Holiday Eggnog by Ashley English

by Grace Bonney

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As much as I admire the picture-perfect holiday parties I see in magazines and on Pinterest, I always crave and respond to things that feel a bit more homespun. In real life I prefer parties where guests and hosts share in the work (I love a potluck) and where projects and recipes allow for a little give and error. For that reason (and many others), I’ve always loved Ashley English’s blog, Small Measure. We were lucky enough to have her on our team for four years and I’ve been gathering up her books (seven and counting!) ever since.

Ashley’s latest book is a beautiful collection of drink recipes that you can make at home called Quench. Along with photos from Jen Altman, Ashley has created an incredible collection of sodas, lemonades, tisanes, shrubs, wines, infused liquors, party punches and more that are quick and easy to make. My personal favorites are Ashley’s recipes for holiday sips. They’re just the sort of warm pick-me-up we could all use when the temperatures start to drop. Today Ashley is sharing a holiday eggnog recipe with us that can be made with or without alcohol and either way is guaranteed to please. I might have to break this out for Thanksgiving this year, it looks like it’s going to be a chilly one. Click here to check out Ashley’s book and click through for the full recipe after the jump! xo, grace

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Click through for the full recipe after the jump!

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From Quench by Ashley English, © 2014 by Ashley English. © 2014 Photographs by Jen Altman. Reprinted by arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications Inc., Boston, MA.


Even before Thanksgiving Day appears on the calendar, it’s likely I’ve already downed a mug or two of eggnog. I just can’t get enough of the creamy, rich beverage. To me, it’s the unofficial signal that the holiday season has arrived. If you’d like to serve this to underage drinkers, omit the alcohol and increase both the milk and cream by half a cup.

Makes 6 cups

-6 large eggs
-2 cups whole milk
-2 cups heavy cream, divided
-½ cup sugar
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-½ cup bourbon
-½ cup dark rum or brandy
-Freshly grated nutmeg, to serve

Begin by prepping an ice bath. Fill a sink ¾ full with cold water and ice cubes. Whisk the eggs. Place the eggs, milk, 1 cup of heavy cream, and sugar in a medium-size saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the custard easily coats the back of a spoon and has thickened slightly. Remove the pan from the heat, and place the bottom directly into the prepared ice bath. Whisk in the vanilla and continue to whisk for 3 to 4 minutes, until the ingredients are fully combined. Transfer the saucepan to a kitchen counter. Cover with a lid, and allow to cool until near room temperature, about 1 hour.

Strain the egg mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set atop a bowl. Discard any egg solids caught in the sieve. Whisk the bourbon and rum or brandy into the egg custard. In a separate bowl, beat the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream until light and billowy. Gently fold the whipped cream into the egg custard. Transfer to the refrigerator. Chill overnight or at least 4 hours.

Serve either in individual glasses or in a small bowl with a ladle. Grate fresh nutmeg liberally over the top just before serving.

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