Monday, December 24, 2012



Recipes from Craig Claiborne, Robert E. Lee and 4th & SWIFT

By Doc Lawrence

ATLANTA-One holiday drink that goes against the grain is eggnog, and it’s making a big comeback. And, why not? This is the season of celebration, homecoming and reunion and rich, delicious and high caloric eggnog just brings the spirit of Christmas and the holiday celebration to the forefront like nothing else.
Many of the food and beverage traditions are deeply rooted in the South. Tonight, I’m serving Jim Sanders’ Oyster Stew made with bivalves from Georgia’s Atlantic coast, something I’ve done nearly all my adult life. The wine? Champagne, of course.

Craig Claiborne was a fixture with The New York Times for many years. The Mississippi-born food journalist often shared his family recipe during the 1950’s.


 12 eggs, separated
1 cup Bourbon
1 cup cognac (Armagnac great too)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 pints whipping cream
nutmeg, freshly grated to taste
1 -2 cup milk (optional)

In an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until thick.
Slowly add the bourbon and Cognac while beating at slow speed. Chill for several hours.
Add the salt to the egg whites. Beat until almost stiff.
Whip the cream until stiff.
Fold the whipped cream into the yolk mixture, then fold in the beaten egg whites. Chill 1 hour.
When ready to serve, sprinkle the top with freshly grated nutmeg. Serve in punch cups with a spoon.
If desired, add 1 to 2 cups of milk to the yolk mixture for thinner eggnog.

Kevin Bragg is the head bar manager at Atlanta’s wonderful restaurant 4th & Swift. Here’s his modern take on an ancient recipe.
12 egg yolks
3/4 c. sugar
4 c. milk
2 c. heavy cream
2 1/2 c. Dark Rum
2 c. Brandy
1 1/2 c. Bourbon
 12 egg whites
3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
 Add yolks and sugar to mixer and mix until smooth.
Add milk, cream, and liquor and stir.

To serve:
In a mixing bowl, add egg whites and sugar. Beat until peaks are stiff. 
In a separate mixing bowl, whip remaining cream.
Fold cream into meringue. Fold mixture into eggnog base. 

This is authentic, published in a wonderful 1996book by the University of North Carolina Press.

12 Eggs, Separated
12 Tbs, Sugar
7 Wineglasses of Brandy (approx. 5 ounces = 1 wineglass)
5 Wineglasses of Rum (or Bourbon)
2 -3 Quarts of Milk
1 Quart of Cream
Fresh Nutmeg

Beat egg whites till stiff. Beat yolks with sugar till sugar is dissolved (should not feel grainy when run between your fingers).
Fold egg mixtures together. Pour in the brandy and rum, and stir. Let stand for 30 minutes to an hour. Add 2 quarts of milk and the cream. Taste – if too strong, then add the 3rd quart of milk, otherwise sprinkle with nutmeg, and let stand overnight on cool porch, or in refrigerator.

Each recipe has Bourbon. I recommend the more flavourful and mellow ones (they’re all pretty darn good, though) particularly Knob Creek, Basil Hayden’s or Maker’s Mark.


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