Will I Die an Eggnog Virgin?!


I’m an eggnog virgin.

And I really can’t give a reason as to why I’ve gone so long without as much as a sip of this silky, sweet holiday beverage. It’s not the thought of consuming raw eggs that brings on my hesitation — because I’d be happy to gnaw on a cookie dough log. Raised as a Jewish New Yorker, eggnog rarely finds its way to our table beside the manischewitz.

A short while back, when the term “Eggnog Week” was just one of many ideas tossed around our editorial meeting, I eagerly volunteered myself to write about my experience tasting ‘nog for the first time.

What happened next can only be explained in the immortal words of Jewel — these foolish games are tearing me apart.

I consulted a recipe from Alton Brown, armed myself with a bottle of bourbon, and started breaking a few eggs. Hands covered in yolk and sugar, I licked my fingers and took a quick shot preparing for the warmth of Christmas to wash over me. Instead, I was coated in a wave of nausea and salmonella panic. Perhaps it would help to note that I also don’t drink bourbon regularly. Ok, ever.

With the taste of smoky toast lingering in my throat, I continued to beat the yolks, sugar, and cream. The mixture appealed to me in the same way ironically-named nail polishes in pop art colors (see: recessionista) beckon me before a manicure. I wanted to be part of the tribe that praised this holiday tradition. I wanted to drink my dinner. I wanted to develop a taste for dark spirits so I could enjoy them next to curmudgeonly relatives on Sukkot.

Alas, none of those things happened. I stared a glass of eggnog in the face and it stared back at me, taunting me to take a meager sip. In the end, I poured every thick drop of it into an old mason jar and brought it over to my neighbor. Maybe next year I’ll be ready for nog.

The Recipe:
Although I didn’t taste-test this eggnog, my neighbor said it was great. Try it for yourself and let us know how it went in the comments.

Adapted from Alton Brown/ The Food Network

4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
1 pint whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 ounces bourbon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 egg whites

Beat the egg yolks until they begin to lighten slightly. Slowly add the sugar and continue to beat until it’s completely dissolved. Add the milk, cream, bourbon and nutmeg. Stir to combine. Add in the egg whites and beat to soft peaks. Add a pinch more sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

Whisk the egg whites into the mixture. Chill and serve.