~ Thick Creamy Eggnog & Rum Milkshakes 'n Malts ~
Sipping milkshake cocktails in front of a warm fire and a twinkling Christmas tree with the snow falling outside might not be everyone's 'ideal', but, I'm not everyone -- I am an eggnog lover who adores thick, creamy, rum-laced eggnog malts. On years when Joe and I are alone for the holidays, scratch-making eggnog isn't a priority for me because I can purchase seriously high-quality eggnog from my local Meyer Dairy. So, once a year, I "milk" the situation. Whenever applicable, eggnog replaces milk in my beverages, and, I bake and cook with it too. I make eggnog cookies, poundcake, shortbread, pancakes, French toast and waffles to name a few.
References to eggnog date back to the 1800's, when, even back then it was served during the Winter holiday season. Known as "egg milk punch", it was and still is a sweetened dairy-based beverage made with milk, sugar, raw egg yolks, whipped egg whites and a splash of rum and/or vanilla extract. Nowadays cream is always included in place of some or all of the milk, because today's milk has a much lower fat content than milk in the 1800's, which had cream on top. Brandy, rum and/or bourbon were and still are almost always added. The plain truth: Eggnog just tastes better with some alcohol in it.
Eggnog literally means "eggs in a small cup", and it is used on both sides of the Atlantic to toast to ones health. "Nog" is an old English term for a small wooden cup. As an English creation, it descended from a hot British drink called posset, made from eggs beaten with milk, sugar and some type of spirit.
During that time period, alcoholic drinks were commonly served at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Because it was cooked, posset traveled and adapted well to local tastes wherever it landed. One such place was our American colonies. America was full of farms, which were full of chickens, cows and plenty of cheap rum -- which is America's signature ingredient.
Nowadays pasteurized eggnog is sold in milk-like cartons in almost every grocery store in America. That said, store-bought eggnog is not created equal. Most name brands are cloyingly sweet, leaving an almost bubblegum-like aftertaste. Purists like me agree "don't waste a dime on that stuff". Head to a local dairy to get a taste of a real-deal high-quality product.
What's the difference between a milkshake and malt?
A malt is a milkshake that has malted milk powder added to it. I grew up in the 1960's and '70's, which was a period in time after the 1950's malt shops had disappeared and prior to the world being overtaken by fast food chains. There were, however, still mom and pop run ice cream and fast food drive-ins in every town. These places, besides serving ice-cream (some specializing in hard ice-cream, others in soft-serve) made great hot dogs, hamburgers and fries. Besides coke and root beer, they also specialized in shakes and malts. In my hometown of Hometown, PA, we had Kellet's. They made their own hard ice-cream and Mrs. Kellet did not skimp on the amount of malted milk powder she put in her malts. On a side note: No one had to coax me into trying a malted milkshake. I grew up watching Leave it to Beaver and Wally was always headed to The Malt Shop to hang out with his friends -- what was good enough for the handsome Wally Cleaver, was good enough for me.
The basic recipe can and should be adjusted to suit your taste. Chocolate Milkshakes are vanilla milkshakes to which chocolate syrup has been added. Double Chocolate Milkshakes are made using chocolate ice cream in place of vanilla ice cream. A Strawberry Milkshake is made using strawberry ice cream and a Double Strawberry Milkshake has strawberry preserves added to it for extra flavor. Vanilla Malts, Chocolate Malts and Strawberry Malts simply have malted milk powder added to them.
My basic recipe ~ How to: Make Great Milkshakes & Malts at Home ~ is in Category 15.
What exactly is malted milk powder?
It is a combination of malted barley, wheat flour, malt flour and powdered milk. It usually contains additives like sugar and flavorings like vanilla or chocolate. The term "malt" refers to a specific process where a grain is placed in a warm environment, allowed to sprout, and is quickly dried to a fine powder form. Malted milk powder was invented by a London pharmacist, James Horlicks, in 1869. His intention was for it to be a liquid supplement for infants and invalids, but it quickly found popularity in unexpected food markets. Because it was lightweight and nonperishable, explorers like Admiral Richard E. Byrd took it to Antarctica. Because of its pleasant, sweet taste when mixed with milk, people in general started drinking malted milk for enjoyment. My mother added malted milk powder to my milk (because I hated plain white milk) to entice me into to drinking it -- it worked.
To make Mel's Eggnog & Rum Milkshakes or Malts:
5 large, 2 1/2" scoops eggnog, vanilla, or French vanilla ice cream, your favorite brand
1/2 cup cold eggnog, more or less depending upon how thick you like your shakes to be
2 tablespoons light rum (for an alcoholic shake), or, 1 teaspoon butter-rum flavoring (for a non-alcoholic shake), or, both (I use both)
4 tablespoons malted milk powder (for turning an eggnog shake into an eggnog malt)
whipped cream, a sprinkling of ground nutmeg and/or a maraschino cherry, to garnish each shake or malt
Place all ingredients in drink mixer or blender. Blend at low speed, to combine the ingredients, about 5 seconds, then increase speed to high and blend until smooth, about 45-60 seconds.
Special Equipment List: electric drink mixer or blender; 2 1/2" ice cream scoop; tall glasses; long-handled drink spoons; straws
Cook's Note: In the 1950's, Carnation became a distributor of malted milk powder. Like Ovaltine, Carnation marketed plain- and chocolate-flavored options. While Horlicks remains popular in the UK, India and Southeast Asia, Carnation and Ovaltine have pretty much taken over the present day American market. In 1985 the Nestle corporation acquired Carnation, then in 2007 Nestle acquired Ovaltine, which is a Swiss made malt drink mix. Can Ovaltine be used to make milkshakes? You betcha.
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2016)