Tuesday, 16 December 2008

16 December - What is Eggnog anyway?

Eggnog is a popular drink throughout the Americas, and is usually associated with winter celebrations such as Christmas and New Year, funnily enough. But what exactly is it?

To put it scientifically, it is a sweetened dairy-based beverage made with milk, cream, sugar, beaten eggs (which gives it a frothy texture) and flavoured with ground cinnamon and nutmeg. However, to most it is simply a tasty alcoholic festive drinks that warms the cockles of the heart on a cold winter's night.

The drink originated in Europe in the 1700s. To keep them warm during the cold winters people developed a drink that mixed warm milk and eggs with Sherry or Brandy to keep the chill at bay. This was served in a noggin - a small, wooden mug - and, as a result became nicknamed 'eggnog'.

During the 1800s Eggnog became hugely popular in England, especially at Christmastime. It was served as a classic punch, in large volumes to all holiday visitors. It was served both warm and cold to anyone who came calling during the winter season.

Did you know...?
American President George Washington loved eggnog and made up his own recipes.

If you're a fan of Eggnog yourself or you've never tried it before and would like to give it a go, then why not try out this simple recipe from Sarah Rutledge's The Carolina Housewife (1847)?


6 eggs
2 pints of milk
Half a pint of brandy
6 table-spoons of sugar

Beat the yolks and sugar together, and the whites until they are very hard. Mix in the brandy, then boil the milk and pour it into the mixture. 19th century Eggnog - done!

Did you know?
Eggnog has long been believed to be an excellent source of magnesium.

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