Classic Cooked Egg Nog

Some days ago I posted about my first sips of a traditional American Christmas drink – Eggnog. In that entry I briefly mentioned that there were two ways to achieve proper texture of eggnog (you should realize, that these two ways give entirely different results). First – maturing – I tried with my first recipe of Uncle Angelo’s Eggnog by Dale DeGroffe (who, actually, as you can see in this video, mixes his famous Uncle Angelo’s Eggnogs in quite original way and without any ripening) and second – cooking I am going to describe here.

Cooked Egg Nog

In a way, it is a philosophical issue – To cook or not to cook [eggnogs]: that is the question! And I see at least two reasons that make people cook their nogs. First – a lot of people are afraid of consuming raw eggs, they are frightened by salmonella, stomach bug and other indigestions. But another reason seems the most important – cooked eggnog is absolutely delicious! Besides, cooking of eggnog allows achieving of a really thick, rich and textural eggnog.

Cooked eggnog consists of the same ingredients as, let’s say, a plain one. Eggs, milk, cream, spices and bourbon, but its preparation is an absolutely culinary journey. I.e. you really need to cook it :) And this may frighten many that are much stronger than mythical salmonella :) What is it you say? You gonna put poached eggs in my nog, are you nuts, bro? 8)

Really, no, there won’t be any poached eggs in your eggnog, bro, if you are attentive enough and cook your eggnog in the right way 8)

Traditional Christmas Cooked Egg Nog in a beaty crystal mug

Classic Cooked Egg Nog (Классический заварной Эгг Ног)

2 big chicken eggs
75 g sugar
250 ml milk
75 ml cream
a pinch of salt
grated nutmeg (to taste)
grated cinnamon (to taste)
some cloves (to taste, optional)
vanilla extract (to taste)
80 ml bourbon
1. In an appropriate sized saucepan pour milk, cream (if you use half and half), add pinch of salt, fresh grounded nutmeg, cinnamon, some whole cloves or another spices and heat the mix till it is steaming (but do not boil! As we all know, boiled milk isn’t that tasty :) Leave warm milk mixture to steep. Before using I prefer to strain the mix through a tea strainer.
2. Separate eggs. Put egg whites in an appropriate airtight container and refrigerate or (if you are going to keep your eggnog relatively long) freeze.
3. Beat yolks in a large bowl until pale than add about three-fourth of the sugar and beat until they become almost white.
4. Pour warm spicy mixture to beaten yolks very slowly. Stir up constantly while you are pouring the milk.
5. Set the mixture on medium (or low) heat and cook it about 10-15 min at 160°F until certain thickening. Don’t let the mix boil! It is very important, because if the mix get boiled, yolks will curdle and the drink will be completely spoiled.
6. If you don’t have a thermometer, you may use a spoon-test for determining of an end point of cooking. Simple dip a metal spoon into the mix and look at – the mix should coat the spoon with a thin smooth film if ready.
7. After cooking let eggnog cool a little and add heavy cream, vanilla extract and bourbon.
8. Chill eggnog in a fridge for several hours or overnight.
9. Right before serving beat egg whites (you should thaw they before, of course, and warm up they to room temperature) until soft peaks with the rest of sugar. Do not overbeat, egg whites shouldn’t go past the “glistening” stage.
10. In an appropriate punch bowl gently incorporate beaten egg whites in chilled eggnog using a whisk until completely smooth, thick and fluffy.
11. Grate some nutmeg on top of the eggnog if you use a punch bowl, otherwise grate nutmeg on top of each drink. Serve in beautiful punch cups or short tumblers.

All ingredients are traditional for eggnog and, consequently, may vary. Notice, if you decided to cook your eggnog because you are afraid of salmonella, I recommend using pasteurized eggs or egg whites for serving. The texture of eggnog is quite affected by how fat your dairy is, but you health is too :) Also you can change the amount of sugar if you prefer a not so sweet eggnog, but I am a real sweet tooth. Traditional species for eggnogs are nutmeg (absolutely essential), cinnamon (strongly recommended), cloves (if you want them, I usually do), cardamom (for the eccentric, I want to try it) and vanilla (strictly recommended too).

