Eggnog is a pretty polarizing holiday beverage—you either love it or you hate it. But for all the haters out there, have you ever had real eggnog? Not the goopy, eggy stuff poured out of a carton, but the real deal, a thick-but-fluffy stirred custard that could be ice cream were it not for its too-boozy-to-freeze composition?
Gerry Newman of Albemarle Baking Company has the recipe that’ll crack the shell of your eggnog-hating heart in a single sip. The recipe is so good that local flavor genius PK Ross of Splendora’s Gelato—who counts herself among the ’nog naysayers—remembered being floored by Newman’s version at an ABC holiday party 10 years ago. Ross insists it’s the best in town, and she’s not the first to ask for a second round; Newman says he’s converted a number of friends in the 30 years that he’s been making this particular eggnog, which has a special place in his memory.
In 1987, a few years before relocating to Charlottesville, Newman moved into an old Victorian house in San Francisco that was divided into four apartment units. Among other tenants in the house were Newman’s future wife, Millie, and a young married couple—the wife’s name was Justine. They all became friends and shared many communal meals. Justine made this eggnog during the group’s first winter holiday season in the house, and Newman loved the stuff so much he’s made it every year since. Justine passed away from cancer a few years ago, so Newman says it’s even more special when he makes and serves this eggnog to friends and family—he says it reminds him of a simpler time.
Makes about 2.5 quarts
6 eggs, separated
8 ounces powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup peach brandy
1 cup bourbon whiskey
1 cup Asbach Uralt (a German brandy; “ask for it by name,” Newman says)
1 quart cream
Nutmeg and/or cinnamon for garnish
Separate the eggs, reserving the egg whites for later. In a large bowl, whip the egg yolks until pale and light. Add the powdered sugar and whisk until combined. Add 1 cup Asbach Uralt and let the mixture sit at room temperature for one hour. Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, whip ½ quart heavy cream until thick. Fold the cream mixture into the yolk mixture with a hand whisk, rotating the bowl as you go, until combined. Add ½ cup peach brandy, 1 cup bourbon and the remaining ½ quart of cream. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for three hours. After three hours, take the reserved egg whites and whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold the whipped egg whites into the boozy yolk-and-cream mixture. Eggnog can be served right away, but Newman says it’s best to let it sit for an hour or so before serving, to allow the flavors to mellow. Garnish with a dusting of nutmeg or cinnamon before serving. If you have any eggnog left over (unlikely), Newman says there’s enough alcohol in the drink to preserve it in the fridge for a while. If it separates, just stir it with a fork before serving.