Monday, 17 December 2012

Somerset Egg Nog

With Christmas looming, below is the recipe for Somerset Egg Nog as featured in Tony's book 'Drinks'. The perfect excuse for a festive tipple.


- eggs, separated 
- 300g sugar
- 300ml single cream
- 600ml whole milk
- 150ml Breton cider
- 150ml cider brandy 
- freshly grated apple and nutmeg, to garnish 

As with food, drink recipes (particularly punch) are passed down via families and friends, with each generation adding its own twists. I first sampled, and then inherited, this recipe from Dale Degroff, who in turn was taught it by his uncle Angelo. Dale's recipe uses bourbon and spiced rum and I exchanged these for cider brandy and cider.

Cider brandy gives this drink a wonderful kick whilst simultaneously adding spice and dryness. The carbonation of the cider makes the mix fluffy. On paper the ingredients suggest a heavy, stocky drink, but the order and method ensure that the end product is light and yielding.

1. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar to form a batter. Add the cream and milk and whisk  thoroughly. Continue whisking while slowly adding the cider and cider brandy.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold the whites into the batter mix.

3. Serve in a large bowl and ladle into small cups or glasses.

4. To garnish, grate fresh apple over the drink and top each cup with a sprinkling of grated nutmeg.

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