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Edgar Allan Poe's Favorite Cocktail Was From His Own Family Recipe

Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe - Bettmann/Getty Images

Edgar Allan Poe's drinking was almost as infamous as his macabre writing. The poet and storyteller who gave us classic poems like "The Raven" and stories like "The Tell-Tale Heart" had a reputation for consuming large amounts of alcohol with great frequency. He was a party boy at the University of Virginia and that penchant for booze followed him to West Point where he, along with the rest of the cadets, would whet their whistle at the local watering hole known as Benny's Haven — a tavern located on the edge of town. What would the famous literati guzzle down? Poe wasn't known for sipping on traditional gimlets or absinthe, the high-proof alcohol that takes boozy milkshakes to a whole new level. No, Poe liked a classic eggnog.

Eggnog seems like an interesting choice given this emulsion-based beverage generally only finds its way into the cocktail repertoire during the winter holidays. Not to mention, this is a drink that has many cocktail-lovers chirping, "Nevermore." For some, the problem with eggnog is, well, the eggs and the overall consistency. In many recipes, the eggs aren't cooked, and that alone can make the uninitiated feel the need to dry heave. Such is the case with "The Fall of the House of Usher" author's family recipe for this drink which has been in their cookbook since 1790 and uses a combination of brandy and rum.

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Consider A Vegan Version

Eggnog in a glass
Eggnog in a glass - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

But the Poe family recipe is not for the faint of heart. In addition to the rum and brandy to give its imbibers that warm, spicy vibe, it calls for the yolks of seven eggs, along with some sugar, milk, whipping cream, and nutmeg. Once made, you will find it has a thick custard-like texture with a booze-filled taste. If this is your first time making eggnog, you may want to plan for this to be a two-day undertaking to allow the flavors of the rum and brandy to become one with the eggs, sugar, and dairy ingredients.

That said, don't toss those egg whites. Poe's family would whip them up into a frothy element that would be used to top off the eggnog, along with a sprinkle of nutmeg. If you like the idea of drinking like this great American writer but can't stand the thought of eggs, consider making a vegan eggnog that takes advantage of dairy substitutes like almond milk and cashews to bulk up the viscosity. And of course, if you want to enjoy this cocktail sans the alcohol, there are plenty of ways to add flavor to eggnog without booze that include additions like coconut cream, citrus, vanilla extract, and even ice cream.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.