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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Is David Burnette, bartender at The Capital Hotel, the King of Nog?

Posted By on Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 10:00 AM

capital-eggnog-l.jpg
  • Courtesy of Southern Living/Ralph Anderson
Some may feel it begins with the first sight of Christmas trees, for others it’s the ludicrous behavior surrounding Black Friday, for others it’s the sultry sounds of Nat King Cole crooning the words, “chestnuts roasting on an open fire.” But for myself, nothing ushers in the beginning of the holidays like the sweet flavors of egg nog. Sure, you’ll put on 20 pounds just by sniffing the stuff a couple times, but who really cares? It’s the holidays, people…and what good is a New Year’s resolution without some extra holiday weight to shed?

Lovers of the nog will definitely want to become acquainted with Mr. David Burnette, bartender at The Capital Bar and Grill. For a while now, Burnette has been concocting his personal egg nog recipe and his skill has certainly not gone unnoticed. He has won Little Rock’s “Nog Off” competition located at the Historic Arkansas Museum for the last two years is now considered by many to be the “King of Nog.”

I caught up with Burnette to ask him what makes his nog so exceptional. He was kind enough to not only clue me in on some secrets in creating a great egg nog, he even provided us with a recipe.

Burnette reminds me that egg being incorporated into cocktails is certainly not a new thing, many traditional cocktails call for at least part of an egg. Says he, “A Whiskey Sour or a Ramos Gin fizz, for example, use egg whites to add froth. A 'Flip’ is a traditional-style cocktail utilizing a whole egg, white and yolk, to create a frothy, creamy result.”

nogoff.jpg
  • Courtesy of The Historic Arkansas Museum
In Burnette’s egg nog recipe, he separates the egg yolks from the whites, pasteurizing the yolks, incorporating sugar, heavy cream, and whole milk, and gently cooking them up to a very specific temperature (160 F). He prefers the inclusion of Prichard’s “Sweet Lucy” as his choice of spirit. This is a bourbon-based liqueur with “a delicate balance of sweet and spirit to compliment the custard-like concoction.” If the only egg nog you’ve ever known has been poured from a carton bought at the grocery store, I’d encourage you to wrap your lips around a properly done, made-from-scratch version such as Burnette’s at the Capital Hotel.

The Capital Bar and Grill will be serving their egg nog throughout the month of December, beginning on the 1st. You can purchase it at the bar or by the bottle ($15 per liter). Burnette’s nog can also be attempted at home by following his recipe as published here by Southern Living, where it was featured as one of last season’s best holiday recipes.

You can also see Burnette go toe-to-toe with other worthy egg noggers at this year’s 8th Ever Nog-Off at The Historic Arkansas Museum on Third St. in Little Rock. The event will be held on Friday, December 14th from 5-8 p.m. and is free to the public. The Capital Hotel will be up against a number of other competitors which include The Copper Grill and Loblolly Creamery.

(The Capital Bar and Grill is located within The Capital Hotel located at 111 W. Markham St., Little Rock)

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