For a drink that appears only about six weeks of every year, eggnog takes many forms. According to The Dictionary of American Food & Drink by John F. Mariani, the word "nog" is an Old English term for ale, but eggnog was often made in England with Spanish red wine.
In America, the book says, spirits took the place of wine, but those have varied, too -- from rum to brandy to bourbon, or a combination. Then there's the more serious safety debate: Should the eggs in the nog be cooked or uncooked?
With an ample amount of cream and a hefty dose of bourbon, this eggnog recipe from Baltimore International College chef instructor Christopher Nasatka is decadence in a glass -- you won't need much to know that Christmas is almost here. It's easy to make and works well for a large gathering.
Eggnog made his way also contains raw eggs -- and lots of them -- so those who are wary of the potential for salmonella poisoning may want to use another recipe. (Consumption of uncooked eggs is discouraged by the American Egg Board, among others; there's a recipe for cooked eggnog at its Web site, aeb.org.) Nasatka says he doesn't worry about his eggnog as long as the eggs come from a reputable grocery store. If you like, he says, you can substitute pasteurized liquid eggs.
MAKES 16 TO 20 SERVINGS
10 egg whites
10 egg yolks
3 / 4 cup sugar
1 cup bourbon
1 quart heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
16 to 20 cinnamon sticks, for garnish
Place egg whites in one bowl and yolks in another. Mix sugar into egg yolks until incorporated, then slowly mix in the bourbon. In a mixing bowl, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form.
In a separate bowl, whip heavy cream to soft peaks; add vanilla and whip until stiff peaks form. Fold yolk mixture into egg whites, then fold whipped cream into egg mixture. Fold in nutmeg and cinnamon. Serve chilled, with a cinnamon stick in each glass.
Courtesy of Christopher Nasatka, chef instructor at Baltimore International College
Per cup (based on 20 servings): 233 calories, 4 grams protein, 20 grams fat, 12 grams saturated fat, 9 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 171 milligrams cholesterol, 53 milligrams sodium