The Quest for Easy, Homemade Holiday Eggnog
The simple, tasty middle option between a store-bought carton and a weeklong process
Is there a more perfect symbol of midwinter indulgence than eggnog?
Let's not mince words here: you're drinking a glass of fat. In fact, eggnog might best be described as the absolute far end of a sugar-in-lard suspension mix; it's the sweetest cream that should ever be enjoyed, and for many, it's simply too much. Good for them.
If eggnog tastes like an overly rich puddle of melted ice cream to you, you're lucky. For others of us, this frothy, foamy beverage is a caloric tidal wave waiting irresistibly at the end of each calendar year.
My grandmother used to serve hers in a giant crystal bowl, like it was part of some secret fattening-up religious ceremony. If that's your mode, too, don't forget the ice around it; as soon as eggnog even hears a rumor about room temperature, it becomes undrinkable.
The convenience store Wawa in my college town inexplicably carried eggnog year round, information I greeted with a combination of glee and horror. Fortunately, spring term final exams go with chilled glasses of cream about as well as margaritas go with a ski slope, so I managed to graduate without growing morbidly obese.
Eggnog mixes admirably with brandy, rum, or bourbon, but I adore the stuff so much I prefer it virgin. I don’t turn my nose up at store-bought brands, but for purists, there's nothing like making it at home. While there are some great recipes for complex, perfect eggnogs, making a batch can also be inexpensive and easy — although the result is oh-so-rich. To reduce your caloric intake and lessen the nog’s pudding-like thickness, I recommend using 2 percent or even skim milk — whole milk creates a final product best eaten with a spoon. Play around with it, and indulge with your eyes open. There's a reason this drink is a once-a-season offering.
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