Designated Driver Required Egg Nog

 Designated Driver Required Egg Nog -
My earliest memories of Egg Nog are not what you’d expect.  I did not discover it surrounded by twinkling lights while donning a red velvet frock with holiday laughter filling the air.  It was from my 13 year old neighbor friend, Paul.  An unlikely introduction which turned into an obsession (Paul’s for the nog).  Paul was not your usual Junior High teen.  He was bohemian without a doubt.  He always looked at things from an avant garde perspective when most other teens would not have been able to spell the term, and I loved this about him.
While most teens worried about their outfit, acne or popularity, Paul was considering the deeper more existential aspects of life and those peripheral social elements seeming to catch our peers unaware.  Somewhere in the midst the deep dialog about the perspectives of Nietzsche and Kierkegaard, and making up dances to a Bob Marley album I’d won at a dance contest, Paul fell in love with Egg Nog.  I had the Betty Crocker cookbook for kids (still do) and there was a recipe for Egg Nog made from scratch.  I made it one afternoon and found Paul coming over daily, very much like the backdoor dog on Lady and the Tramp looking for leftover spaghetti.  I’m surprised the motor on our blender did not short out.
Egg Nog eventually escaped my culinary landscape until I began to have it occasionally around the holidays from a carton.  I found it delicious and very weird after having made the ‘from scratch’ stuff daily for so long which was light, airy and fresh-tasting.  It is one of those holiday consumables that really does not taste the same any other time (unless you are 13 and obsessed) nor does the holiday seem the same without it.
When I ran across a recipe for an adult version in my Great Grandmother’s hand I knew I would have to make it.  In scanning the ingredients and sampling the recipe I also knew I’d have to rename it:   Designated Driver Egg Nog.  Holy canole.  It’s very good; very flavorful, and not too rich but if you serve this please also hand out taxi fare at your holiday party.

My Great Grandmother would have made this in the first half of last century I’d guess.  From the recipe card it is an ‘old family recipe’ of Mrs. Blair.  I do not know who Mrs. Blair would be but I would not be surprised to find she owned a distillery or perhaps a still at the time.  My Great Grandparents lived each in New York City and then in Washington DC where my Great Grandfather was the Administrator of the Carnegie Institute.  They entertained lots of out of town scientists and mixed with a fascinating circle.  As an example (history buffs take note), my mother remembers as a very young girl watching President Roosevelt’s third inauguration parade from Alger Hiss’ apartment  (which predated his conviction for spying and other questionable activities).  All this to be said, I feel confident ‘Grammy’ was a Bon Vivant and not a booze-hound, despite what the ingredients of this recipe suggest.

The flavors in this are perfectly balanced though if you want to pull it back a notch I’d cut back on the Rye Whiskey.  The recipe notes to make it the day beforehand.  I did so and have stored the ‘nog’ in a sealed Mason jar in the fridge, taking oh-so-slight sips when the mood strikes.  I’m sure with the amount of alcohol you will be safe to store it sealed and chilled for a week or so.
Yield:  approximately 7 cups (I made a half batch and it serves plenty)
·         12 eggs, whites and yolks separated
·         ¾ cup sugar
·         1 quart Rye Whiskey
·         1 pint Jamaican Rum
·         1 pint milk (not cream)
1.       Beat egg yolks with sugar to fully combine.
2.      In a separate bowl beat egg whites until frothy.  Add 2/3 of the egg whites to the yolk/sugar mixture.  Stir to combine.
3.      Very slowly drizzle in the rye and rum into the egg/sugar mixture stirring gently as you pour.
4.      Slowly pour in milk and stir to combine.  Stir in remaining 1/3 egg whites; stir to combine.  Sprinkle with a bit of nutmeg when serving.   Refrigerate in a sealed container until serving and/or for storage.
Holiday Designated Driver Egg Nog (boozy!) |

Note on use of raw eggs:  This recipe uses raw eggs (as did the recipe I made with Paul).  Living in more cautious times with concerns over Salmonella (which was present then too) to be the most cautious I would recommend using pasteurized eggs which should remove any risk from eating raw eggs.  The statistics on contracting Salmonella are pretty slight but of course follow your own judgment.

Vintage Egg Nog recipe with Rye Whiskey |
I used a locally distilled Rye Whiskey from a beloved Colorado distiller, Leopold Brothers. They have a full, tantalizing line of spirits all made with quality ingredients and processes leaving them a state treasure.
 A note on Rye Whiskey for gluten-free consumers:  Most major governing bodies for gluten free foods (National Institutes of Health’s Celiac Disease Awareness Campaign and the Canadian Celiac Association for example) state the belief that the distillation process of a spirit extracts any gluten present leaving them gluten free.  I have occasionally read some dissenting views but the main position holds.  In this case to be extra cautious I did contact Leopold Brothers who confirmed their Rye Whiskey IS gluten free. 
Vintage Egg Nog Cups and Christmas Tree Ornaments |
At the risk of sounding like the Ad Counsel, ‘Drink Responsibly’.  And frankly after drinking this, please ‘Walk Responsibly’ too.  Bicycle riding after consumption not recommended.


