BOGO: It’s not too late to buy a signed copy of my Christmas Flavors of Ireland cookbook and receive a complimentary copy of Favorite Flavors of Ireland. Order at www.irishcook.com (Offer valid thru December 31.)
SERVES ABOUT 12
Sometimes called “egg punch” or “egg flip,” eggnog is one of the season’s most popular drinks. It may have developed from posset, a medieval European beverage made with hot milk to which eggs were sometimes added. The "nog" part of its name probably comes from the word “noggin,” the English term for a small wooden mug used to serve alcohol. This recipe, from the American Egg Board, is for the classic, cooked eggnog. The secret to obtaining proper consistency is to cook it over low heat; constant stirring and patience are the keys. If you increase the cooking temperature to try to speed the process along, the custard is likely to curdle. Stirring constantly prevents scorching and ensures that the mixture heats evenly. You can also cook it over simmering water in a double boiler. For richer eggnog, substitute half and half or light cream for some of the milk, and for smoother eggnog, pour through a sieve before chilling.
6 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups milk
1/2 cup bourbon or rum
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, plus more for sprinkling
1. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk together eggs, sugar, salt, and 2 cups milk. Cook, stirring constantly but gently, for about 15 minutes, or until temperature reaches 160° F and mixture is thick enough to coat a metal spoon with a thin film; do not allow to boil.
2. Remove from heat immediately and stir in remaining 2 cups milk, bourbon or rum, and vanilla. Refrigerate in a covered container several hours or overnight; stir in nutmeg. To serve, ladle into cups and sprinkle with additional nutmeg, if desired.
MAKES 2 DRINKS
For a cool, less traditional Christmas drink, you’ll love this festive mimosa that combines citrus flavors with cranberry juice.
1 ounce orange liqueur, such as Cointreau
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 cup Ocean Spray sparkling cranberry juice, chilled
1 small strawberry, halved, for garnish
1. Divide liqueur and lemon juice equally between 2 champagne flutes. Fill glasses with Sparkling Juice Drink. Garnish with strawberry, if desired.