Homemade Holiday Egg Nog – Is It Necessary To Cook It?

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I have never been afraid of salmonella in homemade eggnog because I always add liquor.  But last year, I tried gently cooking the eggs, and guess what, it tasted better than without cooking – the different silky smoothness was instantly noticeable.   Salmonella prevention aside, this is the best nog I ever tasted! So now I cook my eggnog for better taste and smoothness rather than eating safety.




I was reared in the Episcopal Church.  My aunt and uncle, who raised me, went to a Methodist and Baptist church respectively.  The Methodists and Baptists drink grape juice for communion.  This is obvious to any visitor because they serve the libation in small individual glasses for sanitation purposes.



Episcopalians drink the hard stuff.  Episcopal communion libation is served in a chalice.  The priest wipes it after each person takes a sip.  The individual glasses are rendered unnecessary because of the alcohol.



Eggnog tradition comes from my aunt Dora, who made it every year. I had to get mine first before my uncle Bill overloaded it with the hard stuff. It is easy to make, and my aunt didn’t cook hers. But either way, even without liquor, there is nothing like Thanksgiving Eggnog!



I have never really been afraid of getting salmonella from homemade nog because I always add liquor.  For years I used a recipe, Brandy Egg Nog Eldorado, which required no cooking whatsoever.  It was delicious and never gave me any physical trouble ever.



However, I am curious.  When I found the following recipe in Cook’s Illustrated magazine, November-December, 1997, page 23 by Anne Tuomey and Ann Flanigan of Wellesley, MA, of the cooking variety, I had to try it.



Let me tell you, salmonella prevention aside, this is the best nog I ever tasted.  The smoothness was noticeable instantly.  This nog is special because of the “cooking”.  Holiday Egg Nog is now my Egg Nog.  If you are concerned about salmonella or not, try this nog for Thanksgiving!



CI magazine               CI Holiday_Baking






Holiday Eggnog CI


Source: CI29, Nov-Dec ’97, PG 23 by Anne Tuomey and Ann Flanigan of Wellesley, MA



Adding milk to eggs in small increments and blending thoroughly after each one helps ensure smooth custard.  To prevent curdling, do not heat custard beyond 160 degrees.  If it does curdle, remove from heat immediately and pour into a bowl set over a larger bowl of ice water to stop the cooking, then proceed with recipe.  If no liquor added, decrease cream to 1/4-cup to maintain right consistency.  For the same reason, increase cream to 3/4-cup if you choose to add another 1/2-cup alcohol.




6                  large eggs + 2 yolks        


1/2C+2T      sugar (superfine if possible)        


1/4t              salt        


4C                milk        


1/2C             brandy, bourbon or dark rum         ***


1T                vanilla extract


1/2t              grated nutmeg + extra for garnish


1/2C             heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks




Tabacco Code:


T = Tablespoon


t = teaspoon


C = Cup




1-         Off heat, whisk eggs, yolks, sugar and salt in mixing bowl        


2-         Stir in milk (1/2-cup at a time), blending well after each addition        


3-         @Heat as in double boiler, stirring constantly, until custard registers 160º F.,thickens and coats the back of a spoon, 25 to 30 minutes        


4-         Pour custard through sieve into large bowl; then cool, stir in liquor, vanilla and grated nutmeg                 


5-         Place in covered containers and chill at least 3 hours and up to 3 days        


6-         Prior to serving, whip cream in medium bowl to very soft peaks and gently fold into custard mixture until incorporated; serve in chilled bowls or cups, garnishing with freshly grated nutmeg



@ Tabacco recipe adaptation


*** Tabacco always uses half Bacardi dark and half brandy or Cognac




Originally published November 17, 2005 (1,098H 11-12-09/1,200H 11-15-10)



Republished December 23, 2007 (906H 11-12-09/1,224H 11-15-10)



Republished November 9, 2008 (1,051H 11-12-09/2,393H 11-15-10 Reissue Date)



Total H: 3,055 11-12-09/ 4,817 to date 11-15-10

In 1981’s ‘Body Heat’, Kathleen Turner said, “Knowledge is power”.

Tabacco Wise Old Owl

T.A.B.A.C.C.O.  (Truth About Business And Congressional Crimes Organization)




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