Even though I only specify bourbon in the recipe, rum (specifically dark or spiced) and brandy (cognac) or their mixes are also used. This season I made my cooked eggnogs only with bourbon, specifically Wild Turkey 101, and I was totally satisfied with the results.

Fluffy and thick top of real Cooked Egg Nog grated with nutmeg

If you succeed in following these directions, you will obtain an absolutely perfect eggnog – thick, fluffy, rich and smooth. And such eggnog has a distinguished smell and taste. A sweet, spicy, creamy, a little boozy, and ultimately a desert drink. Posh and lush desert drink 8) To be honest, this season, it is cooked eggnog that wins my heart (but, in fact, I did not the eggnog aged for three weeks yet, perhaps, something much more interesting is awaiting me next Christmas season. Well, I will have to just wait, a reminder (on next Thanksgiving) has already been set up! :)

P.S. I forget again and again to mention that eggnog can be non-alcoholic :) For this purpose just omit the liquor as you prepare cooked eggnog (actually, you can add booze directly in your glass later, bro ;)

My first Eggnog and Happy Christmas (Orthodox)!

Well, certainly I know that my American ilk posted their exciting entries about Eggnog all December long and have already forgotten about this drink, but I, as a matter of fact, have an excuse. Eggnog is a traditional Christmas drink, isn’t it? So, let me restate that Eggnog is a drink which some (okay, okay – it is a risqué assumption) Christians usually have on Christmas. But! Look! Not all Christians have Christmas in December! Actually, being Orthodox, we (I mean Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians) have our Christmas Eve on January 6 thus I am just in time 8)

Obviously, Eggnog isn’t our traditional Christmas drink. As a matter of fact here in Ukraine it is almost an unknown drink. Most people even have never heard about eggnog, needless to say they have never tasted it. So, I will be a sort of pioneer of eggnog around here 8)

Eggnog |

As I could notice eggnog is quite popular in the USA. Being popular stuff in a market system, eggnog, certainly, became a commercial product a long time ago. Adam Smith’s invisible hand of the market takes heed to bring eggnog even to the laziest persons – just take down a carton of the drink from a grocery store shelf and you are in the trend. But also I noticed that commercial stuff, even spiked with a small batch bourbon, isn’t considered a connoisseur’s choice ;) People who understand prefer to make eggnog from scratch. In my experience, this is the best way to enjoy this drink.

Generally, modern homemade eggnog is prepared with raw eggs, some dairy (milk, cream or both), sugar, spices (at least nutmeg) and liquors (bourbon, rum, brandy – all are allowed). In particular, all ingredients may vary – it seems there are millions of eggnog recipes just like for a Martini (or another cocktail superstar). So, it wasn’t easy to pick out a recipe for first tasting, but fortunately I have several authorities which never short-sell me in a wide range of questions about mixed drinks. One of these authorities is Dale DeGroff whose famous recipe of Uncle Angelo’s Eggnog I followed for starters (As a base I used a recipe from his book The Essential Cocktail, if you haven’t got it, you also can find the recipe on

Egg Nog |

Uncle Angelo’s Eggnog (by Dale DeGroff)

1 egg
35 g sugar
150 ml milk
75 ml heavy cream
40 ml bourbon
30 ml spiced rum
10 ml flavorful rum
Separate egg. In a bowl beat together yolk with about two-thirds (or a little more) of sugar until mix becomes pale in color even almost white. Then add slowly milk and cream, stir up the mix with a whisk. Then add liquors and stir again. The mix must be quite homogeneous. In another bowl whip the egg white until soft peaks then add the rest of sugar and whip thoroughly until stiff peaks. Beware of not overbeating the whites, the froth must glisten. Then pour slowly yolk mixture in the whipped egg whites stirring eggnog constantly with a whisk. Stir until entirely smooth. Chill eggnog in a fridge for a couple of hours or serve it in a chilled bowl standing over ice. Serve eggnog in beautiful crystal mugs or punch cups or just in short tumblers. Grate nutmeg on top of the each drink. It seems, this recipe gives 2 serving, so feel free to scale it if you need.

