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Chef Walter’s Holiday Drinks

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Chef Walter Staib stopped by Talk Philly to share his holiday drink recipes.

City Tavern Eggnog
From City Tavern Cookbook ©1999 by Walter Staib
Running Press Book Publishers, Philadelphia & London

In February, 1796, Isaac Weld wrote about a small entourage of travelers that stopped in Philadelphia for breakfast and enjoyed eggnog. This is the first time that the serving of eggnog was documented. This rich, filling drink of milk, eggs, rum and sugar is as good today as it was back then. If you prefer not to serve raw eggs, use one quart of commercially prepared eggnog, which is pasteurized, as a substitute for the first four ingredients, then flavor with the remaining ingredients.

Serves 4, makes about 48 ounces
7 large egg yolks
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup bourbon
¾ cup Jamaican rum
¼ cup brandy
Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish

1. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the egg yolks and sugar on high speed for about 5 minutes, until thick and pale yellow.
2. Gradually beat in the cream, milk bourbon, rum and brandy.
3. Cover and refrigerate until completely chilled.
4. Serve in cups or mugs. Garnish with the nutmeg.

Wassail
From the City Tavern Cookbook ©1999 by Walter Staib
Running Press Book Publishers, Philadelphia & London

Wassail dates back to the old English custom of wassailing during the Christmas and New Year’s season. In those days, a big punch bowl was filled with this spiced drink and everyone gathered around the wassail bowl to toast the season. At City Tavern, we serve wassail all winter long, whenever there is a chill in the air.

Serves 6, Makes 24 Ounces
Ingredients
2 tablespoons grated orange rind (about 1 medium orange)
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind (about 1 medium lemon)
10 whole cloves
5 sticks cinnamon
1 bottle (750 ml) red Burgundy wine
¼ cup dark brown sugar
2 pinches freshly grated nutmeg

Method
1. Place the orange and lemon rinds, cloves and cinnamon sticks into a piece of 100% cotton cheesecloth and tie up with kitchen twine to make a sachet.
2. Pour the wine into a large saucepan.
3. Place the sugar and sachet in the wine over low heat. Add the nutmeg.
4. Heat until the wine is very warm. Do not let it boil, as boiling will burn off the alcohol content.
5. Remove from the heat and discard the sachet.
6. Serve in a fondue pot or ovenproof punch bowl.

City Tavern Warmer
From the City Tavern Cookbook, by Walter Staib

Serves 4
Ingredients
8 tablespoons peach brandy
4 tablespoons El Dorado rum, or a high quality dark rum
2 tablespoons whiskey
4 cups fresh apple cider

Method
1. In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients and simmer over medium heat until warm. Do not boil.
2. Serve in mugs or cups.

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