Here is your holiday exhortation: you will make your own eggnog — no more of that thick mess out of the carton, that stuff that goes straight to the gut and balloons your belly.
Shared below is the better eggnog, redolent of grated nutmeg and cream, spiked with brandy, bourbon and rum — truly a taste of Christmas.
This recipe is courtesy of barman and distiller Erik Chapman. His cred is legit. Three Christmases ago, at Sun Liquor on Capitol Hill, patrons lined up around the block in the rain, some coming from as far as Bainbridge Island and Everett for his concoction. His nog sold out in 40 minutes. Here’s the instructional video on how to make eggnog. (Unless you have bionic arms, use an electric mixer instead of the whisk as seen in the video.)
His secret: his eggnog is aged in the fridge for a month, allowing time for the booze to break down the proteins. The result is a less fluffy concoction that goes down easy. Of course, I went a step further and aged mine for a year and lived to blog about it.
Note, that the recipe here is not the exact one used at Sun Liquor. But the magic of Sun Liquor’s famous eggnog is the 30-day aging process, Chapman said.
The eggnog served at Sun Liquor comes with the required warning from the Washington State Department of Health: raw eggs may increase your risk of food-borne illness. (Here are more safety guidelines from the FDA.) If that scares you, don’t age the nog. Use this same recipe without aging and it will still taste better than any out of a carton.
If you choose to age it, follow the guidelines that bartenders use. Use pasteurized eggs. You can also buy dairy with a far-off expiration date, store the eggnog at 45 degrees and serve it before the dairy’s expiration date. Here is the tough part: You can’t open the jar for a taste and try to seal it again. It has to be sealed tightly until day-of-drinking. (If you wanna geek out on this topic, here’s a defense of aged eggnog.)
If you don’t have the patience or fridge space to age your nog, or even make it yourself, check out the Nog Crawl tonight. Rob Roy, Barrio and Sun Liquor Distillery will serve some variation of an aged eggnog Monday night. More details here.
I stored the nog that Erik made for our instructional video last year in the back of my fridge. On Friday, I popped it open and Erik and I tried it.
How did it taste? Erik let out a loud, “Wow,” after the first sip. I could smell the rum as soon as the jar popped. The texture was silky smooth. You would never guess it’s eggnog. It tasted nutty, with a hint of butterscotch. The bourbon, rum and brandy were so well integrated into the milk and cream that you would have thought the cow was distilling its own booze in its stomachs.
It’s still not too late to age it. Just make a batch, store the eggnog in a washed-out spaghetti sauce jar and enjoy a cup on Christmas, cozying by a crackling fireplace, with Bing Crosby crooning in the background. Or maybe you’re one of those couples who flip to PBS to stare at the yule log.