Since this holiday favorite contains so few ingredients, it takes a little practice and finesse to make it stand out. If you plan on augmenting this year's holidays by making eggnog, follow these simple steps to ensure that your festivities are memorable … or at least as memorable as several potent glasses of nog.
1. Ensure Freshness
Whether you serve traditional cold eggnog or hot custard-style eggnog, the most important thing is to use the freshest eggs you can find. Most nog experts recommend getting organic eggs from a local dairy, if possible, but at the very least, do the egg test to be sure that freshness hasn't flown the coop. If you're making cold eggnog (which utilizes raw eggs), you may want to get a pasteurized variety, to be sure that all harmful bacteria have been killed.
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2. Use Real Nutmeg
If possible, freshly grate your own nutmeg, because the sprinkles that come in a plastic jar can't compare to the taste and aroma of nutmeg that's been grated to order.
3. Invest in Your Vanilla
If you use vanilla in your eggnog, invest in real vanilla beans, or at least a high-quality, real vanilla extract.
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4. Make it Smooth
Regular granulated sugar can lead to coarseness and grittiness, especially in cold eggnog. Instead, use a superfine sugar to get a smooth, creamy texture. (Using real heavy cream instead of low-fat milk helps too, but might drive the fat content over your personal level of comfort.)
5. Add a Festive Garnish
Give your version some flair with special touches like a hint of peppermint oil, candy canes hooked over the glass's edge, a sprinkle of cocoa powder, or a drizzle of caramel. Or if you want to kick it up a notch, try adding flavored liqueurs like amaretto, Frangelico, or anisette.
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