You can buy the nog from some sort of premium dairy. I often do, depending on how much time I have. I add, depending of course on how much you have, but to about a half-gallon of nog, 1 cup bourbon, 1/2 C rum, 1/4 cup brandy. I come from a long line of "southern" cooks, and we always added bourbon to most everything. "And," my granny said, "you need some rum for the flavor, and brandy for the 'kick.'"
Let this sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours to ripen.
Then, just before serving, whip some heavy cream and/or egg whites (depending on your 'alarmist' factor), and gently fold it in. That will make your nog creamy and fluffy, and will definitely help the store-bought stuff.
Another advantage of buying the nog and doctoring it up with whipped cream is that the commercially-prepared product is pasturized. If you're worried about the raw egg thing, and serving it to guests, that is probably the way to go. And you can just fold in the whipped cream right before serving to give it that homemade touch.
For serving, I always make an "ice bowl." You can do this out of any large container. Boil the water first, so it'll freeze clear. Then put some mint or fake holly or something in it, and push a mixing bowl or something down in it. After it freezes, it makes a great bowl. Be sure to set your ice bowl on something that will hold the water as it melts. I have a clear glass mixing bowl that I use. One thing I've discovered is that because you want the nog cold, it seems to work better to use a small serving bowl, and refill it often with cold nog just out of the fridge.
Edited by Jaymes, 14 December 2004 - 03:21 PM.