Eggnog is a staple when it comes to holiday entertaining at the Brumby home.
“That’s when you know Christmas is coming when you start making the eggnog,” Brumby stated.
Eggnog is versatile serving as a great cocktail or dessert.
“One cup or a half a cup is usually all people really want. It makes for a good dessert because it’s nice and stiff. You serve it with spoons,” he said.
Brumby’s recipe came from his maternal grandmother, Harriett Turner Duvall, who was from Leeksville, Miss., outside of Biloxi. She married W. O. Duvall who at one time served as Chairman of the Board of Georgia Federal that later became First Union.
“I don’t know where grandmother picked up the recipe. It’s just always the one we had. It’s the recipe we always had on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning,” he said.
“Grandmother’s maid, Lela, would put a pint of vanilla ice cream down in the middle of it to keep it chilled. The ice cream would melt into the eggnog. That’s just a little too much even for me,” Brumby said, chuckling.
“Eggnog is good. It’s just cream and sugar and bourbon,” said Brumby, who grew up in Atlanta but is related to Marietta’s Brumby family. Brumby’s father, Tom Brumby (deceased), was the first cousin of former publisher of the Marietta Daily Journal, Otis Brumby Sr. Brumby Sr. founded the weekly Cobb Times in 1916 and purchased the Marietta Daily Journal in 1951. He was also the father of Otis Brumby Jr., publisher of the Journal who passed away this year. Bill’s father and Otis Brumby Sr. share the same grandfather, Thomas Micajah Brumby.
Bill, a local attorney, moved to Marietta 20 years ago after establishing his law practice in Marietta. He is married to Jenny and they have two grown children, Breland and Ben.
“This eggnog is tricky to make. It’s got maybe four ingredients,” Brumby joked.
Brumby said rum or brandy can be substituted for the bourbon.
“(The liquor) doesn’t have to be anything good because by the time you put all that sugar and cream in it no one knows, as long as it isn’t rot gut,” he said.
Brumby estimates the amount of bourbon he uses.
“It’s not a science by any stretch of the imagination. It’s always easier to start with 1 ½ cups of bourbon, then you can add a little more bourbon if you want it because once you get it in there you can’t take it out,” he said.
“I still have to make eggnog every Christmas morning for everybody. I have about two spoonfuls and that has to hold me off for another year,” he said.
“A little dab will do ya’,” Brumby said.
Grandmother Duvall’s Eggnog
1 dozen eggs
2 cups sugar
2 quarts whipping cream
1 ½ to 2 Cups bourbon
Separate the eggs in two separate bowls. Add 2 cups sugar to egg yolks and mix with mixer until smooth and looks buttery yellow. Pour a little bourbon in the egg yolk mixture to temper. (If you add bourbon too fast, it will curdle the eggs.)
Continue to add the bourbon a little at a time, mixing after each addition until it is used up. Let the egg yolk base sit on counter.
Whip the egg whites until dry and as stiff as you can get them.
Pour egg yolk base into bottom of punch bowl. Pour egg whites on top of egg yolk base.
Whip the whipping cream until stiff but not butter. (You can prepare whipping cream in same bowl that you whipped the egg whites.)
Dump the whipping cream on top of the egg layers. With a rubber spatula fold the mixture together.