Charles Mingus’ “Top Secret” Eggnog Recipe Contains “Enough Alcohol to Put Down an Elephant”


Image by Tom Mar­cel­lo Web­ster, via Wiki­me­dia Com­mons

Just in time for a hard-drink­ing Christ­mas, the Vil­lage Voice brings us the “top secret” eggnog recipe from “Angry Man of Jazz” Charles Min­gus. Despite his gen­er­al­ly iras­ci­ble tem­pera­ment, Min­gus had a leg­endary “zeal for par­ties and drink” and “felt the yule­tide spirit—or spir­its, if you will—according to biog­ra­ph­er Janet Cole­man.” Min­gus passed his recipe to Cole­man over the phone, and she pub­lished it in Mingus/Mingus: Two Mem­oirs. The ‘nog, the Voice tells us, “calls for enough alco­hol to put down an ele­phant,” so if you hap­pen to be host­ing one, this might just come in handy. Humans seem to dig it too. Cole­man called it “a con­coc­tion so deli­cious and mind-blow­ing, you would do any­thing to make sure you saw him at Christ­mas.”

Charles Min­gus’ “Top Secret” Eggnog

* Sep­a­rate one egg for one per­son. Each per­son gets an egg.
* Two sug­ars for each egg, each per­son.
* One shot of rum, one shot of brandy per per­son.
* Put all the yolks into one big pan, with some milk.
* That’s where the 151 proof rum goes. Put it in grad­u­al­ly or it’ll burn the eggs,
* OK. The whites are sep­a­rate and the cream is sep­a­rate.
* In anoth­er pot- depend­ing on how many peo­ple- put in one shot of each, rum and brandy. (This is after you whip your whites and your cream.)
* Pour it over the top of the milk and yolks.
* One tea­spoon of sug­ar. Brandy and rum.
* Actu­al­ly you mix it all togeth­er.
* Yes, a lot of nut­meg. Fresh nut­meg. And stir it up.
* You don’t need ice cream unless you’ve got peo­ple com­ing and you need to keep it cold. Vanil­la ice cream. You can use eggnog. I use vanil­la ice cream.
* Right, taste for fla­vor. Bour­bon? I use Jamaica Rum in there. Jamaican Rums. Or I’ll put rye in it. Scotch. It depends.
See, it depends on how drunk I get while I’m tast­ing it.

If you’re drink­ing tonight, make sure you drink respon­si­bly!

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Try George Orwell’s Recipe for Christ­mas Pud­ding, from His Essay “British Cook­ery” (1945)

Pre­pare Mar­i­lyn Monroe’s Per­son­al, Hand­writ­ten Turkey-and-Stuff­ing Recipe on Thanks­giv­ing

Charles Min­gus Explains in His Gram­my-Win­ning Essay “What is a Jazz Com­pos­er?”

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

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