Eggnog & Bitters
Eggnog has been a family favorite as long I can remember. My dad would ceremoniously bring home a bottle and it would be gone by the following night. He rationed us to one bottle at Thanksgiving and one bottle at Christmas. Although a controversial decision, it was easily defended with a "look what's in it!" invitation that always turned out to be quite compelling. Heavy whipping cream is a pretty serious villain, and yes ok, delicious... or... disgusting? I really can't decide.
With that in mind, I wanted to make a slightly more friendly version of eggnog with our whiskey and bitters (instead of the more traditional brandy and spiced rum), but it still had to taste like the ultimate indulgence. For that I employed the use of almond milk instead of whole milk and organic half & half instead of heavy whipping cream. Its a bit less viscous than your standard eggnog which I personally consider an attribute, but to each their own!
For the half & half selection, I go with Straus Organic or something similar. I have loved Califia Almond Milk since the moment I tried it in a Cappuccino at Four Barrel. Its delicious and lacks the weird processed ingredients that plenty of other almond milks sport. It seems after Califia hit the market, most of the coffee shops in San Francisco stopped using soy milk, to which I responded: "SCORE". I deem the end of soy in coffee shops a great boon to our health and our taste buds. Anything but whole milk in coffee is a hard sell for most people so the fact that it has been so readily embraced says a lot.
I love the recipe from Jeffrey Morgenthaler's website, so I follow his process of putting the eggs in the blender while it is on, and then adding the ingredients in the order as listed below.
Try this recipe below, let us know how it goes for you and if there is anything you tweaked with good results!
2 large cage free eggs (come on, they're safer and they taste better!)
3 oz (by volume) your favorite raw sugar
½ tsp freshly-grated nutmeg
An ambiguous amount of pecans (5) and cacao nibs (1 tablespoon)
4 oz Palehorse Rye Whiskey
6 oz Califia almond milk
4 oz Straus organic half & half
10 dashes of Coffee Rye Bitters (adjust this to taste)
Put in the fridge and drink a few hours or days later, it gets better and better as the flavors meld. You'll want to drink it within a week.
Option: When ready to serve, throw about 4 ounces into a chilled cocktail glass and top with an ounce of Porter or Stout and fresh grated nutmeg. Fresh nutmeg beats pre-ground nutmeg time after time, the survey says.
With this recipe you're looking at around 900 calories for the entire 16 (ish) ounce batch, which is about 500 less than one with heavy whipping cream and whole milk.