Christmas Eve just got better with National Eggnog Day on December 24. You know, the drink that is only available in stores during the holiday season. A sweet beverage made from milk, sugar, spices, cream, and eggs, eggnog has been enjoyed by families a day before Christmas for centuries now. Liquor is optional for those who want to get more festive.
Eggnog, also known as egg milk punch when prepared as an alcoholic drink, is a rich and creamy dairy beverage basically made by mixing cream, milk, sugar, and whipped eggs to create a frothy texture. Liquor is optional, and, once prepared, the drink is served chilled.
The origins of this sweet Christmas drink are highly debated, as well as the primary ingredients used for it. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word ‘nog’ was used to describe a type of strong beer brewed in East Anglia, England. Others argue that eggnog was developed as a beverage in medieval Europe, using piping hot milk.
The first time the term was printed was in the March 26 issue of the “New-Jersey Journal” in 1788, referring to a man enjoying a glass of eggnog. Again, there is no consensus on how eggnog got its name. One theory suggests that the drink was first named ‘grog’, eventually evolving to ‘eggnog.’ Other sources claim that ‘nog’ was used in the Old English vocabulary for a strong ale. So, essentially, this means that egg and nog is a nod to any drink containing eggs and alcohol.
Eggnog could possibly also have been a spin-off of the once-popular drink enjoyed by the British called posset. Made using curdled milk mixed with wine, it was often used for medicinal purposes. Later, in the 16th century, cream and a citrus base were added to the ingredients.
Here is a great simple recipe for homemade eggnog
Ingredients (makes 3 Servings)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 ⅓ cups low-fat milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 dash ground nutmeg
Blend together eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla and nutmeg. Serve chilled.