Christmas Cheers

Eggnog served in vintage French jam jars


Looking into recipes there seems to be some controversy over whether eggnog should be ‘cooked’ or ‘prepared’; historically, it has been served both warm and cold. I followed a recipe which didn’t involve heat – I felt this was a more foolproof route for my first attempt – and added a few of my own ideas along the way.

If you don’t want to use alcohol, you can simply leave it out and the recipe will still work. It’s also worth noting that there are some delicious-sounding vegan recipes made with coconut and almond milk, cashew nuts and dates, so no one need miss out this Christmas. This recipe serves six.

6 medium free-range eggs
150g golden caster sugar, plus 1 teaspoon
500ml whole milk
400ml whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
250ml spiced rum
1 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg, plus extra

To decorate:
6 cinnamon sticks, to decorate
6 star anise, to decorate
edible silver stars, to decorate

  • Whisk the eggs in a large bowl with the 150g of sugar, until the mixture is fully blended. Stir in the milk and 300ml of the cream, then add the vanilla essence, spiced rum and nutmeg. Give a thorough whisk, but stop when it begins to froth. Pour into a large jug and set aside.
  • Using a whisk, whip the remaining 100ml of cream with the teaspoon of sugar until peaks form. Add it to the set aside mixture and whisk together until blended. Place in the fridge for 2–3 hours.
  • Remove from the fridge and, using a large spoon, skim off the whipped cream – this will have gathered flavour and risen to the top of the jug during refrigeration – and gently place on a cold plate.
  • Decant the mixture into your glasses of choice and gently spoon the whipped cream onto the top of each drink. Poke a cinnamon stick into the cream (the cream will help to hold it in place), add a star anise and sprinkle with extra nutmeg and edible silver stars.

Note: If you want to make this a more instant drink, then skip refrigerating the mixture and go straight to pouring it into glasses – over ice if you want it chilled – and add a dollop of the freshly whipped cream to the top of each one before decorating.

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