Nothing else signifies that the holiday season is here quite like eggnog. Whether you're hosting a holiday party or just want to cozy up by the fire, eggnog is a comfort drink sure to warm you up this time of year. But why is eggnog typically only enjoyed during the cold holiday months?
That's a question culinary historians have been pondering for years. Many believe that eggnog began as a hot British drink made of milk curdled with wine or ale. The etymology of the word itself is much debated. Some say "nog" was a reference to a strong brew, others write that "nog" may stem from "noggin," a Middle English term for a small, carved wooden mug used to serve alcohol. One online dictionary claims the word is an American term invented in 1765.
So, What is Eggnog?
A traditional version of homemade eggnog is a chilled dairy-based beverage made with milk, sugar, cream, whipped egg whites and egg yolks, and it's typically enjoyed from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day with or without alcohol.
We think this holiday drink is pretty delicious and so did our country's founder, President George Washington. Check out this recipe. Note the brandy, rye whiskey, rum and sherry.
- 1 quart milk
- 1 dozen Tbsp. sugar
- 1 pint brandy
- 12 eggs
- 1/2 pint rye whiskey
- 1/2 pint Jamaica rum
- 1/4 pint sherry
"Mix liquor first, then separate yolks and whites of 12 eggs. Add sugar to beaten yolks and mix well. Add milk and cream, slowly beating. Beat whites of eggs until stiff and fold slowly into the mixture. Let set in cool place for several days. Taste frequently."
Next Generation Eggnog Recipes – or Not Your Grandparent's Eggnog
- 6 eggs
- 2 limes (or lemons, zested)
- 4-1/2 cups evaporated milk (full fat/whole)
- 1-3/4 (14 ounces) cans condensed milk
- 1 cup dark rum
- 2 tsp. Angostura Bitters
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Fill an old-fashioned glass with vodka and coffee liqueur, stir. Top with eggnog and stir well, until combined. Add ice cubes, and serve with a sprinkle of nutmeg. Super simple.
Salted Butterscotch Bourbon Eggnog (Makes 12 servings)
- 6 eggs, separated into yolks and whites
- 1/3 cup salted bourbon butterscotch sauce
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 4 cups whole milk
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 9 oz. bourbon
- 3 oz. Amaretto
Whisk egg yolks, butterscotch sauce and salt until smooth. Add milk, whipping cream, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. In a bowl with a standing mixer, or with a hand mixer, whip egg whites with 1/4 cup sugar until soft peaks form, around 8-10 minutes. Fold whites into cream mixture until smooth. Chill until cold, serve in a punch bowl with bourbon and Amaretto, or individual glasses with .75 oz. bourbon, and 1/4 oz. Amaretto for each. Top with more grated nutmeg.