Egg Nogs and More

I tried a couple new egg nog recipes this year, along with one for wassail.

I must confess that I usually drink store-bought egg nog (Kroger, or whatever), with all its sugar and cholesterol. A few years ago I tried a recipe for homemade from the Food Network (one of Paula Deen's, I think), and it was undrinkable, so I retreated to Kroger.

The first version I made this year was from my calendar; the ingredients sound good: eggs, Irish whiskey (I didn't have quite enough so I supplemented it with bourbon), Irish Mist, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, milk, the usual nutmeg garnish.

Well, first off, with all the spice, you can't taste the Irish Mist at all, so it's wasted. Second, maybe because I was using 2 percent milk, but this nog tasted very 'milky', not rich at all. Although the whiskey and bourbon sneak up on you just when you wonder where they are. I drank a couple half cups and dumped it out.

The second recipe was from a holiday show on HGTV, Grandma Somebody's recipe: 6 eggs, 6 oz bourbon, 6 oz gin, 6 oz sugar, 15 oz heavy cream, all blended together. Nutmeg ad lib.

This one tasted much better (using heavy cream, it should), though I thought the use of gin sounded odd, and it makes the taste just a little off too. White or a light gold rum would go better with the bourbon. A teaspoon of vanilla might help too.

Today I tried the wassail recipe from my calendar; I've never drunk wassail before. Orange peel and juice, lemon peel and juice, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, cinnamon stick (my addition), brown sugar, hot water, ale, and hard cider.

I had high hopes for this drink, but its main charm was to leave the house smelling good when I came back from Xmas dinner. I think the heavy hand of my calendar author with citrus came into play again here, because the flavor was on the tart side. It could have been sweeter, along the lines of mulled wine, but the ale as the main ingredient just didn't bring the best flavors. Maybe if I'd used a better ale, but I doubt it. Luckily I tasted it before going to Xmas dinner, so I left it at home as an Glade plug-in.