Monday, December 21, 2015

DRINK // Chai Spiced + Port Spiked Eggnog


This December I've spent a lot of time thinking about how anyone living in a southern state is able to celebrate Christmas. It's currently 65 degrees in New Jersey, and I can't bring myself to listen to White Christmas or Baby, It's Cold Outside. It feels like a lie. I don't even need a white Christmas at this point; I'll take anything below 50 degrees! My solution to the problem is to fill this month with my favorite Christmas traditions. If I drink enough eggnog, maybe I'll be able to fool myself into thinking its cold.


As a kid I drank so much eggnog. For a while it was the Christmas ritual I looked forward to the most, but back then it was just the out of the carton variety. A few years ago I learned to make it from scratch, and now I don't want anything else. Making it at home also let me have fun with the flavors (and booze) that I added. I chose to spike this chai eggnog with a tawny port for a few reasons. I love it but a lot of people don't know that it exists; it is slightly fruity but intensely oaky; its lower in alcohol content that bourbon, so you don't need to worry (much) about getting everyone drunk on Christmas.


Chai-spiced, Port-spiked Eggnog:
1/2 cup chai tea
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup of light brown sugar
6 eggs, separated
1/3 cup of white sugar
1 1/2 cups of 10 year old Tawny Port (for less fruit and more oak, try a 20 year old!)

In a saucepan toast the chai tea over medium heat until fragrant. Add the milk and cream. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn off the heat and allow to stand for ten minutes. In a bowl whisk the egg yolks and brown sugar until completely incorporated. Strain the chai tea from the milk, and then slowly  add the warm milk to the eggs, tempering them. Warm the port in a saucepan and whisk it into the eggnog. In a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites until foamy. Then gradually add the white sugar and continue to whisk until firm peaks form. Fold the meringue into the eggnog, and serve warm.

Pat XO