Sylvia’s Eggnog French Toast
Creating Sylvia’s Eggnog
This recipe is integral to the making of Sylvia’s French Toast, but that is not the only reason we are thinking winter cocktails several months early. Eggnog, like many ancient foods, was created out of necessity.
A fortified beer was added to cream and eggs to preserve food for the larder; food that would be available during a bleak winter season. Nothing like a half bottle of eggnog by the fireplace to cheer up a snowy winter afternoon. Duck confit and salt cod are also part of the winter larder but eggnog holds the glorious distinction of being a delicious winter cocktail. Nutrition never tasted so good!
In the late 18th century, 1775 to be specific, Jonathan Boucher, a clergyman and philologist, wrote a poem about a nog of very strong old beer with egg. As recounted by Ben Zimmer in 2009, this is what Boucher wrote when he was a rector of a Maryland parish.
Fog-drams i’ th’ morn, or (better still) eggnog,
At night hot-suppings, and at mid-day, grogg,
My palate can regale…
Closer to home, this poem is said to be written by Sylvia’s father, quite possibly after many tests of a new batch of holiday nog. It was found inscribed in a very, very small book, hanging on a Christmas tree. Many say it was written by the Soused Mouse and appeared all on its own. Perhaps, a bit of holiday magic. Many thanks to Hank for his holiday poem!
Of Mice and Men…
This is about the mouse
Who was not a stirring creature on the night before Christmas
Because he had been stirring eggnog all night long
and sipping the nog ’til he was fried as an egg.
And Santa called him “a Soused Mouse!”
Sylvia’s Eggnog – a Holiday Tradition
Aged Eggnog and our Required Reading List
Eggnog ages very well and the microbiologists at Rockefeller University proved that a minimum alcohol content of 20% renders the drink far superior to anything premade and available from a supermarket. We have been making Sylvia’s Eggnog for decades with an alcohol content of 33%.
Safety may have been our first concern but I believe we also wanted a potent holiday cocktail. I suggest a minimum aging of three months, although we have enjoyed that last bottle one year later.
Of the hundreds of pages we sifted through, these seven tell the tale of aging eggnog with ingredients and variations; they are entertaining and educational. We are talking cocktails, so have fun!
- The Kitchn – How To Make Homemade Eggnog
- Serious Eats – We Aged Eggnog for 1 Year and Upgraded Eggnog
- Alton Brown – My Aged Eggnog
- Cooks Illustrated – How we developed great aged eggnog
- Michael Ruhlman – Happy New Year! With 2 Year Old Nog!
- Wikipedia – Eggnog
Choose the Alcohol You Love!
Every ingredient in a recipe is subject to exploration, tasting and judging. These are our favorite spirits after three decades of exploring what makes the very best eggnog:
- Asbach Uralt – vanilla, oak, cocoa, smoke
- Myer’s Dark Rum – molasses, butter, toffee, raisins
- Woodford Reserve – orange, vanilla, tobacco, caramel, cinnamon
Start with the best booze to make the best drink! Taste matters.
Making Sylvia’s Eggnog!
- 4 cinnamon sticks (see note #1 below)
- 1 nutmeg, small – medium (see note #1 below)
- 6 – 8 star anise (see note #1 below)
- 8 – 10 sichuan peppercorns (see note #1 below
- 2 quarts heavy cream
- 3 – 13.5 oz. cans of unsweetened coconut milk (we recommend Native Forest – see note #2 below)
- 2 dozen XL super-fresh, organic egg yolks
- 2 dozen XL super-fresh, organic egg whites (see note #3 below)
- 2 cups confectioners sugar (see note #4 below)
- 3 – 4 vanilla beans split lengthwise and seeds removed
- zest from one orange or lemon for garnish – bourbon soaked and flamed
- 1 – 750 ml bottle of Asbach Uralt Brandy
- 1 – 750 ml bottle of Myer’s Dark Rum
- 1 – 750 ml bottle of Woodford Reserve Bourbon
- Our favorite spice grinder
- Any quality alternative brand coconut milk with no additives
- Optional: If aging the eggnog, freeze egg whites using a silicone ice cube tray, defrost as needed, and whip to stiff peaks with a bit of added sugar.
- No Confectioners sugar? Just add 1 cup granulated sugar to 1 tablespoon cornstarch and pulse in food processor until the consistency is powder.
Making the Nog!
- Separately roast the spices in a 350 degree oven
- When spices have cooled grind them individually
- Mix spices together, balancing the flavors to your palate (reserve any extras for another use
- Beat the egg yolks and sugar using a stand up mixer until creamy and the color lightens.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl or 2.5 gallon stainless steel pot
- Add the heavy cream and coconut milk
- Add the booze, it’s OK to pour yourself a Woodford rocks now!
- Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks in the stand-up mixer and fold into the eggnog
- Season to taste with the powdered spice mix
- For aging – add a small slice of vanilla bean to each storage container and fill to the top with eggnog and seal, making it as airtight as possible.
The Egg White Option
Disagreements abound regarding when to add the egg whites. My preference is just as the cocktails are made. For the French Toast it does not make so much of a difference. So use yesterday’s leftover eggnog for the french toast and make yourself a fresh cocktail for brunch.
- Egg whites may be frozen and defrosted as needed
- Remove whites from the ice cube tray and defrost in the fridge
- Whip whites as before and shake with eggnog
- Garnish with a shake of spice mix and orange zest
I like mine over ice and the egg whites will rise to the top and foam!
- Glass jars with airtight lids for storing the eggnog
- Washed spirit bottles with labels removed work perfectly
Make your own labels and turn your eggnog into a coveted holiday gift!
Sylvia’s Eggnog – Finally Ready to Imbibe!
Lagniappe [lan-yap]: Cajun for “a little something extra”
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It’s been my pleasure, and we hope you make some eggnog to store for the winter season! If not you’re always welcome to come sip some of ours! Call us or email us to book your stay.