If you are a fan of English/American TV series and movies, you must have noticed people religiously drinking eggnog. You don’t know what that is? Let us help you — it is a cream concoction prepared with spiced and spiked egg-yolk-and-milk mixture and liquor. It is believed that the drink has its root in England and is a close cousin of posset, a drink made of milk curdled with wine or ale, often spiced to create a strong flavour. However, today both British and Americans chug the drink on Christmas. Many food experts and researchers believe that eggnog, the winter beverage, comes from the noggin, which means a small cup since it is served in cups or small glasses.
City-based chef and baker Shrunkhala Sharma, who owns Treat Away, a premium house party catering service located in Kondwa, says that eggnog is consumed in winters with its origin in Britain. “It is made with warm milk and egg spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon and adding liquor (brandy or sherry) helps the beverage last longer. In America, it is made and consumed with rum. The trick with this beverage is that if you are ageing your eggnog even for a short time span, it does wonders in terms of taste and texture,” says Sharma.
According to Sharma, the distinct flavours of cream, milk, egg, spices and liquor melt and infuse together when refrigerated for a day, making its texture smooth and balanced. Talking about the role of eggs in creating the perfect taste and flavour, Sharma says, “The proteins in the eggs thicken, giving the beverage its signature spoon-coating thickness. I recommend that for ageing your eggnog for a longer time, use dairy and liquor in the ratio of 2:1.”
- Large eggs... - 6
- Granulated sugar... - 1 cup
- Whole milk.... - 2 cups
- Heavy cream..........- 1 cup
- Brandy/Rum/Whiskey....half cup to one and a half cup (choose the liquor as per your taste)
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in a medium bowl and the whites in a large bowl. Cover the whites and refrigerate until needed, or freeze if ageing (storing it) the eggnog for longer than a day.
- Whisk the yolks with the sugar. Add sugar to the yolks and whisk by hand or with a mixer until the mixture is smooth, creamy, and lightened to a lemon-yellow colour.
- Whisk in the milk, cream, and liquor (if using). Add the milk, cream, and liquor and whisk until combined.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour. The more liquor you add, the longer it will last - non-alcoholic eggnog should be consumed within one day; eggnog with 1/2 to 1 cup of liquor will stay for several days; and eggnog with 1 and 1/2 cups of liquor will stay for several weeks and continue ageing and thickening quite nicely. (If ageing for longer than a few days, transfer the eggnog to a sealed glass container or a mason jar)
- Whisk the egg whites. Just before serving, whisk the reserved egg whites in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer at high speed until the whites form stiff peaks.
- To fold the egg whites into the eggnog, transfer the beaten egg whites to the bowl with the eggnog and gently fold or stir the whites into the base - this gives the eggnog a frothy, extra-creamy texture. Some of the egg whites will also float to the top, like cappuccino foam.
- To serve it, transfer the eggnog to a pitcher or punch bowl. Serve in individual glasses with a grating of nutmeg on top.