Vanilla Bourbon Eggnog. When I lived in Alderney we celebrated Milk-a-punch on the first Sunday in May. This was to mark the cows moving out to pasture and the first milk was mixed with eggs, nutmeg and rum before being drunk. Nowadays every bar and pub mark the tradition offering a free glass of Milk-a-punch to their customers. This punch is very similar to the popular American Christmas drink Eggnog. Today’s recipe is for my version of this popular festive drink.
What is Eggnog?
You make traditional eggnog with egg yolks, cream, and milk. In addition there are one or more types of alcohol and spices. The boozy element can be rum, bourbon, brandy or sherry or a combination of these. George Washington served his guests as America’s first president with an eggnog made with rye whiskey, Jamaican rum and sherry. History does not record if they slept most of the rest of the day.
Today many American buy eggnog as a premade drink in cartons just like milk. Commercial eggnog is pasteurised to prevent any bacterial spoilage. But homemade eggnog relies on the alcohol to preserve the other ingredients. Obviously, Washington knew what he was doing. However, modern refrigeration also means the mix can be kept for several weeks. Some chefs advocate even longer to improve the flavour. In my recipe I’m only using whiskey and sherry. I like sherry for the touch of caramel sweetness. It is one of the most Christmassy drinks going evoking fond memories of my aunty sipping from a small, delicate glass like a Miss Marple.
My Vanilla Bourbon Eggnog
You will find in some recipes the egg whites whisked and added to the egg mix just before serving. I have taken this a step further and added a snowy peak to my drink which can be stirred in before drinking. You can decorate your glasses like me with some cinnamon sugar for an extra Christmas flavour. For the best results use the freshest eggs possible.
Vanilla Bourbon Eggnog
- 3 500 ml bottles with lids
- 6 medium free-range Jersey Eggs separated ( freeze the egg whites until needed )
- 150 gr Vanilla Caster Sugar
- 500 ml Full fat Jersey Milk
- 400 ml thick Jersey Double Cream
- 300 ml quality Bourbon
- 100 ml Sweet Cream Sherry
- 1 Vanilla Pod opened and seeds removed
- Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
To Decorate Glasses
- 1 free-range Egg White
- 25 gr Caster Sugar
- 5 gr ground Cinnamon
- Whisk one hundred grams of the vanilla caster sugar together with the egg yolks in a large bowl until the mixture is pale yellow and thick. This is very similar to making a Sabayone sauce.
- Pour the egg whites into a plastic container, seal and refrigerate.
- Pour in the milk, double cream, bourbon, and sherry. Add the vanilla and a pinch of the freshly grated nutmeg and carefully whisk together.
- Sterilise three five hundred millilitre bottles with lids and dry. Pour in the egg mix, seal and store in the fridge overnight.
- When ready to serve, place one egg white into a small bowl and whisk using a folk. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together. Dip the rim of your glasses into the egg white and then the cinnamon sugar. Set aside.
- In a second scrupulously clean bowl whisk up the remaining egg whites. When they are bubbly and white but still sloppy add the remaining sugar and whisk to a peak. It’s best to use an electric whisk for this.
- Carefully pour the egg mix into the prepared glasses and top with a snowy peak of egg white.