Sometimes, I wonder where Eggnog really came from. And this thought keeps me up at night. Okay, it doesn’t. But don’t you wonder?
It’s widely accepted that Eggnog originally stemmed from an early medieval drink in Britain called “Posset”, which was a hot, milky ale-like beverage. Well into the 13th century, the drink was consumed, even by monks. At least paired with eggs and figs. And it was around this time that a rough version of Eggnog came into existence. Since eggs, milk, and sherry were considered “wealthy” food products, Eggnog was often used in toasts.
In the 1700s, Eggnog lept across the vast seas to the American colonies. Being as how the early status of the US was run rampant with chickens, cows, and a much cheaper rum, it’s no wonder the drink became easily accessible.
The name “Eggnog” is still riddled with mystery. Some speculate that the “nog” portion comes from “noggin”, which translates to a wooden cup. Also “grog”, which as you may or may not know, is a strong beer. But by the late 18th century, the amalgamate of “Eggnog” became the final name of the drink.
Die-hard lovers of the beverage claim that those who don’t like Eggnog have never tasted “the real thing”. Seeing as how Eggnog you would pick up at the grocery store is packed with sugar and as little as 1% egg yolk, I can see how this much more artificial take on the original homemade version would deter people. I, for one, happen to like the stuff. Would I drink it every day? No. But that’s kind of the point. It’s a nice little holiday treat.
A fun little fact; George Washington had his own variation on the popular Yuletide drink. The recipe is as follows:
- One qt. milk
- One qt. cream
- One dozen tbsp. sugar (yikes)
- One pint brandy
- 1/2 pint Jamaican rum
- 1/2 pint rye whiskey
- 1/4 pint sherry (sherry, Niles?)
Mix the liquor. Separate the yolks and whites of eggs. Beat yolks. Add sugar to said yolks and mix well. Add the cream and milk, beating it slowly. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into mixture. Set it and forget it (to cool) for a few days. Taste frequently.
That seems like an intense recipe. Count us in!