I bet you were too afraid to mix together a dozen eggs with a lot of bourbon and milk and then let it sit in your refrigerator for three weeks before you drank it.
I know you so well.
I was unafraid. I was tired of slowly, laboriously whisking milk and eggs in a super safe eggnog recipe from Cook’s Illustrated — which is very good by the way — that I usually make. I realized that I simply didn’t have 30 extra minutes to contemplate the meaning of Christmas while watching eggs not curdle — hopefully — over a very low flame. I needed to take some risks, take some shortcuts, maybe put my fate in the hands of perhaps even better-informed food writers who have researched the science. What did I have to lose?
Odd behavior, you might say, for someone as averse to salmonella and all the other pesky bacteria that can poison food as I am.
But this recipe is the smoothest, creamiest, most noggiest of nogs ever thrown back by an exhausted woman drained of holiday cheer. I don’t know about you, but I like my seasonal treats in the season, not shortly thereafter. So you better get cracking, because you really do need to leave it alone for a full three weeks — although it’s not too bad after a week or two — in your consistently 40-degrees-and-below refrigerator so that the egg yolks, the cream and the liquor can all intermingle and become more than the sum of their parts. Sometimes, you just have to plan ahead, whether you like it or not.
This story originally published on my food blog, Brandon Eats, in 2007, and has been slightly updated and edited.