When I first came up with this recipe, my mother commented about the alcohol content. I felt compelled to remind her that I had never consumed any alcohol until I was in my mid-30s. Her reply: "Well, you appear to be making up for lost time." The first Christmas after she passed away, I felt extremely melancholy. My siblings all live in different areas of the country, and it would be the first Christmas we would all be apart. To brighten things up, I took out my mother's recipe book and got to work. I sent each sibling 12 packages, each containing an edible gift from her collection, along with a bottle of this eggnog. I included the original recipes and the memory (there was always a memory) attached to each. It was a lot of work, great fun, and NOTHING could have pleased them more!
This makes a very large amount, so take into consideration your refrigerator space for chilling. I like to bottle it and give it away during the holidays. You can always omit the alcohol, especially the rum. But, the apple brandy really works well. —Chef Lisa
Test Kitchen Notes
This recipe was a hit all around. I made a half batch, which yielded close to 4 quarts, so this is definitely a recipe for a party. It was super easy to make, and I love the use of apple brandy -- that's something I haven't found in any other eggnog recipes, and it definitely added a complexity and slight fruitiness to the nog that elevated it to fancy party drink. It had just the right amount of alcohol, not too boozy and not cloyingly sweet. It's balanced, surprisingly light in taste and texture, and very easy to drink. —Annie "Smalls"