Well, folks, it’s time of year again. I repost this recipe every year because I’m a man on a mission. You see, I love egg nog, but I can’t stand the thick, gelatinous goop they sell at the grocery store. Even if you were to cut it with alcohol, it’s still so overly-pasteurized and full of preservatives that it would be anything but enjoyable to slug down at a Christmas party. So a few years ago, I set about concocting the simplest, tastiest Egg Nog recipe I could, and after many trials and errors, here’s what I came up with.
In terms of cocktail history, Egg Nog is nothing more than a brandy or rum (or both) flip made with the addition of cream or milk. The 1862 Bar-Tender’s Guide by Jerry Thomas calls for a nog made up of a tablespoon of bar sugar, a tablespoon of water, a whole egg, cognac, rum and milk, shaken and strained, with some nutmeg grated on top. The problem I have with Thomas’ recipe is all the extra water that comes from the melting of the ice, not to mention that extra half ounce he calls for. Watery egg nog, anyone? Yeah, no thanks.
So I did a lot of research, in cookbooks and on the web, and tried a bunch of different recipes and methods. Some called for cooking the eggs into sort of a custard, but that’s a heck of a lot of work and results in something that can only be described as thick glop. Others required separating the eggs, beating them independently, and folding them together. But again, it’s too thick and I’m too lazy.
This is the recipe I devised (see at the bottom of the post). It can be made in just about any home or bar, since the ingredients are fairly simple. It can be done entirely in a blender, so there are no whisks or beaters or rubber spatulas or stovetops needed. It yields two healthy servings, so you can easily multiply it to serve more. It doesn’t use a ton of heavy cream, so it’s fairly light. In other words, it’s practically perfect.
One note about blenders. This recipe works great in home blenders, but the commercial models are designed to heat whatever they’re blending, which can result in scrambled eggs by the time you get around to the sugar. If you’re using a Vita-Mix or similar commercial blender, cut that initial blend time down to a quarter minute or so, or if your blender is multi-speed, set it to the lowest possible setting.
Clyde Common Egg Nog
Our tequila-sherry egg nog at Clyde Common has been so overwhelmingly popular that I figured I’d share the recipe here. It’s based on my original egg nog recipe from years back, just slightly modified to incorporate the lower-alcohol sherry into the mix.
Añejo Tequila and Amontillado Sherry Egg Nog
12 large eggs
18 oz (by volume) nor 450 grams superfine or baker’s sugar (NOT powdered!)
12 oz anejo tequila
15 oz Amontillado sherry
36 oz whole milk
24 oz heavy cream
Fresh nutmeg, for garnish
In a blender or stand mixer on low speed, beat eggs until smooth. Slowly add sugar until incorporated and dissolved. Slowly add sherry, tequila, milk and cream. Refrigerate overnight and serve in small chilled cups. Dust with fresh nutmeg before serving.
Makes approximately one gallon.
*Note: I removed the original 3 teaspoons of grated nutmeg from the original recipe many years ago, and updated this post to reflect that in 2018. It doesn’t do anything worthwhile having the nutmeg in the batch, it’s plenty to just grate it on top. Also, getting rid of it means it doesn’t settle to the bottom and you won’t have to shake the Eggnog every time you want to serve it. If this bothers you, feel free to add it back in. But trust me on this one, it’s better without it. Just grate a little on top and serve.
Eggnog on the Small Screen Network
Here, here’s a video of me rambling on about egg nog which you might find helpful. Or not.
Eggnog in the New York Times Cookbook
I’m honored to say that my eggnog recipe is featured in the New York Times Cookbook, one of the bibles of cooking out there. Amanda Hesser did a beautiful job of re-presenting Craig Claiborne’s original 1961 edition and updating it with some more current recipes and techniques. I’m proud to say that my recipe is featured alongside Craig’s, as a sort of modern interpretation of the older technique. Pick up a copy here, it’s indispensable in any kitchen.
Eggnog on the Local News
I got the opportunity to make Eggnog (without making a massive mess) on KGW, the local NBC affiliate here in Portland. Watch below while I make a couple of drinks and scare the heck out of the anchors when I run a blender with an open top (a major no-no, I know, but supposedly I’m a professional)
Egg Nog Print Me
- 2 large eggs
- 3 oz/90 ml (by volume) superfine or baker's sugar (NOT powdered!)
- 2 oz/60 ml brandy
- 2 oz/60 ml spiced rum (I use Sailor Jerry’s)
- 6 oz/180 ml whole milk
- 4 oz/120 ml heavy cream
- Whole nutmeg cloves, for garnish
- Beat eggs in blender for one minute on medium speed.
- Slowly add sugar and blend for one additional minute.
- With blender still running, add brandy, rum, milk and cream until combined.
- Chill thoroughly to allow flavors to combine and serve in chilled wine glasses or champagne coupes, grating nutmeg on top immediately before serving.
Recipe printed courtesy of jeffreymorgenthaler.com