The Very Best Eggnog

Ingredientsserves 12serves 24
  1. Combine milk and spices including vanilla bean in a heavy saucepan and let them infuse over lowest possible heat for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine yolks and sugar in a large bowl and whisk until mixed.
  2. Bring milk to a boil and gradually whisk it into the yolk mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring steadily with a wooden spoon, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until foam subsides and mixture thickens to consistency of heavy cream. (Mixture should thickly coat the back of a wooden spoon.) Do not boil, or mixture will curdle.
  3. Strain mixture into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Stir in rum, brandy, half-and-half, vanilla and nutmeg.
  4. Refrigerate eggnog for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. Just before serving, dust top of eggnog with additional nutmeg.
milk1 quart2 quart
cinnamon sticks21
vanilla bean, split12
mace10 blades20 blades
egg yolks1224
cups sugar1 ½ cups3 cups
dark rum1 ½ cups3 cups
brandy1 ½ cups3 cups
vanilla1 tbsp2 tbsp
half-and-half or light cream1 quart2 quart
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste