New Year’s Eve is all about family time for us. Long gone are the days of going out on the town and gathering round the market cross at as near midnight as the noise drowning out the church bells will allow. I’ve got fond memories but it is a young man’s game.
New Year’s Eve for us is a much quieter affair these days. Ideally the whole family will be at home and I can cook a bit of a retro dinner. It’s nice to sometimes break out the traditional restaurant fayre – prawn cocktail, steak and a chocolate dessert, perhaps followed by cheese.
This year we then played board games until around 11 o’clock before going to watch Hootenanny as the chimes ring out.
The other key ingredient to make the evening special is eggnog. It’s a little bit of trouble to make compared to your average cocktail but it does hit a number of buttons in return. I looked around for a recipe and settled on the Guardian’s recipe for the ultimate cocktail. I liked the way that it swerved the custard-making stage completely. The result is that there is no heating and cooling involved in the recipe – no cooking at all and therefore fewer chances of making a mistake – elements of it can be prepared in advance.
Three eggs are separated. The yolks are whisked with 35g of granulated sugar until they go pale yellow and then 300 ml of single cream and approximately 100 ml of the spirit of your choice is added. The original recipe suggests 75ml of sweet sherry or masala and 75ml of bourbon. I thought I’d keep the average alcohol content and add some sweetness by going with Glayvar – a warming whiskey based liqueur. Once whisked this part can be put to one side and even refrigerated. The whites need to be treated nearer the serving time – whisked and then 35g of granulated sugar added so that they can be whisked to a soft peak. When you are ready to go rewhisk the yolk mixture and then fold in the whites. This mixture will serve four in medium tumblers and a grate of nutmeg on the top adds to the festiveness. Personally I like mine just at room temperature. The cream content and the alcohol are bound to create a snuggly, sleep-inducing feeling. Happy New Year!