Archive | December 13th, 2016

Put a Little Fire into Your Egg Nog

Put a Little Fire into Your Egg Nog

Michael Sohocki’s Wood-Fired Egg Nog

National Egg Nog Day is Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, and what better way to celebrate than with a cup of holiday cheer as created by San Antonio chef Michael Sohocki of Restaurant Gwendolyn, Kimura and Il Forno.

Sohocki decided that wood fire didn’t just belong in the fireplace, tucked behind hanging stockings; instead he is pushing boundaries by adding it to everyone’s favorite holiday sip. He strove for a warm egg nog with a smoky and wood essence to it — and burning oak gave him just that.

With a dollop of brandy at the bottom of each mug, drinkers will experience a potent potable that has a very merry ending indeed. (Editor’s note: We have not tried the recipe ourselves, but we are willing to test it if anyone wants to make it for us.)

Wood-Fired Egg Nog

1 quart whole milk
½ cup sugar
1 vanilla bean (paste only)
6 egg yolks
2 cups burning wood (oak, hickory or maple)
Splash of your favorite brandy
Soft-whipped cream, for garnish
Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish

Bring milk, sugar and vanilla to a raging boil. Before it spills over the sides, pull it from the flame.

Put egg yolks in a separate 4-quart bowl. Stir the boiling liquid into the yolks a little at a time, starting with about a tablespoon at a time until you see steam, then you can increase the interval to about 1/4 cup or so.

When the boiling liquid is incorporated, take about 2 cups of burning wood, preferably in small pieces (greater surface area) still on fire, and dump them all at once into the milk and egg mixture. Stir to extinguish the flames, and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes or so to absorb smoke and wood essence. Strain through fine mesh to remove wood pieces. (Note: Sohocki recommends only using clean, food-grade wood.)


Put a dollop of brandy in the bottom of a tall warm coffee cup, and pour the egg nog mixture from up high, so you get a swirling effect in the bottom of the glass (practice this in private: don’t pour it in your guest’s ear). Sohocki likes that the mixture is not the same throughout, a little more punch at the bottom.

Top with whipped cream and nutmeg, and serve warm.

Makes 4 servings.
From Michael Sohocki/Restaurant Gwendolyn, Kimura, Il Forno

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Shake Up Your Holiday Gift List with Tickets to the Cocktail Conference

Shake Up Your Holiday Gift List with Tickets to the Cocktail Conference

Gift-block. It’s a thing. It’s when you want to give someone something great, but you just can’t figure out what they’d never re-gift. So you procrastinate until a candle seems right. Ugh. This year, give an experience to remember at San Antonio Cocktail Conference, Jan. 11-15.

The San Antonio Cocktail Conference is coming. Are you ready?

Start 2017 off in fine fashion with seminars, tasting, parties and entertainment! Here are some ideas to smash gift-block to pieces:

For the Thinker: Bundle up a package of two or three tickets ($45-$55 each) to informative seminars led by cocktail experts!

For the Adventurer: Take them to Stroll on Houston Street on Saturday night. Together you’ll wander through a street full of great parties, filled with a live music, cocktails, and food at every location along the two block stroll. $85

For the Young at Heart: This year’s big opening party on Thursday night is at the incredible DoSeum, a whimsical playground where they can explore and celebrate music, entertainment, food and cocktails. $85

For the Gourmet: Send them on a four-hour tour of the SACC Tasting Suites on Saturday afternoon and give them an opportunity to experience flavors from a wide variety of large and boutique brands, plus time to talk spirits with the experts. $45

For the Bon Vivant: Friday night’s festivities at the historic St. Anthony Hotel are a stylish soirée worthy of that special friend. $100

For the Sweets Lover: Cookies and cocktails: two great things that go great together. Wednesday night’s Women Shaking It Up pays special tribute to women bartenders, women chefs and women in business, sports and leadership who shaking it up in non-traditional roles. This year’s event benefits Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas. $65

For the History Buff: Invite them to a Sunday cocktail brunch in the courtyard of the historic Spanish Governor’s Palace and immerse them in a cultural experience filled with food and drink that matches the preserved 1700’s architecture, furnishings, artworks and iconography. Includes tours of the treasured building. $55

See the schedule and buy tickets at Simply print the tickets at home, enclose them in your personal card, and check another to-do item off your list.

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