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Crambambull (a.k.a. Beernog)

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​We talked a little bit last week about eggnog, but if you've spent more than 20 minutes at Chow Bella you know that I'm a beer guy. A good beer offers a bigger body and complementary flavors that will bring your nog to the next level. Plus, beernog has an alias that's super fun to say: crambambull.

Crambambull, or crambambuli, first emerged as an alcoholic cocktail popular among drinkers in the New England colonies. This early form, made from boiling ale with rum and sugar, survived to become a favorite among college students in the mid-1800s, becoming so popular it inspired a drinking song. Come on, you know the words!

Crambambuli, it is the title of that good song we love the best,
It is the means of health most vital, when evil fortunes us molest.
From evening late till morning free, I'll drink my glass, crambambuli,
cram bim bam bam buli, crambambuli.

Later, the drink evolved to combine the sugary flavor of the brew above with the creamy body and milder flavor of eggs. The recipe below is from Know your Onions or Mrs. Beeton's Hinterland by Susan Watkin, a book of recipes and household hints published in magazines in the 1800s, but will work just as well to keep evil fortunes from molesting you.

Crambambull

  • Take two bottles of light porter or ale and boil them in a pan. 
  • Put into the liquor a half pint of rum, and from half a pound to a pound of loaf sugar. 
  • After this has been boiling for a few minutes, take the whole from the fire and put into the mixture the white and the yolks of six to eight eggs, previously well-whisked. 
  • Stir the whole for a minute or two and pour into a punch bowl, to be drunk out of tumblers. It tastes well hot or cold.

But what beer to use? If you like your nog more traditional, try it with Anchor Our Special Ale, which is packed with a variety of Christmas spices. A roasty stout, such as Deschutes Obsidian Stout, will add complementary flavors of chocolate and coffee. I prefer it with a sweet, spicy Belgian quadruple like Trappistes Rochefort 10, which has layers of brown sugar and maple that work very well. 

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