A prophet is never understood in his own time. I’m used to this. It happens most notably with sweet applications: the cookies, the candy, the ice cream. But a DRINK? A sweet, traditional dairy-based drink at that. “No way, Jeff, It’ll be like drinking gravy!” Or “Gross! Why would i want strips of bacon floating around in my glass?” I’ve certainly heard my share of scorn from those of us who do not embrace the Bacon Lifestyle.
Fortunately, just as stage number one is inevitable, it follows that the “eeeeu” always morphs into a “huh?” I speculate that certain food combinations seem SO outrageous, that they remain in one’s head even after the emotional reaction passes. The idea just… sits there like a seed on the most fertile soil.
Yes, I say fertile. People WANT to eat bacon. They just do.
Now, If I can get you to “huh?” I can most likely get you to “hmmm.” It’s at this point I can explain several things.
Most importantly this is NOT a hamshake. That would be gross. What we are talking about is taking an egg and dairy-driven beverage and infusing it with a highly complimentary flavor set.
Also, I mention that the bacon is strained out. I mean, we totally eat it later because we never EVER waste bacon, but this does remain a beverage.
Sometimes people just need to get comfortable with an idea. They raise objections and express hesitation. Does it taste greasy? No. Does it reek of bacon? Actually no, it’s more of a milder, smoky, savory undertone which balances the sweetness, and besides, there is enough fat to sort of diffuse harsh flavors. But basically by this point, people are intimating if certain conditions are met, they might be willing.
If I can get you to this point, there is a 95% chance you will eventually submit to the power of Bacon Eggnogg. The question has to move from “why should I?” to, “why shouldn’t I?” To me it’s simple. It’s a natural pairing. Starsky and Hutch. Bird and Magic. Bacon and …eggs. So stop resisting.
Once you realize that the bacon is strained out of the dairy, the recipe starts to come together.
An aside. There is a certain unspoken and probably subconscious convention of recipe writing which drives me nuts. Have you ever noticed that when a traditional recipe is modified by the addition of one blockbuster ingredient, the recipe writer will feel compelled to make a second, theoretically complimentary substitution that is often completely useless or needless?
I felt compelled, when developing this recipe to tinker with both the spices and the alcohol. Eggnogg is traditionally flavored with freshly ground nutmeg, and is most often spiked with Bourbon.
Because of the bacon, however, I felt compelled to experiment with Allspice vs Nutmeg, and rye whiskey versus Bourbon.
In both cases, the substitutions were acceptable. The allspice provided a rounder set of spices to support the bacon and the rye brought with it a grainyness that didn’t undercut the savory.
So I’m keeping the rye but using nutmeg.
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
2 cups Whole Milk
1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
2 T (or more) rye whiskey or Burboun
2 sticks bacon, cooked until most of the fat renders out, and dried.
Combine the milk and the cream and the bacon in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Refrigerate until cool or place in an ice-bath.
Whisk the egg yolks until lighter in color and take on volume. Slowly add sugar. The mixture should be thick and fall into the bowl in ribbons.
Beat eggs whites until stiff peaks form.
Drain the bacon from the dairy mixture. Add booze and spices.
Combine the milk with the yolk and then fold in the white. Garnish with additional nutmeg.
This stuff is beyond delicous.