Quite literally such eggnog is pretty similar to flip (diluted with some dairy) but there is something that can make this drink different – certain preparation tricks. As a matter of fact, there are two different ways to make eggnog (not only this eggnog, I mean, all eggnogs) quite a distinctive drink. It’s, lets say, maturing (or ripening) and cooking. So, it will probably be better to mature the eggnog for a minimum of five days, even though this recipe tastes pretty good right after mixing.

As I could have noticed, one of the most important things in eggnog is consistency. It seems, eggnog must have an appropriate texture and mouthfeel. Although it is quite difficult to realize these two key things just by reading posts or watching youtube 8) So, I should engage an expert 8) Fortunately, my English teacher (native American) kindly accepted my invitation to a tasting and gave me some advice.

Several attempts (with this recipe and some others) showed that both tricks affected texture significantly (even though they gave rather different results). They work in different ways, but both of them bring additional thickness, smoothness and roundness to the drink. Actually, cooking gives thicker and fluffy eggnog [it is another story and it will be coming soon], but maturing, as for me, gives a more delicate, roundish, silky texture and quite interesting mouthfeel. Also maturing affects the flavor and palate of eggnog. It seems, maturing of eggnog is a very interesting procedure to explore, and I should give it more attention in the next season (and try to mature it for quite longer periods).

Two Beauty Eggnogs |

Well, my first acquaintance came off. Eggnog is a rather pleasant dessert drink with a lovely small kick. It is very delicious. It suits winter holidays wonderfully. It is so reach and heavy (in sugar, fat and ultimately – calories;) and it undoubtedly can replace holiday cake on the table. And, I must admit, eggnog may also suit wonderfully our Christmas tradition. Ukrainian Christmas cuisine is very rich and heavy, [actually it is such all year around ;)] – a roasted goose or a duck, kholodec – traditional dish – a sort of broth jelly (aspic) with a lot of different boiled meat in it (usually chicken (rooster) with hog knuckle and beef), pork stew, fried fish and, of course, traditional homemade roasted hog sausage. A traditional Christmas sweet dish is kutia – a sort of boiled cereal with raisins usually served with uzvar – soft drink from dried apples and sometimes pears. However, traditionally, kutia isn’t a dessert, it opens Christmas table. This heavy meal serve a purpose to break the Christmas Lent and I don’t see any reason to not to include such a rich and heavy concoction like eggnog at the close of that feast 8) Therefore, thanks to globalization, which puts bourbon on our shelves, and World Wide Web, that gives us knowledge (and of course, many thanks to American bloggers who write so passionately about eggnog) now I can make Eggnog my Christmas tradition too.

P.S. Being an eggnog novice I don’t give so much useful information in this post, if you need not emotions but information, I want to recommend some useful pages – Brilliant post on Kitchen Riffs about Eggnog (one of the best on the web, I am positive), and 5 Tips about Eggnog from Derek Brown on

P.P.S.S. Also I should thank Denise from for such a stunning idea – photgraphing eggnog with a fir twig 8)

Continue reading “My first Eggnog and Happy Christmas (Orthodox)!”

Madeira Flip and Boston Flip

As a matter of fact my blog is a place where I constantly confess my love for different mixed drinks. I have not been writing about a disappointing tasting recently – the life is too short for describing things you don’t like. Today the time is ripe for describing my huge love for yet another type of wine flips – Madeira Flip. I’ve gotten acquainted with wine flips not so long ago — I was fascinated by Porto Flip last January, after that I started to discover another type of flips, and thus, to explore different type of fortified wines, which usually are a base spirit of these drinks. Such exploring has secondary effect that I start to extensively use these different types of fortified wines in various cocktails. This broadens my imbibing horizons pretty well – there are only benefits!

