We are three sisters united in our search for the divine - in food, libation, literature, art, and nature. This blog will capture the true, sometimes decadent, at times humorous, and every so often transcendent adventures of the Salvation Sisters.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Aged Holiday Eggnog — Otherwise Known As "George Washington Eggnog"

by Linda

"Today’s serious nogsters are into aging. After nog spends six months to a year in the fridge, a curious chemical collusion takes place as egg proteins, alcohol, and milk sugars slowly join 
forces. The resulting elixir tastes not of eggs, milk, sugar, or booze but simply of eggnog." 
                                                                                                         —Alton Brown
The table is set and ready for my holiday party.
Maddie and Michelle make a mother and daughter holiday toast. 
Maddie grates fresh nutmeg onto the top of the eggnog just before serving.
   A few years ago I attended a holiday gathering where each of the guests brought something special that they had made for the communal celebration. The revelation for me that evening was an offering that a guest had lovingly crafted many months in advance of the party. When I asked him about the delicious nog in my glass, he told me that it was called George Washington Eggnog, and that it was made from a recipe that George himself preserved for posterity. He also shared with me that it had been made three months prior to this present occasion, and had been aging in his fridge. Intrigued, I cautiously began to imbibe more. After I had poured about my fourth or fifth wee drink, and also sipped it for dessert along with the pumpkin pie, I happily pronounced it delicious, and figured I should learn how to make it myself. Truly, it is far better than eggnog mixed with spirits on the day of the holiday.


   So back at home after dinner, I surfed the net to see what I could find in the way of information and recipes about this curious concoction that I had never heard of. Turns out the aging is the key component to creating what I and many others deem to be the most delicious and smoothest eggnog you will ever drink.

This beautiful vintage punch bowl is a treasure that I found at one
of my favorite secondhand stores on Kentucky Street in downtown Petaluma.
Get started now—this eggnog is drinkable in a month but actually takes six months to make perfect.
   What I discovered on the Internet was was a virtual plethora of information out there including George Washington's original recipe (which doesn't tell you how many eggs you need), as well as new variations of recipes referred to simply as "aged eggnog". Below you will find the recipe that was the best of the two batches that I made. We all agreed it was the clear winner, and those of us in the group who tried it will all attest to how good it really is. Michelle sampled it on a recent vacation to visit me with Maddie in Petaluma, and headed back to Arizona wanting to make her own batch. This coming December I will look forward to joining the rest of the family when we test out her recipe in Arizona. If you would like to have this delicious eggnog ready for your friends and family in time for this holiday season—now is the time to make it. According to all the experts, the older it gets the better. It's so good... I don't think it will make it past New Year's Day at my house.



Cheers! A toast to your health.
Linda's Aged Holiday Eggnog

Maddie ladles the aged eggnog into the eggnog bowl at the beginning of the party.
   I did a little experimentation with my recipe. I made two batches, but Michelle, Mark, Maddie and I (yes, we really did allow the almost nineteen-year-old to join in taste testing) all agree that my second attempt was better, so that is the recipe I am including below. Feel free to experiment with your own favorite spirit combinations. I had fully anticipated garnishing the finished eggnog with whipped cream as I saw in so many of the photo presentations that featured aged eggnog, but we also all agreed that the finished eggnog is rich enough on its own—simply grate fresh nutmeg over the top and it is just perfect. No whipped cream needed.

Thrift store finds are a perfect and inexpensive option for entertaining.
Equipment:
Large bowl for mixing all the ingredients
Kitchen whisk
Fine mesh sieve
Microplane grater for preparing fresh nutmeg
Linda's tip: Save empty spirit bottles for storing the eggnog in the fridge.

Ingredients:
12 organic egg yolks
2 cups granulated sugar (I prefer super fine)
4 cups organic whole milk
1 cup organic heavy cream
1/2 litre Knob Creek Rye Whiskey
1/2 liter Maker's Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon Homemade Whiskey
1/2 cup Myers's Jamaican dark rum
1/2 cup good quality brandy or cognac
1/4 cup Amaretto Disaronno
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
large pinch of sea salt

Garnish: a fresh whole nutmeg for grating after the aging process is complete

Procedure:
Separate the yolks from the egg whites. (Suggestion—Make a gluten-free angel food cake or Triple Chocolate Meringue Cookies afterward, if desired, to use up the egg whites). Mix egg yolks with a whisk in a large mixing bowl with the sugar, milk and cream. Add all the spirits along with the vanilla extract and sea salt. Mix well, and strain through a fine mesh sieve into bottles or storage container. Ready to drink in a month, but all sources agree that six months is best. Start now.


"Nutritious and relatively stable, eggnog was our first health drink. If you ask me, sipping it is our patriotic duty." from Alton Brown on the History of Eggnog

Maddie enjoys a contemplative moment.

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