I know, I know, this recipes sounds sketchier than a Nigerian email banking scam but it's anything but. I first came across it when I was working at CHOW and have now made it a tradition in our household. The thing is, the aging of the eggnog means the flavors mellow out and, instead of the overly sweet, booze-filled stuff you've tried before, this is the creme de la creme of eggnog -- pun fully intended.
For the eggnog: Separate the egg yolks and white then place the egg whites in a very clean and airtight container and freeze until the eggnog is ready to serve. Combine the egg yolks and sugar in the very clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk until well blended, thickened, light yellow, and creamy. Whisk in all the milk and 1 cup of the cream until well mixed. Whisk in all the alcohol and a pinch of salt then transfer to a 1-gallon glass jar and tightly seal the lid. Place in the refrigerator for at least 10 days and up to 3 weeks.
Place the remaining 1 cup cream in the stand mixer bowl (no need to wash the bowl) and whisk on high speed until medium peaks form, about 1 minute. Remove to the punch bowl. Stir the eggnog base with a rubber spatula to re-combine, then add it to the punch bowl. Gently whisk the cream and egg whites into the eggnog until just combined and no large pockets of whites or cream remain (do not overwhisk or youll deflate the eggnog). Serve in punch cups over ice, if desired, and garnished with grated nutmeg.
If you don't have time to age the eggnog, fear not! You can still serve it right away but I'd recommend definitely using pasteurized eggs (or cooking the base). But know that, when drank immediately, it will be very sweet and boozy since the aging process mellows and melds the flavors for some serious deliciousness. The original author of this recipe actually ages it up to 2 years and loves it that way!
To serve: The night before serving, place the frozen egg whites in the refrigerator to thaw. Before serving, let the egg whites come to room temperature for at least 20 minutes. Place the egg whites in the very clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to a large punch bowl.
Note: This is still a drink made with raw eggs so you should buy the freshest eggs you can get, be extra clean when handling all the raw ingredients, and make sure your refrigerator is 40°F or below while chilling and aging the eggnog. Also, a little reminder that raw eggs are never a good idea for pregnant women, elderly, little ones (though they shouldn't be tippling on the eggnog in the first place), or anyone whose health is compromised. The good news is that eggnog has so much alcohol that the risk for contamination is very minimal, and, yes, the alcohol also helps to make aging the eggnog safe. Oh, and one final thing: do not change the amounts of sugar or alcohol in this recipe as they are the key to keeping it safe -- if you want to lower the sugar and alcohol, you'll have to use pasteurized eggs or cook the base to make sure it's super safe!