe for everyone to drink, my recipe uses raw eggs so be careful if you are prone to illness from undercooked or raw eggs.
12 eggs, whites and yolks separated, plus 6 yolks
6 C milk
2 C heavy cream
1 ½ C sugar
2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
beat the egg yolks and sugar together on high speed in a mixer for 10 minutes, or by hand for a good arm and shoulder work out to burn off a few of the calories you are about to ingest
once incorporated place in the fridge for half an hour to cool
once cold stir in the milk and season with a bit of nutmeg
in a separate bowl whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks
in another bowl whisk the heavy cream to stiff peaks
carefully fold the whipped egg whites into the yolk mixture
then gently fold in the cream
fill a couple rocks glasses with ice, ladle the eggnog in half way, then fill the glass with Sailor Jerry’s spiced rum or your bourbon of choice. Garnish with a pinch of fresh grated nutmeg and serve.
Keep any remaining eggnog in the fridge. It will separate over time so drink quickly! For another great eggnog treat, fill a Collins glass with ice and mix half and half eggnog to cold coffee for a great Christmas iced coffee.