Nutmeg reminds you of your grandparents, ginger bread houses and Holland. There’s something about its homely smell that evokes the essence of Christmas. Its use in drinks is maybe a little dated, owing to it being one of those ingredients only grandmas use in cakes, but it’s so delicious it’s worthy of a revival.
It’s always best to go fresh, using a microplane and grating as you need it. From the pack it’s pretty fine and always gets stuck in your nose, causing you to sneeze. But you’ll just have to deal with what you’ve got.
If you’re a massive nutmeg fan and you really want to infuse the flavour into your drinks, you can make a nutmeg based syrup. To do this, simply add equal parts sugar and water to a pot. 250gms to 250mls of water should give you enough for a decent cocktail making soiree. Add some whole and ground nutmeg, maybe a vanilla pod for flavour. Set the stove to a low heat and stir the mix to dissolve the sugar. A low heat will also help the nutmeg and vanilla to infuse the syrup; give it about 20 minutes or longer to increase your intensity. Use your resulting syrup in the same way as sugar syrup. Any more than 20mls in a standard drink and you’ve got a crazy sweet tooth!
As for the traditional uses of nutmeg try out this old favourite: