Monday, 22 December 2014

Christmas Cardamom & Orange Eggnog

Photo: Giuseppe Milo under CCL
It's here.. It's FINALLY here! Christmas is THIS WEEK. *Woops and hollers all round*

There's no point in giving you more gift guides; you've probably finished all your Christmas shopping, and the smug ones amongst you will have wrapped them up and tucked them under the tree. If that's you, sit back, relax, and feast your eyes on this delicious recipe (then quickly muster up the energy to go out and get the ingredients - trust me, you'll want to!)

Most of us will have heard all about eggnog at this time of year - though it's more of an American tradition - it's that sweet-boozy-creamy drink that's super frothy thanks to whipped egg whites. Sure, I'll admit the name doesn't do it any favours, and the fact that it has raw eggs in will make some people instantly click the 'close' button... But trust me on this one, it really is good!

I've shunned 'the original' recipe (with brandy, vanilla and nutmeg), and gone down the fragrant spice route; cardamom and orange. I thought it'd be quite a faff to make, which is probably why I've never made it before, but actually I was pleasantly surprised. The taste is totally worth the bit of effort you do put in too.

Fuelled with brandy and Cointreau, then pimped out with crushed cardamom seeds and orange zest, this cloudy meringue-like cocktail is Christmas comfort in a glass. So get on your festive knitwear, curl up by the fire, and savour this seasonal self-indulgence.

As Andy Williams rightly says, "it's the most wonderful time of the year..."

Cardamom & Orange Eggnog

(Serves 2 greedy guzzlers or 3-4 smaller servings)


  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tbsp soft light brown sugar
  • Zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) double cream
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) brandy
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) Cointreau (or other orange liqueur)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp caster sugar


  1. Bash the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar, remove the husks then grind the seeds to a fine powder. Mix with the soft light brown sugar and orange zest.
  2. In a small saucepan, gently heat the milk, cream, brandy and Cointreau.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and cardamom-orange sugar until thick and pale. Remove the cream mixture from the heat, and slowly whisk it in (a little at a time so that you don't end up with scrambled eggs).
  4. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until starting to foam. Whilst whisking, gradually add the caster sugar and continue to whisk until the whites hold soft glossy peaks. Fold the egg whites into the egg mixture and serve immediately.
  5. You could also serve this cold, in which case just don't heat up the boozy milk-cream. 

This recipe is adapted from Winter Cocktails by Maria del Mar Sacasa.

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