Wide usage of fortified wines in flips is due to their powerful character. Actually, flip is not an easy workout for wine inasmuch as egg yolk has its own taste and smell and wine must have a certain potential to pass through this Kogel-mogel.

The Madeira Flip |

One of the best choices in case of flips is Madeira wine. Very aromatic, flavorful, distinctive wine from Portuguese archipelago – Madeira Islands. The main thing that makes Madeira Madeira is a maderization process – longterm moderate heating of wine that forms its unique palate. This effect was discovered accidentally while fortified wines from Madeira were traveling to India and, if they weren’t sold, back. After such long trip around Africa through two oceans wines got constitutive improvements. This way famous Madeira wine was born. Obviously, nobody ships wines around half of the world for producing Madeira now. Maderization is fully performed during the so called estufagem aging process. According to the EU regulations, Madeira wine is regional fortified wine produced only in Madeira Islands from specific grapes varieties such as Sercial, Verdelho, Bual or Malvasia. However, most of reasonably priced Madeiras are produced from Tinta Negra variety. Madeira wines also are classified by sugar content – from Seco (Dry) to Doce (Sweet) and by age (being aged wines).

One of my favorite books in which wine flips are mentioned is New and Improved Bartender’s Manual and a Guide for Hotels and Restaurants by Harry Jonson. You know why? Every described recipe author accompanies with lovely ‘This is a very delicious drink, and gives strength to delicate people’. Certainly! I am such a delicate man which periodically gets strength from wine flips ;) And yeah! They are extremely delicious.

Being a huge fan of flips I have discovered my own flip construction, which was successfully probed on Porto Flip (unfortunately I haven’t yet written the post in English, but if you click the link you can see a couple of photos and read the recipe). In case of Madeira Flip I never add liqueurs, in my humble opinion this wine doesn’t need such improvements.

Madeira Flip

Madeira Flip

50 ml madeira
1 tsp. sugar syrup (1:2)
4 whole quail eggs
Put all the ingredients into a shaker and shake vigorously without ice. Then add a few large ice-cubes and chill the cocktail. Strain into a coupe-glass. Dust with freshly grated nutmeg.

Traditionally, a couple of words about the ingredients. Let’s begin with a sugar syrup questions. Actually many sources prescribe using plain sugar in flips but I think it is not ideal because it’s so difficult to control completeness of granulated sugar dissolving. The most usable form of sugar in the bar is, certainly, syrup. But we should always remember that syrup contains water so it can dilute our cocktails. However, if we don’t need such dilution (actually, it may be important for achieving proper texture and mouthfeel for some drinks), the right way is using strong sugar syrup, for example, 1:2 or even stronger. For my flips I always use a 1:2 syrup which I make from 1 part unrefined Demerara sugar (Billington’s), 1 part quality refined granulated sugar and 1 part water. Also I am always simmer my syrup for some time for the best taste and good preservation (simmering is important if you make a syrup from unrefined sugar).

In reference to the amount of sugar syrup, it totally depends on your tastes and sweetness of Madeira wine that is used. Personally, I prefer rather sweet flips, as you have noticed by now ;)

The next important question is eggs. Yes, I know, that a routine cocktail ingredient is chicken eggs. But I specify quail ones. I think it is the best choice for such a delicate cocktail as flip. Actually, quail eggs have plenty of advantages in comparison with chicken eggs. First off all, raw quail eggs are undoubtedly tastier than chicken’s, next, they are healthier and of course they are cuter! 8) [It seems to be significant for overcoming ovophobia 8)] Delicacy eggs for delicacy cocktails, that’s right! But I should warn, contrary to popular belief that quail eggs are safer [concerning salmonella] than chicken eggs – it isn’t true. Both type of eggs are safe enough if consumed fresh and with certain caution but, in any case, risks can’t be reduced to zero.

