Eggnog is a popular beverage during winter festivities. While some can’t get enough of this sweet and creamy treat, others might find it revolting. After all, eggnog is not everyone’s cup of tea, or more precisely, a cup of raw eggs plus other ingredients.
And truth be told, raw eggs aren’t usually high on the list of popular drinks. But once alcohol, cream, sugar and spice are added to the mix, people get tempted. At least when it comes to eggnog: the drink has been pleasing us for more than 700 years.
The beverage of the wealthy during the cold season
Pricey ingredients like cream, sugar, eggs, spices and alcohol, used in a classical version of eggnog, meant that only the wealthy could afford it.
Eggnog also predates the invention of refrigerators, meaning it could only be enjoyed during the cold season. Therefore, the tradition of consuming this caloric drink during Christmas was born out of the necessity to preserve the freshness of the beverage.
Alcohol, contained in rum, bourbon, whiskey and sherry, also acted as a reliable preservative, slowing down the inevitable growth of mould.
The preferred choice of the 1st US president
After eggnog was introduced to the US, where the local folk had more farmlands (hence the access to milk and eggs), eggnog received wider popularity. Also, thanks to the trade with the neighbouring Caribbeans, rum, often added to the drink, was a relatively common item.
Eggnog thus soon became a part of the Christmas tradition and an absolute favourite of the likes of George Washington.
Homemade brew for the win
Today, eggnog can be safely purchased in stores, still mainly around Christmas time. However, eggnog from the carton might be a far cry from what George Washington expected in the drink, with its lack of substance and way too much sugar.
If you have access to pasteurised eggs, there is no need to wait until Christmas. Eggnog is easy to make at home any day.
This classic eggnog recipe will delight your guests
Of course, there are various substitutes for eggs and milk, should you wish to make your drink vegan. However, if you are keen on trying what George Washington considered a real deal, this recipe is a must-try.
A word of caution: children and pregnant women are advised to avoid raw eggs and alcohol, contained in this classical version of eggnog.
- 250 g / 1 cup brandy
- 125g / ½ cup whiskey
- 125 g / ½ cup rum
- 50 g / ¼ cup sherry
- 6 eggs
- 6 tbsp granulated white sugar
- 500 ml / 2 cups milk
- 500 ml / 2 cups cream
- whipped cream
- Start by mixing the alcohols together: brandy, whiskey, rum and sherry.
- Separate the egg yolks from the whites and beat them with the sugar.
- Add milk and cream to the bowl with the eggs and sugar.
- Then add the alcohol mix to the same bowl and stir.
- Now, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
- Fold the egg whites into the eggnog, one spoon at a time, and gently dissolve them in the mixture. Avoid over-stirring and knocking out the air bubbles.
- Cover the bowl of eggnog with cling film and store for at least 8 hours in a fridge to allow the flavours to develop.
Once ready to serve, pour eggnog into serving cups, decorate with whipped cream and dust with nutmeg and cinnamon.