Introducing Mr. Jack Choate of St. Simon's Island via Augusta, Georgia
Being roommates with an aspiring chef, and a good one at that, really pays off. So when she asked me to do a Christmas season guest post, not only did I owe her for all those fantastic meals, but I felt like it was my duty to the good “celebrating” people of the interweb. So here goes….
I also grew up in the South, and I remember that there always seemed to be some sort of beverage around all the major social occasions. Christmas of course, was no exception. I can’t tell you exactly when it came to occur, but every year once school was out for Christmas there were always two milk jugs in the fridge – one had milk for my Cocoa Krispies and one, with a more yellowish color, I wasn’t allowed to touch. As I got older, I learned this was my mom’s famous eggnog and once I went off to college, it became MY famous eggnog.
I’m sure you have friends, who say, “Eggnog – GROSS!” I know I certainly do. Whenever I heard that, I always thought back to those thank you notes that Santa Claus would leave especially noting how good the 'nog was and I wondered what the difference was. Finally, I'd had enough, and got my Mom to give me the recipe. I quickly learned the difference – it is not for the faint of heart and will definitely put some hair on your chest.
I’ve been making it and sharing it for the past 10 years, and once I crack that first egg and smell that first drop of brandy, I know its Christmas.
THE CHOATE FAMILY'S TOP SECRET EGGNOG
Source: Jack Choate
12 eggs separated – yokes in a mixing bowl for the Nog, whites in a separate container to be used for topping
1 pound powdered sugar
1 pint brandy
½ pint white rum
½ pint peach brandy
6 cups whole milk
2 cups of heavy cream
Mix the 12 yokes with the powdered sugar until you have a nice liquidy-paste – make sure to scrape the bottom of the mixing bowl with a spatula to make sure you get all of the powdered sugar and egg mixed together. Slowly add in the brandy, rum, and peach brandy. (This year for the first time, I combined all the liquor into one container beforehand and then poured them all in together, which was more efficient and didn’t adversely affect the taste.)
Let this mix together for a good two minutes or so and then slowly mix in the milk and the cream one after the other. If you have a Kitchen-Aid mixer this will fill up just an inch below the rim, so don’t worry. I let the mixture sit there and mix for about 5 minutes and then pour into a standard Gallon jug for refrigeration – it makes just under a gallon. Chill.
To serve, whip the egg whites and dallop on top. Garnish with freshly-grated nutmeg and enjoy!
Dixie Caviar note: this eggnog is truly the tastiest I've ever had. The peach brandy is a great little "secret" touch. Thanks for sharing, Jack, and I look forward to enjoying this for many holiday seasons to come!