As to Madeira, I should admit that I have such a narrow experience here. As a matter of fact, I usually use inexpensive wines, 3-5 years old. And yes, being a sweet tooth imbiber, I prefer sweet full rich Madeira in my flips.

And, finally, if you properly combine these three things, i.e. if you shake the mix as hard as you can and a little harder (I strictly recommend using dry shake with a little cheat in the form of a hawthorn strainer spring in the shaker for the best result), you will obtain an absolutely awesome, no, not drink, but nectar. It tastes so good! Or, wait, no – It DOES taste damn good! :) (It is really difficult to express my admiration for flips using a non-mother tongue). Sure enough, Madeira Flip is an exquisite dessert drink. Madeira brings a ton of sweet dessert tastes to the drink. Cacao and chocolate, nuts, fresh pastry, dried and candied fruits wallow in a thick silky foam. Absolutely wonderful!

The Boston Flip |

Definitely, everything is totally perfect in wine flips, probably except for their strength 8) An ounce and a half of fortified wine is almost nothing in our hectic life, isn’t it? 8) But, fortunately, mankind has successfully solved this problem already, for example with Boston Flip – Madera flip fortified with American whiskey. This cocktail was founded on the stunning Spirited Alchemy Blog this summer and, actually, that was an inspiration :) In spite of the fact that I had bookmarked the same recipe in Cocktails and Mixed Drinks by Anthony Hogg way back last winter 8)

It so happened that I was not in the proper mood, so I didn’t investigate the history of the Boston Flip. However I can’t help mentioning the sophisticated name of the drink. Obviously, it’s impossible to imagine the best name for an old drink with English origin, which consists of imported Madeira (which usually ships by sea) and real American spirit heritage – Rye, isn’t it?

As a rule, a common recipe of Boston Flip prescribes an ounce and a half (or even two ounces) of each wine and whiskey, but I decided not to break my favorite flip construction so I slightly decreased the amount of liquors.

Boston Flip

Boston Flip

30 ml rye whiskey (or bourbon)
30 ml madeira
1 tsp. sugar syrup (1:2)
4 whole quail eggs
Put all the ingredients into a shaker and shake vigorously without ice. Then add a few large ice-cubes and chill the cocktail. Strain into a coupe-glass. Dust with freshly grated nutmeg.

Whatever considerations about the flip ingredients mentioned above are completely appropriate for this drink. The whiskey question gives us some space for experiments. The point is that some old books strongly recommend rye whiskey while some modern resources concede bourbon. I was happy to taste the flip with both type of American whiskey.

As I wrote above, Madeira Flip is my the most exquisite dessert. And usually it takes me about a few second to guzzle it 8) while mixing takes me at least several minutes. It seems to be so disproportionate, but it’s completely righted with whiskey :) Boston Flip allows me to sip the drink more slowly so my pleasure time aspires being equal to working time. Not bad! 8)

Rye plays very well in that flip. If we talk about some pungent and powerful stuff like my favorite Wild Turkey Rye 101 (actually, here, in Ukraine, rye is a very hard-to-find liquor, so, to my great embarrassment, I’ve only got two bottles of rye in my bar cabinet – the above-mentioned Wild Turkey and a Jim Beam Rye), it brings a lot of spicy, peppery, burning notes to the drink. And that works well! Just as it is impossible to spoil dark chocolate with chili pepper, so it is impossible to spoil Madeira Flip with rye 8)

Another, a bit milder, whiskey (especially most of my bourbons) give a not so distinguished flip. All my Boston Flips were excellent drinks but some whiskey were able to play only supporting role, which nevertheless they played very well :) In any case, Boston Flip is an awesome drink that works as well as a dessert and a seductive and hefty nightcap alike.