Each day of December we will make a unique recipe! Our simple recipe for easy eggnog is below!
Origin of Easy Eggnog
While culinary historians debate its exact lineage, most agree eggnog originated from the early medieval Britain “posset,” a hot, milky, ale-like drink. By the 13th century, monks were known to drink a posset with eggs and figs. Milk, eggs, and sherry were foods of the wealthy, so it was often used in toasts to prosperity and good health.
Eggnog became tied to the holidays when the drink hopped the pond in the 1700s. American colonies were full of farms—and chickens and cows—and cheaper rum, a soon-signature ingredient. Mexico adopted the varietal “rompope,” and Puerto Rico enjoys the “coquito,” which adds coconut milk. The English name’s etymology, however, remains a mystery. Some say “nog” comes from “noggin,” meaning a wooden cup, or “grog,” a strong beer. By the late 18th century, the combined term “eggnog” stuck.
Throughout Canada and the United States, it is traditionally consumed over the Christmas season, from late November until the end of the holiday season. Eggnog has also gained popularity in Australia. A variety called Ponche Crema has been made and consumed in Venezuela and Trinidad since the 1900s, also as part of the Christmas season. During that time, commercially prepared eggnog is sold in grocery stores in these countries.
Commercial VS Homemade
Purists argue that those who don’t like the Yuletide drink have simply never tasted the real thing. Sugar-laced supermarket versions can’t hold a candle to the homemade goodness, especially since the US Food and Drug Administration permits that the drink can be made from as little as 1% egg yolk. That often borders on “milknog” or egg flavoring.
Modern commercial manufacturers add gelatin and other thickeners, a cost-savings measure that enables manufacturers to produce a thick beverage while using less egg and cream. “Commercial eggnog tends to contain less eggs than homemade nog”.
Ready-made versions are seasonally available with different spirits, or without alcohol, to be drunk as bought or used as “mixes” with all the ingredients except the liquor, to be added as desired. While eggnog is mostly available from American Thanksgiving through to Christmas, in some regions a marshmallow-flavored version is sold at Easter.
Traditional homemade eggnog is made of milk or cream, sugar, raw eggs, one or more alcoholic spirits, and spices, often vanilla or nutmeg and in some recipes, cloves. Some recipes call for the eggs to be separated so that the egg whites can be whipped until they are thick; this gives the drink a frothy texture.
Homemade recipes may use vanilla ice cream blended into the beverage, particularly when the goal is to create a chilled drink. Some recipes call for condensed milk or evaporated milk in addition to milk and cream. Acidophilus milk, a fermented milk product, has been used to make egg nog. While some recipes call for unwhipped heavy cream, in some recipes, whipped cream is added to the mixture, which gives it a frothier texture. Various sweeteners are used, such as white sugar, brown sugar, and maple syrup.
George Washington’s Recipe
Our founders would have had none of that. George Washington even penned his own famous heavy-on-the-alcohol eggnog recipe. Only one problem: he forgot to record the exact number of eggs. Cooks in his era estimated a dozen would do:
One quart cream, one quart milk, one dozen tablespoons sugar, one pint brandy, 1/2 pint rye whiskey, 1/2 pint Jamaica rum, 1/4 pint sherry—mix liquor first, then separate yolks and whites of eggs, add sugar to beaten yolks, mix well. Add milk and cream, slowly beating. Beat whites of eggs until stiff and fold slowly into mixture. Let set in cool place for several days. Taste frequently.
So as you enjoy your holiday cheer, please drink responsibly. Not just for the alcohol, but also for the calories: it can pack in upwards of 400 big ones per cup.
Easy Eggnog Suggestions
- 2 Eggs Well Beaten
- 3 tbsp Sugar Granulated
- 600 ml Milk
- 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
- 1 dash Nutmeg
- Blend all ingredients together in a blender. Serve chilled.
Have More Ideas?
Do you have more ideas? Have you tried our recipe and loved it? Leave us a comment on your inspiration and results. We love hearing from you!