Is it December already? In an attempt to get into the holiday spirit, it’s time to break out the spirits — and the homemade eggnog recipe that is a good excuse for the spirits. I’ve certainly adapted to some of the Italian Christmas traditions, such as panettone and pandoro, and I’m looking forward to the Christmas feast, but I still have my own traditions I like to indulge in to make it feel like home, no matter where I’m living.
Years ago, in the Netherlands, after suffering through two whole Christmases without eggnog, I finally broke down and worked up my own recipe after combining bits and pieces of other recipes I found online. I made my own eggnog once before, but that was when I was little and trying out my first cookbook, Betty Crocker’s Cook Book for Boys and Girls. Eventually I found a couple of recipes that didn’t call for crazy amounts of sugar or fancy techniques and I created my own mashup with a few tweaks. I’ve been using it now for the past seven years and while I occasionally let it cook a little too long — it just gets a bit custardy — it’s always drinkable and copious amounts of rum (or bourbon or brandy or your tipple of choice) makes it all go down easy and will thin it out if you make it too thick.
Even in the US, I only drank eggnog on the day I decorated the Christmas tree and that tradition remains. I put some Christmas tunes on, break out all the old decorations that have travelled with me from state to state and country to country, get a bit tipsy on eggnog, and by the end I’m feeling the holiday spirit. Well, that might be the alcoholic spirits, too, but a tree full of lights and decorations that are full of memories and meaning for me does make me start to feel a bit more like the winter holidays are upon us. Oh, and my favorite bit is somewhere in the middle of the decorating when Elvis’ Blue Christmas comes on. For some reason, it has become a tradition that when that song comes on, I grab Lola and we start to dance. I love it. Her opinion is still out.
So, whether you’re in the US and just want to try your hand at making your own eggnog or you’re overseas and don’t have easy access, here’s my one-pot, easy, homemade eggnog recipe. Oh, and if you want to avoid a film forming over the top while it cools, just rest some plastic wrap on the surface. Enjoy!