Sure, eggnog is a holiday tradition, but so is fruit cake. Personally, I've always liked it, but if that many people really loved eggnog, I think we'd see cartons of the non-alcoholic stuff for sale year round. Most people tend to prefer their alcohol without raw eggs and in my experience, punch bowls, pitchers, and non-alcoholic cartons largely go untouched at Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings. This is all not to say that eggnog doesn't have it's devotees, those who love its sweet, creamy taste and frothy texture, and who couldn't imagine Christmas without it. But this is the minority. If you're entertaining this weekend, let me caution you against putting out an entire punch bowl of homemade eggnog in an attempt to either please the few or project a guise of being traditional. The majority of your guests will thank you for something lighter like punch, champagne cocktails, or beer, wine & basic spirits.
Eggnog is a drink best made to order. Mixing it immediately before serving in individual portions keeps it colder, frothier, and saves eggs, milk, and booze from your drain pipes. Here's a quick recipe for a single glass of eggnog that you can mix up for Uncle Chuck, or whomever wants it this Christmas. We served ours in a Simon Pearce Norwich Beaker, Simon Pearce's curvaceous spin on an old fashioned glass. Like all Simon Pearce barware, it's a substantial piece of glass that's a pleasure to drink out of because of its weight and clarity.
Single Serving Eggnog
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 1/4 oz milk (at least 2%)
- 1 oz whiskey, rum, brandy, bourbon, or cognac (we had some Pierre Ferand cognac on hand)
- 1/2 oz simple syrup (if you don't have it, just stir/shake in some sugar to taste)
- cinnamon for garnish
- Combine milk, yolk, liquor, and syrup and mix well--best done in a cocktail shaker with ice
- Garnish with a pinch of cinnamon and serve in an old fashioned glass to all eggheads present