Monday, December 18, 2017

Eggnog / Baltimore Eggnog

When it comes to this winter drink, there's Eggnog and then there's Eggnog. I mean that everyone has their own recipe for choice of spirits or batch sizes. You can make a standard whiskey eggnog to order (a single serving) or you can make a huge batch. And whatever recipe you settle on will be pretty good, more or less. It's really a matter of taste.

In Baltimore they do it this way:
Baltimore Eggnog
  •  2 oz. brandy (cognac please)
  • 1 oz. dark rum (Kopper Kettle chai spice rum recommended for eggnog flavors)
  • 1 oz. Madiera
  • 6 oz. half-and-half
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • grated nutmeg
Combine all ingredients except nutmeg in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a Collins glass and sprinkle nutmeg on top.

This recipe is especially festive. It has all the colonial imports and local spirits used from the days when Baltimore was a new coastal town involved in the rum trade. It is strong and awesome! Virginia Kopper Kettle chai spiced rum actually provides the traditional spice component found in eggnog.

The general accepted spirit for eggnog time out of mind has been brandy. Brandy was the strong stuff in the U.S. back when the only thing you could get locally was beer or cider (see General Harrison's Eggnog for an example of one of these colonial low ABV drinks.)

So brandy or cognac was necessary to thin the eggnogs of colonial balls without making the drink too watery or warm. These old eggnogs were served like punches with ball-goers scooping out a serving into punch glasses. It is thick and creamy and must be kept chilled.

This recipe serves 25:
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) brandy
  • 1 1/2 quarts of milk
  • 1 pint whipped heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 12 eggs
  • freshly grated nutmeg
Separate the egg yolk from the whites and beat the yolks in a large punch bowl with sugar to combine. Stir in milk and whipped cream and add brandy. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Before serving whip the egg whites stiff and fold into the eggnog.

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