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Whether you spike or not it's known as ait de poule from the French which literally means hen milk; or egg flip by the British. With low taxed rum easily available from the caribbean it was a way for the British to inexpensively extend their dairy. Here in North America it's eggnog. The popular yuletide beverage received it's popularity with the colonies in the 18th century due to the large amount of dairy available in the new world. As corn and rye became a staple in the colonies, whiskey and bourbon became the common dairy stretcher to the traditional British egg flip. So you could say Americans gave rum the flip so to speak as whiskey and bourbon found it's way into glasses in North America.
There is good reason why rich and delicious eggnog is limited to being served-up only during the holiday season. Is it possibly the caloric intake, or is it just reason to reserve it to be one of those nostalgic beverages you look forward to toasting with each and every year? May be a bit of both.
One thing is for sure, if I am toasting with it, it might as well be spiked! Cheers!
Hirsch's Traditional Eggnog
Recipe by Chef George Hirsch | Makes 4 Servings
6 egg yolks, save the whites *see below
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup bourbon, or rum
1/2 cup pure cane sugar, or Turbinado
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated orange rind
Using a mixer with a whip attachment on medium speed; whip the egg yolks until light in color, about 4-5 minutes. Add sugar and mix until completely dissolved. Set aside.
In double boiler, combine the milk, heavy cream, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange rind and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and combine, while tempering the hot milk-cream mixture into the egg-sugar mixture.
Return all ingredients to double boiler and heat constantly stirring with a spatula until the mixture reaches 160 degrees (well below simmer), eggnog begins to resemble custard.
Remove from the heat, stir in the bourbon, and brandy. Pour into a bowl, cool and refrigerate for at least two-four hours. Best if refrigerated overnight.
Serve in cups with a shaved chocolate, or unsweetened cocoa powder dusted on top.
Optional Toppings: with a dollop of *meringue (made from all the left over egg whites), or ice cream, or whipped cream.