Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Yield: About 6 servings.
- Base Mixture:
- 6 large eggs
- 3/4 cup bourbon
- 1/3 cup rum (dark is best)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- Finished Mixture:
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup sugar
1. With an electric mixer, beat eggs until well mixed.
2. Combine bourbon and rum and add very gradually to the egg mixture; this should take about 15 minutes. If the alcohol is added too quickly, it will curdle the eggs, so take it slow.
3. Beat in the sugar - about 5 minutes - and store in a glass or ceramic jar or jug in a cool, dark place, but not a refrigerator for 3 - 4 weeks. The container should be covered loosely, but you want some air to get in.
4. Whip the cream until almost stiff. Whip in vanilla and sugar.
5. Stir the base mixture and thoroughly mix into cream.
6. This nog will be very thick and you may wish to thin it somewhat with milk.
7. Serve in punch cups with a sprinkling of finely grated nutmeg.
The Safety Issue: In liquids, alcohol concentrations as low as 8 percent are enough to kill most bacteria. In the case of Dad's recipe, I calculated the alcohol content at 21 percent of the total — nearly 1/4 pure alcohol. And that's not counting the sugar, which is also a preservative (it disrupts the cell membranes ("skin") of microorganisms).
An experiment testing microbial levels was published (12/17/09) on NPR's Science Friday. The most interesting thing is that freshly made nog (with unpasteurized eggs) is more dangerous than nog made at least three weeks in advance. The theory is that although the alcohol alone isn't enough to kill all micro-organisms, it is high enough to prevent reproduction, so after 3 weeks all the bugs are dead.
I'm not advising you to ignore the FDA and if you're concerned about pathogens you can make the base just before using it and use pasteurized eggs. Pasteurized eggs, like pasteurized milk, have been heated to a temperature sufficient to kill any pathogens. But personally, I plan to have several nogs of my father's Christmas cheer this December, made exactly the way he's always made it.