Here’s a little something to liven up the party tonight, or any other festive occasion! Once you’ve tried real eggnog, you’ll never touch the godawful prepackaged supermarket stuff again. It takes a little time, but it’s worth it. As with my earlier pie recipe, I hybridized this from a wide assortment of published recipes, so I feel no compunctions about sharing it as my own…

Homemade Eggnog

Ingredients:

6 eggs
3/4 cup superfine or confectioner’s sugar
1 cup rum (light or dark)
5 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup heavy cream

Preparation:

First, put two or three metal bowls and the beaters from your hand blender in the freezer to chill.

Make the eggnog “base.” Separate the eggs. Put the egg yolks in one of the bowls, and beat at medium speed. Gradually add one-half of the sugar. Continue beating until the mixture is pale and thick; this will take 7-10 minutes. Gradually add the rum, and continue beating until frothy. Put it in the refrigerator to chill.

Whip the egg whites. Put them in another chilled bowl, and beat (with clean beaters) at high speed until they form soft peaks. Put this in the refrigerator as well, and take out the yolk mixture.

Add the milk. Pour it gradually into the yolk mixture, beating with a hand whisk as you go. (If you use the power mixer at this point, it’ll spatter everywhere.) Add the vanilla and nutmeg at this point as well. If you like more “punch” in your eggnog, feel free to substitute up to two cups of additional rum (or brandy or bourbon) for an equal amount of milk.

Add the whites. Remove the beaten egg whites from the refrigerator and fold them into the milk/egg mixture, using a whisk or soft spatula. Don’t worry about being too gentle; they should be fully combined.

Whip the cream. In another chilled bowl, whip the cream at medium speed, adding the remaining sugar gradually as you go. Stop when it’s just starting to thicken:  you’re not making dessert topping here, so it needs to be drinkable.

Add the cream. Fold the whipped cream into the eggnog mixture, gently but completely. Transfer to a large pitcher or punch bowl, and cover.

Chill. Return the finished eggnog to the refrigerator for at least an hour, or as long as overnight. Serve in small coffee cups or festive mugs, with additional sprinkles of nutmeg for garnish. The finished product should total about 96 ounces (more or less, depending on how much you whipped things), so it’ll provide about 12 servings.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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