Tuesday, December 20, 2011

High on the 'Nog

Loitering around mistletoe, sweeping up pine needles, acting like you like eggnog: Christmas as usual. 

Not anymore!  Now that Holeman & Finch Public House is making its own version of eggnog. From this day forward, you can unabashedly love the stuff, and drink it any night you please. We’re always looking for an excuse to grate some fresh nutmeg for you.

Drink scholars (a more sophisticated way of saying boozehound) disagree as to the exact origin and etymology of eggnog. Some believe it may derive from the middle English word ‘noggin,’ which referred to a small wooden mug used to serve alcohol. There is also speculation that it’s a shortened version of ‘egg and grog,’ grog being the Colonial term for drinks made with rum. Other histories point out that warm milk drinks have been served since medieval times.

Whatever the ancient origin, this eggnog recipe, whipped up with whimsy and lactose, rhum delirium by Greg Best and Andy Minchow, begins – surprise, surprise – with eggs. The following measurements are for a batch that would last you all winter or do nicely for a party for 12 or so, though keep your eyes peeled at the Bottle Shop; word on the street is you might find a cocktail kit down yonder, along with Lemon Hart Rum and Bitter Truth Pimento Dram, the liqueur that gives the milky mix a bit of zing.

H&F Nog

12 eggs
1 ½ cups castor sugar
6 cups whole milk
3 cups cream
2 tbsp. vanilla extract
4 oz. Bitter Truth Pimento Dram
Lemon Hart Rum

Separate egg whites and yolks. Mix sugar and yolks together in a large bowl. Warm milk, cream, and vanilla on stove top, then add a ladle at a time to sugar mixture. Return all to stove top and continue to warm on low, careful not to boil or curdle eggs. Remove from the stove top and allow to cool. In a metal bowl, whisk egg whites until they begin to stiffen. Add whites to the cream and mix thoroughly. Add the dram. Once this mixture is complete, it can be stored in refrigerator for several weeks. To make a drink, pour 1 ounce of the rum into a glass, and add 4 ounces of the 'nog. Grate nutmeg to finish.