If ice cream and booze were celebrities (which, in this town, they pretty much are) this pairing would be Brangelina without messy fallout, Russell and Ciara minus all the healthful dietary practices.
Sun Liquor and ice cream maker Snoqualmie joined forces to turn the distillery's famed eggnog into a seasonal flavor of ice cream—well, actually frozen custard. Every year, head distiller Erik Chapman makes a limited amount of nog by hand (it just doesn't taste the same in larger batches, he says) and ages it at least 30 days until the alcohol mellows and the eggy proteins become the silkiest drink this side of melted ice cream. The eggnog is served on just two days, and in only two locations: Christmas Eve and Christmas day, in Sun's two Capitol Hill bars. Getting your hands on one of the limited amounts of bottles has become a winter sport in Seattle.
Snoqualmie had experimented with eggnog flavors before, but the booze made it hard to freeze. So Chapman and his brother Jon, who also works at the distillery, deconstructed (aka drank and discussed) some older eggnog batches they had in storage and came up with a plan: They started with the same booze that fuels the eggnog, bourbon and brandied rum, and simmered it on a stovetop so the alcohol would burn off as the liquid became a reduction. Along the way they threw in additional ingredients like apple juice, ginger, and nutmeg, to keep the noggy flavor intact even as the alcohol burned away.
Snoqualmie combined that reduction with a special batch of frozen custard, made with double the egg yolks. Sun's eggnog famously ages at least 30 days; its custard doppelganger ages too, says Snoqualmie's Samantha Zahn—but just overnight, an extra step to make the custard even thicker.
Sun Liquor will sell pints of Snoqualmie's Sun Liquor Fancy Eggnog flavor in the stylish little bottle shop next door to the distillery (custard will be stored in a cool vintage fridge, naturally) and use it in desserts at the bar. Grocers that sell Snoqualmie's other flavors should get pints as early as next week.
It's funny, translating a beverage defined by its scarcity into something available at every major grocery store in town. But Chapman's excited to have more people experience his eggnog, albeit in frozen form. Plus, he can finally share it with minors, like his toddler-age son. "I go to family functions and everyone gets excited about eggnog," he says. "But then only five people can drink it."
Meanwhile, he'll make this year's batch of aged eggnog for bars and bottles per usual. Refrigeration space is always a challenge, but thanks to a new walkin cooler, Chapman's hopeful he might even quadruple the amount released last year. Don't kid yourself, though—it will still go crazy fast.