I have to admit I was never very grabbed by the idea of egg nog until I tried it out for myself and discovered just how delicious it is - like velvety, vanilla-and-rum-scented air.
It's not as straightforward as some other cocktails admittedly but if you're used to making meringues or mousses you'll won't find it daunting at all. This version is based on the one in American bartender Dale Degroff’s excellent ‘The Craft of the Cocktail’.
3 scrupulously fresh large free-range eggs
75g/3 oz caster sugar
100ml/3 1/2 fl oz bourbon
100ml /3 1/2 fl oz spiced rum
570 ml /1 pint creamy breakfast milk
275ml /1/2 pint whipping cream
A nutmeg for grating
Separate the egg yolks carefully from the whites and put them in separate large bowls.
Beat the egg yolks, gradually adding 50g/2 oz of the sugar until they turn light in colour and moussey in texture. Beat in the bourbon and spiced rum then stir in the milk and cream.
Clean and dry your whisk thoroughly then beat the egg whites until beginning to stiffen. Add the remaining sugar to the whites and whisk until they form a soft peak.
Fold the whites into the egg nog mixture and grate over a little nutmeg. Ladle out the egg nog into small glasses or cups. Have teaspoons available for those who prefer to spoon rather than sip it.
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