With or without alcohol, Lewes Dairy eggnog adds spice to the season
Along the coast, nothing signals the start of the holiday season quite like a sip of Lewes Dairy’s eggnog. “I make it just the way I made it when I was young, it just takes me twice as long to do half as much,” says Chip Brittingham, the Lewes plant manager whose grandparents, Grace and Emory Brittingham, began raising Guernsey cows and selling milk in 1919.
Since the dairy’s merger with Hy-Point Dairy Farms in 2013, Brittingham has trekked to northern New Castle County to make the eggnog, which is available starting the week before Thanksgiving until New Year’s. “I want to make sure everything is done right,” he says.
He doesn’t remember exactly when the dairy began offering its celebrated beverage, but its fame was certainly set in the 1940s. Brittingham credits its popularity to top-quality ingredients and a special blend of spices, which produce a silky shake-like beverage with a minimum fat content of at least 7 percent. (The standard is 6 percent.) “It’s a good drink,” Brittingham says simply.
Some say it’s even better with a shot of rum. Mark Harrison, general manager of Nage in the Rehoboth Beach area, whips up this frothy libation for customers who like a creamy cocktail. “I prefer to use local ingredients as much as possible, whether it’s with our food or beverage programs,” he says. “Lewes Dairy is a respected business in the area, and their high-quality products make that decision easy.”
Nage’s East Coast Eggnog
(Makes one drink)
4 parts Lewes Dairy Eggnog or your
1 part Meyers’s Dark Rum
1 drop of vanilla extract
1 piece of whole nutmeg
Garnish of your choice (optional)
Mix the eggnog, rum and vanilla extract together. Using a grater, shave a small amount of nutmeg into the drink. (Only a small amount is needed because nutmeg has a strong flavor.) Harrison often uses colored sea salt or decorative baking sugar for a contrast in texture and flavor. Crushed candy canes is another option for garnishing this holiday drink.