Actor Robert Mitchum had a reputation for being a bit of a party guy.
In fact, his free-spirited partying ways even got him arrested in 1948, causing Hollywood studio publicists quite a headache.
So it shouldn't be a surprise Mitchum had his own amazing recipe for holiday eggnog.
Just leave it to author Frank DeCaro to rescue Mitchum's recipe (he died in 1997 at age 79) and add it to a treasure of other famed favorite retro celebrity eats for his new book "Christmas in Tinseltown: Celebrity Recipes and Hollywood Memories from Six Feet Under the Mistletoe" (2012 HCI Books $14.95).
It features the one-and-only Joan Crawford smiling gleefully on the cover while holding a huge knife ready to carve a turkey placed platter-perfect for the vintage promo photo.
DeCaro, who is also author of "The Dead Celebrity Cookbook" (2011 HCI Books $19.95), said when it comes to holiday fun, "the stars of Hollywood's Golden Age knew how to make merry, on stage, on screen, and especially on the dinner table."
Filled with pop culture ruminations and genuinely delicious recipes, it pays tribute to such movie classics as "It's A Wonderful Life" and "White Christmas" and cheers for such time-honored animated gems as "Frosty the Snowman" and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," as well as such offbeat offerings as "The Star Wars Holiday Special" and "The Pee-Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special."
In such chapters as "Miracle Whip on 34th Street," "Eat Meat in St. Louis," and "Munch of the Wooden Soldiers," DeCaro dishes up a smorgasbord of culinary delights that will enliven any holiday gathering.
It's not too late to buy a copy and tempt your guests with Peggy Lee's Holiday Halibut Casserole, Burl Ives' Stuffed Leg of Goat Hawaiian, Lucille Ball's Brazil Nut Stuffing, Nat "King" Cole's Baked Ham Loaf, Guy Lombardo's Lobster Lombardo, Dick Clark's Spicy Turkey Meatloaf, Rosemary Clooney's Viennese Goulash, Bing Crosby's Sugar Cookies, Shirley Booth's Pumpkin Bread, Dinah Shore's Fruitcake, and Spike Jones' Molasses Jumbles. Then wash them all down with Mitchum's Eggnog, Edmund Gwenn's Christmas Cup, or John Lennon's Hot Cocoa.
As for Mitchum's Eggnog recipe, DeCaro says when asked for a holiday recipe back in 1970, Mitchum offered up his eggnog for a crowd.
"I make no apology for the excessive quantity," Mitchum told the food writer who'd requested the recipe.
"Only a dope would go to the trouble for less."
As promised, courtesy of DeCaro's great new book, here's Bob's boozy salute to the holiday's favorite creamy, rich drink.
Robert Mitchum's Eggnog
12 egg yolks
1 pound confectioners' sugar
1 quart rum, brandy, or whiskey
2 quarts cream
1 quart milk
12 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon salt
DIRECTIONS: Beat egg yolks and confectioners' sugar together in a large bowl. Beat in the rum, brandy or whiskey. Add cream and milk. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with salt until stiff but not dry. Fold this mixture into the liquid. Chill. Serves 20.