My Rouses Everyday, November/December 2015

In the modern era of Pumpkin Spiced Everything

— coffee drinks, waffle mix, granola, craft beers, gelato, biscotti, cheesecake and scented candles — let’s skip ahead to December and sing the seasonal praises of a true holiday classic: a proper eggnog, made from scratch.

Everyday pantry staples (eggs, sugar, cream, and … bourbon) are whipped into a fluffy liquid frenzy, then gently blended to create a velvety love child of dessert and beverage. Eggnog’s ideal texture resembles ethereal chocolate mousse more than a nutmeg-sprinkled milkshake.

The process is simple (separate eggs, stir sweetened yolks, beat whites, whip cream, combine) but requires a little finesse in the folding and separating departments. The resulting potion is a quaffable cousin of cake batter with a mild whiskey kick.

This recipe came from my great aunt Rose Hebert Schatzle (1912-1976) of Baton Rouge — experienced bass fisher, gracious hostess and the patron saint of “other people’s children” everywhere. Every year Aunt Rose would host our extended family’s Christmas Eve party and serve this special beverage in a full-dress sterling silver punch bowl surrounded by dainty matching cups.

I’ve adapted her recipe to work without the fancy serving apparatus, but the end result is as creamy and delicious as the original. A motorized mixer is a boon here. (It’ll save you a holiday trip to the emergency room for a sprained whiskin’ wrist.)

Hand-held or stationary, your mixer will be getting a workout from whipping the three main ingredients (yolks, egg whites, and cream) into their appropriately airy forms. When you get the whole thing mixed together, you’ll have the airy cake batter adult beverage of your dreams.

Aunt Rose’s Eggnog

  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 12 tablespoons powdered sugar (plus 4 tablespoons for egg whites)
  • ½ pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or more to taste)
  • 4 ounces bourbon (or more to taste)
  • Freshly ground nutmeg
  1. Separate the eggs ever so carefully. Beat the yolks and 12 tablespoons of powdered sugar until thick and lemony. Add bourbon to “cook” the yolks. Set aside.
  2. Making sure your beaters are spotless, add a dash of Rouses salt to the egg whites and beat until whites form stiff peaks and texture is nearly dry. Carefully add more powdered sugar (about 4 tablespoons) to sweeten the whites.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat whipping cream with ¼ to ½ cup powdered sugar to mayonnaise-like consistency.
  4. Carefully combine whipping cream, yolks, egg whites, and vanilla in a punch bowl. Add the beaten egg whites last, folding them EVER SO CAREFULLY into the cream and egg yolk mixture. Sprinkle nutmeg over each serving and have extra bourbon available for those who prefer more grog in their nog.

(Serves 12)