There is no drink that is more in the holiday spirit than egg nog.  Today I am going to be making it from scratch.   I know you can pick up the pre-made stuff from 7-11 to the pharmacy, but this stuff is 100 times better.  I have only had the pre-packaged egg nog till today and the prepackaged stuff does not even compare.  I hated the store bought egg nog, actually I was thinking about not even trying to make it.  In the end I did and I am completely surprised with the results.  I like egg nog.  Let me say that again, I love egg nog.  Who knew.  Granted it takes a few steps to make homemade egg nog, but it is totally worth it.  Plus this recipe includes bourbon.  The egg nog at the corner store does not have bourbon in it, does it?  Take that corner store egg nog, this egg nog is better.

Egg Nog
Egg Nog

Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg.

Egg Nog – (from Alton Brown)

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 pint whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 ounces bourbon – more if you like, a lot more if you hate the holidays.
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 egg whites

Grate 1 tsp of fresh nutmeg.  You can use the pre-grated stuff, but fresh is the best.

Grating Nutmeg - Nice technique Dana!
Grating Nutmeg - Nice technique Dana!

In a medium saucepan, over high heat, combine the milk, heavy cream and nutmeg and bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat.

Milk mixture, bring to a boil
Milk mixture, bring to a boil

Quick tip on separating egg yolks.  If you use the edge of the bowl you will get a nice edge on the shell making it easier to separate the eggs.  I know that breaking it on a flat surface will reduce the likelihood that you will get shell in the egg, but in this instance it is easier to use the sharp edge of a bowl.

Separate the egg yolks, making sure to keep the whites
Separate the egg yolks, making sure to keep the whites

While the milk mixture is cooking, beat the egg yolks with a stand mixer until they lighten in color. If you are weary of raw eggs they carry pasteurized eggs at most grocery stores.  Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved.

Mix until light in color
Mix until light in color

Remove from the heat and gradually temper the hot mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. To temper, slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the whipped eggs.  Making sure to continuously mix the eggs.  You want to end up with a nice smooth mixture, not scrambled eggs.

Tempering the eggs.
Tempering the eggs.

Then return everything to the pot and cook until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F. Use a candy thermometer or any sort of kitchen thermometer that you have that will measure up to 160 degrees.

Remove from the heat, stir in the bourbon, pour into a medium mixing bowl, and set in the refrigerator to chill.

Add a little bourbon or a lot of bourbon
Add a little bourbon or a lot of bourbon

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. With the mixer running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

Nice stiff peaks
Nice stiff peaks

Whisk the egg whites into the chilled mixture.  Don’t worry, it will be awkward to begin with.  After a while you will get a nice smooth mixture.  Make sure to use a big bowl.  I used a medium sized bowl and created a huge mess.  Luckily I was able to save most of the bourbon.

Whisk until smooth
Whisk until smooth, not quite smooth in the picture, but almost there

Chill and serve with some whipped cream, a sprinkle of nutmeg and maybe a tad more bourbon if you are dreading the holidays.

Egg Nog
Egg Nog

Remember this does have some raw eggs in it.  If you are a risk taker like me, use standard eggs.  If you are a little afraid of eggs, pick up a pack of pasteurized eggs.  In all this is a tasty holiday tradition.

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.

2 Comments

  1. I'd let it cool a little before adding the bourbon….I don't want any alcohol to be destroyed by the heat! 🙂

    • Excellent point Aunt Heidi. You do not want to lose a single drop of bourbon.

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