Makes 3 quarts, about 12 servings
Make-Ahead: Eggnog should be chilled at least 4 hours before serving, and served within 24 hours.
Indulge in one of the Yuletide's greatest pleasure, and make a batch of this heady, creamy, from-scratch eggnog. I can't imagine one of my Christmas parties without a big bowl of nog--and, according to the evidence, neither can my friends. One year, instead of entirely deleting it from the menu (because all of my friends were moaning about their expanding waistlines), I compromised with a half-batch, which disappeared quicker than an elephant at a magician's act in Las Vegas. This eggnog contains raw eggs, which have been known to contain the bacteria salmonella. When serving this recipe, take these precautions. Purchase fresh eggs without any signs of cracks, and wash the eggs before using them. Do not serve eggnog to people with compromised immune system.
6 large eggs, separated
1 1/4 cups superfine sugar (see Note)
1 cup dark rum
1 cup brandy
1/3 cup bourbon
1 1/2 quarts heavy cream
1 pint vanilla ice cream, for serving
Freshly grated nutmeg, for serving
1. In a large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer set on high speed, beat the egg yolks and the sugar until thick. Beat in the rum, brandy, and bourbon, then the cream.
2. In a large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer set on high speed, and using clean beaters, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Stir into the eggnog. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well-chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight. Transfer to a punch bowl. Using scissors, cut the container away from the ice cream, keeping the ice cream intact in one piece. Place the ice cream in the eggnog. Grate the nutmeg over the eggnog and serve immediately.
Note: To make your own superfine sugar, process regular granulated sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, in a food processor or blender until finely ground. It will take 1 to 2 minutes per batch.
Photo by Ben Fink