Traditional Maryland Egg Nog Recipe (Wrightson Egg Nog)

How to make it:

Mimi’s hand written Wrightson Egg Nog Recipe

Above you can see the original recipe as written by Mimi. I have doubled the recipe below, as that is what you will to make to fill a punch bowl and expanded the directions for those not so experienced in the kitchen. I also converted the measurement to meet modern packaging. But trust me it’s the same recipe. If you don’t believe me you can follow Mimi’s hand written note.

One thing about egg nog, the liquid part with the yolks must be made at least the day prior to when you want to serve it. Believe me; it’s noticeably better after spending at least one night, maybe more, in the fridge. George Washington’s recipe says to let it stand in a cool place for several days. I think the fridge overnight is at least the minimum. If you’re concerned with the thought of salmonella in your egg nog read what I wrote at the bottom of this page.

So, you can mix the liquid the day before but the egg whites must be whipped up the day you serve it.

What you need:

12 eggs

4 pints Half and Half (it’s half cream and half milk, premixed for your egg nog convenience)

2 pints Rye whiskey

2 oz. Jamaican Rum

1 ½ cup cane sugar

Ground Nutmeg 1 tsb.

Arrowroot (optional, not part of the original recipe but it makes the whites stay stiff longer)

Step 1. Separate the yolks and the whites of the eggs. Put the whites in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight. (Check out this video for the easiest way in the world to separate eggs  )

Step 2. In a large mixing bowl (at least 5 qts) mix the yolks, Half and Half, whiskey, rum, and 1 cup of sugar.  Using your mixer, blend these ingredients for at least 5 minutes or more.

Step 3.  Pour the mixture through a mesh strainer into a glass bowl or clean jugs. This will remove any of the yolk that is still in a yolky semi solid state, an optional step that the “squeamish of drinking raw egg folks” will appreciate.  Cover or seal with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge overnight.

Step 4. (The next day) I usually do this step at my house just before I get ready to leave for the party. Once I get to the party I scoop out the whites and there good to go for the rest of the party or for as long as the egg nog lasts.

In a very clean mixing bowl with very clean beaters begin mixing the whites. In a few minutes they will begin to turn opaque and thicken.  Gradually speed up the mixer speed. Add 1 small pinch of Arrow Root powder. Add in ½ cup of sugar. Continue to increase the mixer speed as fast as it will let you without the whites being splashed out of the bowl. Pretty soon you should be running at full speed.

Once the whites really start to get thick stop the mixer once and mix the bowel around scraping the bottom of the bowel with a spatula to get all of the still liquid whites off the bottom and into the fluffy mix. Put it back under the mixer again at full speed for a few more minutes until the beater is making a cool looking and very detailed pattern on the top of the whites. Stop the mixer and scoop up some of the meringue on the spatula, it should be pretty stiff.

Transfer the egg white meringue to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap to travel to the party. If you’re having the festivities at your house and you’re ready to put it in the punch bowl then just leave it in the mixing bowl.

Once you’re ready to serve it pore the liquid mix into the punch bowl. Then scoop the whites in large spoonfuls onto the top of the drink completely covering the top of the liquid with golf ball to tennis ball sized scoops of the stiff meringue.

Dust the ground nutmeg all over the top of the Egg Nog. Serve the first ceremonial glass to the Patriarch or Matriarch of the family that is present.  Enjoy.



Egg Nog, is it safe?

If you are among the group that is only mildly curious about the risk of Salmonella (SE) in your egg nog and are going to drink it regardless of what me or anybody else says about the risk I say “Bravo, drink on!” For you I will summarize the rest of the evidence that I have read.

First let’s note that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of an egg contaminated with SE is 1 in 20,000. So, the chance of introducing SE into the egg nog by a contaminated egg is pretty low.

Furthermore, it’s proven that SE cannot grow in temperatures below 40F and that it also cannot grow in the presence of Alcohol (EtOH). So, if the SE is not there in the egg nog already it won’t just “spring up” in the fridge. And more over, the longer SE is in the egg nog and exposed to the alcohol the less SE there will be until it is sterile of SE in about 4 to 5 days. (The whipped egg whites don’t mix with the alcohol, so you can omit that if you wish.)

So, it’s actually safer to make your egg nog ahead of time.

Now, if you are one of those people that will state that there is still “some” risk of Salmonella in anything that contains raw egg. To that I say, have you ever licked the beater after someone mixed up a cake or a batch of cookies?  There is a greater risk of SE poisoning from raw cookie dough than egg nog since there is no sterilizing benefit of the alcohol present in the cake batter or cookie dough. Oh, you don’t eat raw cookie dough you say smugly? Well how about French toast, which is almost never cooked enough to harden the egg that is soaked into the inside of the bread, and I could go on.  But if you still don’t want to “risk it” and want to ruin it for the rest of the family at the Christmas party see the CDC link at the bottom, point #4, to get all the ammo you need.

And one final note. If drinking homemade egg nog was such a risk, we would see a rise in Salmonella related illnesses during the holidays and according to the CDC there is no such evidence. In fact, there are more reported Salmonella cases in summer months than around the holidays.

So, buy good fresh eggs. Use good kitchen safety practices. Let the nog sit in the fridge at least overnight or longer and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.   (And if you do get sick, please blame it on the cookie dough.)

Here is a video from NPR about a scientific experiment where the researchers tested store bought eggnog, homemade egg nog and also added Salmonella into both to see what happens:

This link further explains the results from the experiment conducted by a Rockefeller University Professor on egg nog:

In the interest of total disclosure, here is what the CDC says about egg/ Salmonella safety:




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