09 Dec // Friday drinks: the eggnog edition

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and if there’s one thing the silly season is good for, apart from annoying your flatmates with christmas music and gorging on christmas mince pies, it is trying out new things. And by things I mean cocktails.  

Here’s something I learned over the weekend: eggnog is served cold. I had no idea. It’s not something I’d ever tried nor made, but when Otaika Valley asked me to do a festive recipe for them using their free range eggs, I went with festive. Festive, and alcoholic.

Like a mythical thing seen only in fiction, I pictured eggnog as a comforting, warm, creamy drink. It is, in fact, quite a potent cocktail, and although definitely creamy, it’s also deliciously spicy with a decent kick. And traditionally served cold. Highly recommended for your next ugly-Christmas-sweater drinks soiree.

Otaika Valley has released some fancy silver Christmas packaging for their 18 packs of eggs, and as a company they’re proud of the proper free range life their hens enjoy. There’s a video here, and whilst I’m terrified of live chickens, happy hens equal good eggs. I had a glorious Sunday afternoon whisking them up and taste testing different eggnog techniques, with friends basking in the sun drinking the results.

The recipe uses three eggs - whisking the yolks with some sugar to form the rich base of the drink, and then beating the egg whites with a little more sugar to get that meringue-like body of creaminess through it. I spiced my own rum for this recipe, but you could buy spiced rum or use brandy if you prefer. If you’ve always wanted to try eggnog, now is the time! Crank some Mariah or the Pogues, bust out the nutmeg, and get whisking.

Eggnog

For the spiced rum:

250ml rum or brandy (you need 250ml for the recipe, but this amount of spice will take up to 500ml alcohol)

1 whole nutmeg

1 cinnamon stick

½ vanilla bean pod

A few cloves

You can spice your rum a few days in advance before making this, but if you want to make it on the same day, give the spices about an hour to infuse.

Place the rum in a bottle or jar, and add the cinnamon stick, a generous grating of nutmeg, the vanilla pod, and a few cloves. Leave to infuse until you’re ready to make the eggnog. Strain through a tea strainer or muslin before serving.

For the eggnog: 

3 Otaika Valley free range eggs (at room temperature)

250ml spiced rum (see above)

80g caster sugar

450ml cream (make sure it’s chilled cold)

1 nutmeg, freshly grated, to garnish

1.Steep your booze, as per instructions above.

2.Separate the eggs. Whisk the yolks with 40g of the sugar, until thick and pale.

3. Whisk in the strained booze and the cream. Whisk until well combined. Note: you can make this part of the mixture a few hours in advance until you’re ready to serve: just keep it in the fridge.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with the remaining 40g of sugar. Beat until soft peaks form (I used my electric mixer for this). Fold into the booze mixture, then pour into glasses or mugs. Serve immediately, with a fresh grate of nutmeg on top.  

This recipe was a collaboration with Otaika Valley Free Range Eggs.