Aqua Vitae: Egg Nog

Before the Christmas tree, before Santa, before a national holiday, this country celebrated the holidays with a little thing... called egg nog! Evidence of egg nog in Colonial America comes to you today courtesy of the Old Farmer's Almanac. And not just any old author, but our first Commander-In-Chief - George Washington.

GW's recipe:
One quart cream, one quart milk, one dozen tablespoons sugar, one pint brandy, 1/2 pint rye whiskey, 1/2 pint Jamaica rum, 1/4 pint sherry--mix liquor first, then separate yolks and whites of eggs, add sugar to beaten yolks, mix well. Add milk and cream, slowly beating. Beat whites of eggs until stiff and fold slowly into mixture. Let set in cool place for several days. Taste frequently.

We love ya Georgey, but we're giving the girls our take. Enjoy ladies, and try not to consume the entire batch alone!

12 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
1 1/2 quarts heavy cream
1 quart whole milk
3 cups bourbon
1/2 cup dark rum
2 cups Cognac
freshly grated nutmeg
cinnamon sticks

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat egg yolks until thick and pale. Gradually add sugar, beating until combined. Switch to the whisk attachment; beat in 1 quart cream and milk. Stir in liquor.

2. Prior to serving, beat egg whites until stiff. Fold egg whites into the mixture. Whip remaining 2 cups heavy cream until stiff and fold into mixture.

3. Ladle nog into cups, top with fresh whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg.

We could show you some fancy punch bowl for your nog, but we love the idea of an old school fav be in an old school set. The Hazel Atlas Egg Nog Set ($20) screams holiday cheer! Don't worry - there are enough for everyone.

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