ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
We start today's Found Recipe with a seasonal etiquette dilemma. This is for those of you who do not like thick, milky, boozy drinks made with raw eggs, that rich concoction sometimes poured directly from the carton. Here's the scene: You're at a holiday party, and this pleasant young woman introduces herself.
MARIA DEL MAR SACASA: Hi. I'm Maria del Mar Sacasa.
SIEGEL: And she hands you a drink.
SACASA: Which you know is eggnog.
SIEGEL: That's right. Eggnog, the drink that you've been dreading all year. What do you do?
SACASA: Do you politely refuse and make up a dairy allergy or say you're not drinking? Or are you wondering, this woman has completely lost it and is she trying to poison me?
SIEGEL: She is not. Maria del Mar Sacasa is trying to convert you with a taste of her own freshly mixed eggnog.
SACASA: This tastes like melted ice cream. It does. I promise.
SIEGEL: This lady was once a hater of eggnog. But now, Maria del Mar Sacasa is a lover of eggnog. What turned her around was the research she did for her book "Winter Cocktails."
SACASA: I found that it was actually a historical drink. It dates back to England, to 1600s or so. And at first, it seems it was just milk and then liquor of any kind. Apparently, they were putting wine in there. Some people describe it as curdling the milk. Curdled milk with booze sounds so appealing. And then, eventually, it did become an aristocratic drink because eggs were expensive and spirits were expensive. But when it came over to the Colonies, dairy and eggs were more accessible, and apparently booze was pretty cheap.
So there are chronicles of mixing this and people having it for breakfast because it was so hearty. I'm thinking like that Sylvester Stallone milkshake in "Rocky" where he dumps the raw egg. So you're getting your dairy and your protein, and why not? It's a good booze to keep you warm during the winter.
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SACASA: Now, I tested a lot of recipes and I did come across a few that had an interesting twist, which was adding egg whites whipped to soft peaks. And this gave it this really beautiful, airy quality similar to cappuccino.
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SACASA: That quality elevated it and didn't make it this thick drink that you really were having trouble choking down. I wanted balance because the two things that I found really repulsive about eggnog was that they were either too sweet and cloying and always had too much liquor. It was like the liquor was added as an afterthought, almost like a frat punch, I would say. Here it is. Let's just dump some in and I'm sure it'll kill all the other flavors.
I just started testing a lot with ratios and adding spices. And I really do love my pumpkin eggnog. It tastes like drinkable pumpkin pie. I melt butter and I add a few spices, like allspice and cinnamon. And then I stir in pumpkin puree. I add the milk and the cream, and then I do bourbon in there. And then egg whites that are beaten to soft peaks. They get folded in, makes it cloudlike and fluffy. I am begging you to try this one because it is spectacular.
SIEGEL: So don't turn that glass down. Maria del Mar Sacasa's recipe for pumpkin eggnog is on the Found Recipe page at npr.org.
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