I was standing in front of the refrigerator case, contemplating my annual carton of egg nog. Which one to pick?
None of them, actually. If you’re only going to drink something once a year, is it really too much trouble just to make it yourself? Especially when Blake Pope, the beverage director at Kindred in Davidson, is nice enough to send you a recipe?
Yes, it takes a few steps. It’s a restaurant recipe. But while you’re making it, you can contemplate this: No one really knows why we call it eggnog. Oh, there are theories (a nog was a chunk of wood, a mug made from wood was a noggin and a grog was a rum drink, or maybe it came from a Scottish ale warmed with a hot pocker called a nugg, or maybe the people who wrote dictionaries just needed a laugh and made up weird words in case people 200 years later would still be using them, and wouldn’t that finally explain “firkin”?)
On to Kindred’s eggnog. You have to whip an egg white, but if you’re adult enough to be putting alcohol in your drinks, you ought to be old enough to figure out how to separate an egg. It makes 6 servings, and you can do the first step in advance and then whip up servings as you need them.
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From Black Pope of Kindred in Davidson.
Almond milk base:
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cardamom pod
1 1/2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmug
3 cups almond milk
2 egg whites
2 1/2 teaspoons simple syrup, divided
1 ounce bourbon
6 ounces (3/4 cup) almond milk base
Make the almond milk base: Place cinnamon sticks in a saucepan and use a kitchen torch to toast the sticks until they’re burnt and fragrant. (Skip burning them if you don’t have a kitchen torch.) Add the cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and almond milk and bring just to a boil. Turn ovv heat and steep for 30 minutes. Pour into a container with a lid and refrigerate overnight.
To serve: Place the egg whites in a very clean mixing bowl and beat until they form soft peaks (when you lift the beaters, you should get little points that curl over at the top). Beat in 1 teaspoon simple syrup.
Place the bourbon, 1 1/2 teaspoons simple syrup and 3/4 cup almond milk base in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a glass. Top with some of the beaten egg whites. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and a little more grated nutmeg.
Yield: 4 servings.