Although nog is an old English term for ale, most early references to what we know as eggnog mention red wine as a main ingredient. By the mid-eighteenth century in America, it seems the creamy drink was made primarily with rum, followed in the South by the substitution of bourbon, which, henceforth, became the standard spirit for the rich beverage served everywhere at Christmastime. Throughout most of the South, eggnog is made exclusively with heavy cream and bourbon, the salient exception being this less cloying version (often found, ironically, in the bourbon-producing state of Kentucky), which includes not only both bourbon and brandy but either half-and-half or a mixture of milk and heavy cream. It is, quite simply, the best eggnog I’ve ever tasted.
In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar and beat with an electric mixer till light and frothy. Beating, add the bourbon and brandy till well blended. In another bowl, beat the half-and-half till very thick and fold into the egg yolk mixture. In another bowl, beat the egg whites till stiff and fold them into the mixture.
Serve the eggnog in punch glasses or glass mugs and sprinkle each with a little nutmeg.
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