I realized as I was beating the eggs and whipping the cream that it's this particular ritual that marks the beginning of the holiday season to me. The first batch of Sugar's eggnog. The recipe isn't particularly complicated or unusual, but I'm still forbidden by family law to share it so share it I shan't.
I drink the first sip of 'nog the way wine connoisseurs sip a cabernet. The smell right before it hits my lips, the foam settling on my tongue, the sense of the alcohol brushing over the roof off my mouth. Mmmm...nog.
In a lot of ways, the nog is the source of a lot of my holiday memories. My cousin and I used to wake up at all hours Christmas Eve to the sounds of our parents and grandparents laughing uproariously while wrapping presents. My father still remembers the Christmas Eve that my grandfather ran his toy train off the table b/c Sugar had made a particularly strong batch of eggnog.
As I've gotten older - and consequently became legally permitted to consume alcohol and developed the requisite tolerance - I have different memories. Like when my aunt, cousin and I all realized we had different versions of the recipe. My aunt's is probably the most authentic, but I'm so accustomed to my version I'll just stick with it.
As Tanya once said, "Once a year, Just D creates this creamy, frothy, wet, gooey, sticks to your upper lip..."