Thursday, December 5, 2013

You know the holiday season is coming when your favorite frothy, winter drink hits the shelves. That's right - it's eggnog time! Heat up the pot and make a big batch of the most festive winter beverages. With this holiday rum eggnog recipe, you'll have everyone at your next dinner party rocking an eggnog mustache all night long!

The origin of eggnog is as fuzzy as anyone’s memory after drinking a few. The eggnog we know today probably began in England during medieval times, when the upper class - who could afford dairy products and eggs – mixed heated milk with eggs, sugar, spices, and their liquor of choice. When the recipe reached the American colonies, that liquor of choice became the local rum. Which led to the theory that “eggnog” was derived from “egg and grog”, a phrase used at the time for drinks mixed with rum. Eggnog is now generally served cold, but continues as a traditional winter drink, since it still warms the body from the effects of the rum, and spices like nutmegcinnamon, and clove.

-- Reese & Mark, of Season with Spice, An Asian Spice Shop

4 egg yolks
¼ cup brown sugar
½ tsp. of Season with Spice's Ceylon cinnamon
¼ tsp. of Season with Spice's Indonesian ground nutmeg
2 cups milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean (I used 1/2 tsp of Little Pod vanilla paste)
1-2 shots of rum (3-6 tbsp)
1 cup of heavy whipping cream

1. In a small pot, heat milk on medium-low (if using vanilla bean, slice open and scrape seeds into pot, and toss the bean in too).  Stir occasionally, until small bubbles appear along the edges, and turn heat off.  This should be about 5 minutes.

2. In a metal bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  

3. Add a quarter of the heated milk into the bowl, while constantly whisking (to prevent the eggs from cooking).  Then repeat with another quarter of the milk.  Finally, pour everything in the bowl back into the pot, while continuing to whisk.

4. Turn fire on to low, and with a heat-resistant plastic spatula, stir constantly to prevent the mixture from cooking on the bottom of the pot. Without allowing it to boil, heat until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (or if you have a cooking thermometer –until it reaches 160°F to pasteurize the eggs). This should take about 10 minutes. Turn heat off and let sit for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

5. Layer the bottom of a large bowl with ice cubes, and set a small metal bowl inside. Pour mixture through a strainer into the small, metal bowl. (If using vanilla extract or paste, add it now).
6. Stir mixture occasionally to help cool faster. Once cooled, transfer the mixture into air tight container, and place it in the refrigerator. I usually do not add in the alcohol until its ready to serve, since not everyone wants alcohol in it. Without alcohol mixed in, the eggnog will keep for at least a few days in the refrigerator. If you want to store it longer (up to a week or so), mix in the alcohol before refrigerating.

7. While the cooked mixture is cooling in the refrigerator, take out the chilled cream and whip it up until thickened. If you want to make a rum whipped cream, add in a tablespoon of rum and a couple teaspoons of sugar to the cream once it begins to thicken.

8. Place four short glasses in the refrigerator, and when cooled, pour eggnog mixture into each glass (about 2/3 full). Add in desired amount of rum and stir well. Then fill each glass up with whipped cream. Alternatively, you can fold in the whipped cream before pouring the eggnog into the glasses for a creamy blended look.

9. Sprinkle cocoa powder, nutmeg, or cinnamon on top, and enjoy your Holiday spirit!

So, ready the pitcher and glasses! Holiday eggnog is making a comeback and ready to become the talking point of your holiday season. It's as simple as whipping out our holiday cookbook, Sugar and Spice, and a few ingredients -- and then, voila! Holidays in a cup! You can thank Reese and Mark, owners of Season with Spice, for this amazing recipe.


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