Herbs and Spices: Nutmeg

Did you know you can get high off of nutmeg? It’s the quickest way to discover the Christmas spirit: a brief high and then nausea and a crippling hangover. It’s got the chemicals to make you happy and the taste to back it up. Don’t worry about consuming it this season; boatloads of this stuff sprinkled throughout different recipes won’t wreck your insides. I’m sure your step-grandmother’s fruit cake will do that well enough on its own.

Nutmeg is one of those admirable spices that had an exciting history (yes, there is such a thing). In order to maintain control of the heavenly forests of nutmeg, the Dutch pretty much massacred the people of Banda. This year when you’re enjoying some nutmeg in your eggnog, just remember that you’re basically drinking the blood of the Banda. I’m kidding. The blood probably faded out of the forests a long time ago.

Nutmeg represents drugs, murder, and Christmas; here are some interesting nutmeg-seasoned foods you might want to check out this holiday season.


Eggnog is a staple of the holidays and usually pops up on the grocery store shelves at the end of October. Don’t be fooled by this eggnog though; real eggnog is made with some form of liquor, usually brandy. Nutmeg is a staple of eggnog culture, along with cinnamon and cloves. Even when making a large batch of eggnog a small amount of nutmeg goes a long way. In this instance, nutmeg is used primarily to complement the other seasonings.

 Ais Kacang

Ais Kacang
Now this is shaved ice done right. Ais kacang can have any number of different toppings; one of which is nutmeg. The bright colors are used by street vendors to draw people in to their stands. But seriously, look at that thing. Would you turn it down? I wouldn’t turn it down. Some of Ais kacang’s popular toppings are red beans, sweet corn, and grass jelly.


Sheep’s pluck. That sounds sort of cute, doesn’t it? Sheep’s pluck. You could almost write a children’s book called Sheep’s Pluck, if not for pluck being a combination of the heart, liver, and lungs. Maybe Sheep’s Pluck could be the long awaited sequel to The Jungle. Haggis is the national dish of Scotland, which is probably why they serve it in an animal’s stomach. It’s damn hard to make haggis sound appealing. Haggis is seasoned with nutmeg, so that might make you forget that you’re eating an entire animal ground up and shoved in its own stomach. Hey, now you can never accuse the Scottish of being uncreative.

PAINKILLERPainkiller Cocktail
Nutmeg might be noticed more in the winter months, but why not celebrate tropical culture after a day of scraping the ice off your car? The painkiller is the signature cocktail from Pusser’s Rum. When you’re celebrating familial ties with a post binge eating headache, take a Painkiller.

Painkiller Cocktail

2 oz. Pusser’s Rum
4 oz. pineapple juice
1 oz. cream of coconut
1 oz. orange juice
Grated fresh nutmeg

Combine the top four ingredients in an ice-filled shaker and shake. Pour into a cocktail glass and top with grated nutmeg.

Post by Ian Sims.