Mayo has got to be the most divisive condiment in existence. The fatty white mixture of eggs, oil, and vinegar is the ultimate flavor enhancer for some, yet is absolutely repulsive to others. I lie somewhere in the middle. A thin layer of mayo on a sandwich is fine, but dipping fries into a cup of it? Bring me a barf bag.
What about something a bit less conventional? Hellmann’s has teamed up with Muddling Memories, a Brooklyn hospitality group led by mixologist Cody Goldstein, to introduce the world to mayo-nog. (Not a mayonegg—sorry, Arrested Development fans.) It’s a frozen egg nog recipe, only the egg has been replaced with, you guessed it, mayonnaise.
My initial reaction: ew. The thought of drinking mayo makes my stomach turn. It also, at first blush, doesn’t seem like an appropriate egg substitute in egg nog, given that mayo contains a lot more oil than it does eggs. And on top of that, who the hell puts mayo in a dessert?
Well, apparently the answer to that question is: lots of people. This chocolate cupcake recipe comes from The Mayonnaise Cookbook, an encyclopedia of 50 recipes starring the controversial condiment. And as the author points out, mayo is just eggs and oil—two ingredients that you incorporate into cake batter anyway. It also seems to be common knowledge among Midwesterners that Chicago staple Portillo’s adds mayo to its famously moist chocolate cake.
All right, so I guess I could see mayo cake being good, but I’m still on the fence about mayo-nog. I don’t even really like drinking milk, and this recipe, which is included in the Instagram post, has milk and heavy cream and a quarter cup of mayo. (Have some laxatives handy.) However, the Hellmann’s nog also has a shot and a half each of rum, apple brandy, and cognac, which just might leave the consumer too buzzed to worry about any impending intestinal traffic jam. Ultimately, the richness of the drink is what I see as its biggest deterrent. It’s something I—along with many others, I’m sure—would take two sips of and be unable to drink the rest.
Luckily for my curiosity (but unluckily for my intestines), I can do just that: Until December 15, the buzzworthy concoction will be available at Amy Fontaine’s, a cocktail bar in New York City. With the bar just a 15-minute walk from the UN, perhaps the drink will become the hot new American staple that ambassadors introduce to foreign dignitaries. After all, what’s more American than a drink loaded with Hellmann’s?