Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Easy Homemade Eggnog

I must confess that I never particularly cared for eggnog. Until very recently, I had only ever had store-bought eggnog and, while the consistency reminded me plesantly of a thick milkshake, I couldn't get past the semi-eggy, custard-gone-awry sort of flavor. I ordinarily like custard, too, but I basically gave up on the drink. I'd have a sip every now and again, in case my tastes changed and I found I enjoyed it, but I was far more likely to refuse 'nog than not.
This year I finally decided to give homemade eggnog a try. I searched through countless recipes and tried quite a few to limited success. I ruled out anything that involved cooking the eggs, since I already knew that wasn't what I wanted. I did not like the recipes that needed multiple bowls for beating multiple components. Since I never exactly wanted to indulge in eggnog in the first place, I didn't want an overly indulgent recipe, either. Finally, I came across this recipe, which I liked because I wouldn't have to separate and independently beat the eggs and because there is no cream to make it too rich. After a few tries, a few eggs and a few modifications, I had eggnog. And it wasn't bad!
This eggnog is very easy to make and is relatively low in fat. You can use any kind of milk, though I recommend low fat. The resulting nog is creamy and slightly eggy, without having a trace of store-bought taste. It reminds me of a thin, but enriched, milkshake. The vanilla and nutmeg really compliment eachother. The alcohol is entirely optional and you can substitute bourbon or rum to suit your tastes.

Homemade Eggnog
2 eggs, room temperature
4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp nutmeg, plus more for serving
2 cups low fat milk
2 oz. brandy (optional)

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until light in color and sugar is dissolved. Whisk in vanilla, nutmeg, milk and brandy, if using. Strain into a small pitcher and chill.
Pour into glasses and sprinkle with additional nutmeg.
Makes 2 large or 4 small servings.