  1. says

    Oooo … I'd just got a bottle of Jamaican Rum from the airport duty free shop. I've never made eggnog due to the raw eggs but lately I've discovered some shops selling pasteurised eggs. Hah! It's going to be a very happy Christmas!

  2. says

    I absolutely love eggnog -it's something I found in the United States that definitely is lacking at home in Germany! I don't care whether it's alcoholic or not, I could just bathe in the stuff. Glorious recipe 🙂

  3. says

    How were you able to take the top down shots with all the fumes that came up from those glasses???? A quart of whiskey. Wow. Of course, I HAVE to make this. I even called Hubby in to have a look. Plus, with him being the history buff, I knew he's want to see the Roosevelt tidbit. That was way cool.

    I'm thrilled, overjoyed and ecstatic that you were willing to share your great grandmother's recipe. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    (If nothing else brings in the joy, this recipe will!)

  4. says

    Ping: It was funny to remember my 'eggnog roots' and that we never thought about things like pasteurized eggs. So many more issues now with food. Please let me know if you try it! Happy Christmas to you and your family (especially that cute little Auntie Choo!).

    Kiri W: I agree. I also think only having it around this time of year heightens one's appreciation for it. Happy Holidays Kiri!

    Christiane: I really laughed when reading your comment because I was thinking the same thing WHEN taking the overhead shots! I'm surprised my eyes weren't watering too much to focus! It is serious business but good! Please let me know if you make it what you and 'hubby' think! Love that it's so old, don't you? Something magical about that.

  5. says

    I had already made a mental note to make “real” eggnog this season, instead of just doctoring the carton. I love the idea of using your great grandmas recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  6. says

    I followed your link to this post from Rebecca's Chow and Chatter site! How wonderful. This egg nog looks delicious (and dangerous!) Fabulous. I can't wait to look around at your other recipes!

  7. says

    All I can say is WOW or POW what a kicker. Love your story and thanks for sharing your Grandmother's recipe. It does sound delicious and hearty, hehe. Cheers!

  8. says

    I love it! What an amazing find. You should annotate it again and you'll have a real-life palimpsest. The best part is your grandmother changing “1/4 pint” rum to “1/2 cup” rum – which is the same amount 🙂

  9. says

    Michele: This nog means serious business!

    Viviane: I agree and freshly grated nutmeg is a whole different beast isn't it?

    Rosemary: I'm so glad you'll give this a go! Everyone really should try freshly made Egg Nog in their lifetime. If you chicken out, email me. I'll send you the booze-free recipe Paul and I used to make!

    Lo-mo: Completely agree!

    Yadsia: Yes! It would. And even for the most insufferable office party, drink enough of this and you won't remember one detail of the party I”m sure!

    Jesica: Yes! It is definitely a 'Rite of Passage' version of Egg Nog.

    Erin: Welcome! Thanks so much for coming to visit. I hope you'll find some things you like!

    Roxana: Hi! I love things handwritten and especially now that so much is online, it's even more of a treasure.

    Suzi: Nothing subtle about this recipe, that's for sure!

    David: So glad you like the recipe. I noted also that 'Nana' underlined the 1/2 cup rum. Perhaps as her own secret code that she was not ready to relinquish the amount to a lesser! Happy Holidays!

  10. SavoringTime in the Kitchen says

    So enjoyed your guest post at Chow and Chatter.

    This sounds like some seriously delicious eggnog and I love seeing the recipe in your great grandmother's handwriting.

  11. says

    I really enjoyed reading this post. It is amazing what one particular food or beverage can conjure up in the way of memories. Thanks for sharing your memories associated with eggnog as well as this treasured recipe from your family. Your eggnog does look delicious! Christmas just would not be the same without this tasty beverage.

  12. says

    Stopping by from Chow and Chatter to say Hi! I'm so glad you guest posted for Rebecca, as I had forgotten how much I love your blog! I just added it to my reader so I won't forget again :-). I think I might be making this eggnog tonight ot sounds so good, and I especially love th storybthatbgoes along with it! Cheers!

  13. says

    Your grandmother's egg nog sounds delicious! With all those eggs, I'd say the alcohol is a health precaution–to cut the cholesterol a bit. On another note, you can now tour George Washington's rye distillery at Mt. Vernon.

  14. says

    I'm a sucker for Great-Grandmothers and their recipes. It's our job to make sure they don't get lost and forgotten, don't ya think? Thanks for sharing the recipe and the story. I have never (gasp) had “real” egg nog. If ever there was a recipe to try it would be this one. I can't wait!

  15. says

    Oh those old recipe cards! I am still amazed by them. I wish I had something like that from my own family. I just purchased a carton of eggnog the other day for a few recipes but haven't fallen back in love with it right from the container. I would love to give this recipe a shot for a holiday party or gathering of friends.

    Have a great Christmas!


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