Southerners love a good hot toddy as much as anybody when the temperature drops, and this nog I was once served in a stately Virginia home near Danville, while on the farm to inspect a new litter of beagles (my canine of choice for the past forty years), left a glowing impression. All I kept wondering was what the drink’s English ancestor must have tasted like made with ale (nog) and probably some form of brandy. To reap the full flavor benefits of this drink, don’t serve the nog too hot.
In a large enameled pot, whisk together the milk, half-and-half, cider, eggs, sugar, nutmeg, and allspice over moderate heat till well blended. Reduce the heat to low and cook till the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes, whisking from time to time. Add the bourbon, whisk 1 minute longer, and serve the nog in punch cups or heavy Old-Fashioned glasses sprinkled with cinnamon.
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