Whiskey adds myriad subtle flavors in cooking. And what would holiday egg nog be without it?

EGG NOG

8 large eggs

4 egg yolks

1 cup granulated sugar

5 cups whole milk

2 cups bourbon

1/2 cup blended Scotch

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 tablespoon freshly grated

nutmeg

In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs, egg yolks and granulated sugar until smooth. Pour into a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in milk, gradually, blending well with each addition.

Heat slowly over very low heat, stirring steadily, until the mixture reaches 160 to 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.

The custard should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If you draw your finger across the back of the spoon, the line will remain distinct; that means the custard sauce is done.

Pour the custard through a fine-meshed sieve into a large bowl. Stir in vanilla, scotch, bourbon and nutmeg. Let mixture cool, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least three hours and/or up to one day. Serve in a punch bowl. Serves about 14.

Source: Adam Kanter, Rum Bar.

DE RIGUEUR

10 fresh mint leaves

1 1/2 ounces Pikesville Straight Rye Whiskey

3/4 ounce grapefruit juice

3/4 ounce Aperol (Italian orange

aperitif)

1/2 ounce honey syrup

(mix half honey, half water)

1/4 ounce lemon juice

In pint glass, muddle mint leaves, then add other ingredients. Shake over ice and double strain in coupe champagne glass. Garnish with mint sprig. Serves 1.

Source: Village Whiskey.

OLD-FASHIONED

Soak 2 sugar cubes with bitters. Muddle in an old-fashioned glass: Bitters-soaked sugar cubes and 2 pieces of lemon peel. Add 2 1/2 ounces Old Granddad 100 Proof. Add ice and stir. Add more ice and stir and stir. Add more ice and serve. Serves 1.

Source: Village Whiskey.

SCOTCH CRAB SOUP

4 tablespoons finely chopped onion

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour

16 ounces lump crabmeat

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

4 cups milk

6 ounces heavy cream

3 ounces Scotch whisky

Parsley for garnish

Cook onion in butter until translucent. Stir in flour. Cook 1-2 minutes. Add milk and cream stir until smooth. Add salt and small amount of pepper. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Add crabmeat.

When mixture is hot but not boiling, stir in Scotch whiskey. Serve immediately with chopped parsley. Serves 4 to 6.

Source: Thomas Groff, Dettera Restaurant.

CHICKEN WITH 'RI' WHISKY, BACON AND MUSHROOMS

4 8-ounce boneless, skinless

chicken breasts

1 cup heavy cream

8 slices Applewood smoked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch slices

1 cup sliced fresh wild mushrooms

1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground back pepper

1 teaspoon salt

3 ounces (ri)1 whiskey or other

rye-based whiskey

1 cup frozen peas

Flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook bacon until crisp, remove from pan. Save the bacon fat from the pan.

Lightly dust chicken breasts with flour. Sauté chicken breasts in 2 to 3 tablespoons bacon fat until golden on both sides. Remove chicken and set aside in ovenproof dish.

Sauté mushrooms and onions in 1 tablespoon bacon fat until soft. Add cream, peas and crisp bacon, and cook mixture over medium heat until it boils, stirring constantly. Add salt and pepper, and pour with the whiskey over the chicken.

Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes to rewarm chicken. Serve over egg noodles. Serves 4.

Source: Thomas Groff, Dettera Restaurant

CHOCOLATE BREAD PUDDING WITH BOURBON CUSTARD SAUCE

6 ounces good quality semisweet chocolate, chopped or in chips

1 1/2 cups of heavy cream

1 1/2 cups milk

1/8 teaspoon salt

6 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

12 slices dense country white bread or brioche, crusts removed

6 tablespoons unsalted butter,

melted

Bourbon Custard Sauce:

2 cups cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

3 ounces bourbon

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a medium saucepan, combine the chocolate, heavy cream, milk and salt. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate melts. Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract. Gradually whisk in the hot chocolate mixture. Set aside.

Slice the bread into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Cut each slice lengthwise into 3 to 4 strips.

Butter a 7-by-11-inch baking dish. Brush both sides of the sliced bread with melted butter and arrange strips in neat rows in the baking dish. Pour the chocolate custard over the bread and set aside for at least 30 minutes, pushing the bread down occasionally so it will absorb the custard.

Place the pudding dish in a pan filled with a 1/2-inch of hot water. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool for at least 15 minutes. Cut the warm pudding into squares and serve with bourbon custard sauce

To make the Bourbon Custard Sauce: Add the cream and vanilla to a medium, heavy saucepan. Bring just to a simmer over low heat. Remove from heat and let stand for 20 minutes to infuse the cream with the vanilla flavor.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale. Gradually whisk in the hot milk. Return to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the custard cooks enough to coat the back of the spoon.

Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl and stir in the bourbon. Let cool and refrigerate the custard until chilled. Sauce should be made the day before.