Charles Mingus' Secret Eggnog Recipe Will Knock You on Your Ass
As a world-class jazz double bassist, composer and band leader, Charles Mingus is one of the most celebrated figures in American music. He was well-known as a bon vivant and his larger than life physical stature towered over the bandstand and fellow musicians alike. His zeal for parties and drink were just as legendary as his sometimes caustic temperament that led him to occasionally punch fellow musicians and sometimes even lay into patrons. He was the Ron Artest of the jazz world--a brilliant artist that sometimes had trouble at the seams of life.
Photo: Brett Koshkin
But even The Angry Man of Jazz felt the yuletide spirit--or spirits, if you will--according to biographer Janet Coleman. Apparently Mingus had a top secret eggnog recipe that was second to none. In his later years, Mingus finally passed on his formula to Coleman, who published the recipe in her book co-authored by Al Young, Mingus/Mingus: Two Memoirs.
"Mingus's holiday eggnog was a concoction so delicious and mind-blowing, you would do anything to make sure that you saw him at Christmas. Over the phone once, he gave me the recipe." - Janet Coleman
Unsurprisingly, the recipe calls for enough alcohol to put down an elephant. It being the festive season, I decided to exercise some really poor judgment, make a batch and have my more-gullible friends drink it with me.