- 1 quart milk
- 1 vanilla bean or 1 tbsp extract
- 12 egg yolks
- 2 cup sugar
- 1 cup dark rum
- 2 cup bourbon
- 1 cup cognac or other brandy
- 8 egg whites
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 quart cream
- freshly grated nutmeg
- In a heavy medium-sized saucepan, barely boil the milk with the vanilla bean, which has been split lengthwise, scraped with the back edge of a knife and added to the milk-seeds, pod, and all (if using vanilla extract, you"ll add it after eggnog base has cooked).
- Meanwhile, place a large fine-mesh strainer over a bowl set in a large bowl of ice.
- Beat the yolks and sugar together in the top of a double boiler, by hand or with electric beaters, until thick and smooth, about 1 minute.
- Whisk in the hot vanilla milk.
- Cook in the double boiler set over simmering water, stirring constantly all around the bottom and corners with a rubber or wooden spatula.
- In time, foam will subside.
- The eggnog base is done when it coats a wooden spoon without bare spots, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Immediately pour through strainer, stirring to cool.
- When cool to the touch, slowly whisk in all liquors (if using vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean, add this now, too).
- Store eggnog base in refrigerator overnight or up to three days, to ripen.
To complete eggnog Edit
- At serving, remove vanilla bean and pour eggnog base into a large punch bowl.
- Beat egg whites with 3 tablespoons sugar to stiff peaks; fold into eggnog mixture.
- Beat cream to stiff peaks and fold it in, too.
- Let some lumps of the cream and egg whites float on surface.
- Sprinkle with nutmeg.
- Serve immediately, using a ladle.
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