Eggnog, or egg nog, is a sweetened dairy-based beverage traditionally made with milk and/or cream, sugar, beaten eggs (which gives it a frothy texture), and liquor. Brandy, rum, moonshine, or whisky is sometimes added; and the finished serving would be garnished with a sprinkling of ground cinnamon or nutmeg.
Eggnog is a popular drink throughout the United States and Canada, and is usually associated with winter celebrations such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year. Commercial non-alcoholic eggnog is typically available only in the winter season. Eggnog may be added as a flavouring to food or drinks such ascoffee and tea. Eggnog as a custard can also be used as an ice cream base.
The Food Network has great recipes for making Eggnog. You can find them by clicking here.
The origins, etymology, and the ingredients used to make the original eggnog drink are debated. Eggnog may have originated in East Anglia, England; or it may have simply developed from posset, a medieval Europeanbeverage made with hot milk. The "nog" part of its name may stem from the word "noggin", a Middle Englishterm used to describe a small, carved wooden mug used to serve alcohol. However, the British drink was also called an Egg Flip (from the practice of "flipping" (rapidly pouring) the mixture between two pitchers to mix it).
Another story is that the term derived from "egg and grog", a common Colonial term used for the drink made with rum. Eventually that term was shortened to "egg'n'grog", then "eggnog".
The ingredients for the drink were expensive in England, so there it was popular mainly among the aristocracy. "You have to remember, the averageLondoner rarely saw a glass of milk," says author and historian James Humes (To Humes It May Concern, July 1997). "There was no refrigeration, and the farms belonged to the big estates. Those who could get milk and eggs to make eggnog mixed it with brandy or Madeira or even sherry."
The drink crossed the Atlantic to the English colonies during the 18th century. Since brandy and wine were heavily taxed, rum from the Triangular Tradewith the Caribbean was a cost-effective substitute. The inexpensive liquor, coupled with plentiful farm and dairy products, helped the drink become very popular in America. When the supply of rum to the newly-founded United States was reduced as a consequence of the American Revolutionary War, Americans turned to domestic whiskey, and eventually bourbon in particular, as a substitute.
Traditional eggnog typically consists of milk, sugar, raw eggs, and spices, usually nutmeg. Cream may be included to make a richer and thicker drink, though some modern eggnogs add gelatin. Vanilla is a common flavouring, with grated nutmegsprinkled on top. Other toppings may be whipped cream, meringue, cinnamon, ice cream, and chocolate curls.
Eggnog can be homemade from recipes. Ready-made eggnog versions are seasonally available and may contain whiskey, rum, brandy, bourbon, or cognac. Since the 1960s, eggnog has often been served cold and without spirits, both of which are significant departures from its historical origins.
Though eggnog is high in fat and cholesterol, low-fat and no-sugar formulations are available using skimmed or lowfat milk. Some North American manufacturers offer soy- or rice-based alternatives for vegans and those with dairy allergies.
Under current U.S. law, commercial products sold as eggnog are permitted to contain milk, sugar, modified milk ingredients, glucose-fructose, water, carrageenan, guar gum, natural and artificial flavourings, spices (though not necessarily nutmeg),monoglycerides, and colourings. The ingredients in commercial eggnog vary significantly, but generally raw eggs are not included.
For concerns about the safety of selling products made from raw eggs and milk, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has changed or altered the definition of eggnog a number of times towards artificial replacements for the large number of eggs traditionally required. Modern FDA regulations permit eggnog to contain less than 1% egg yolk solids and "milk or milk products." In the home and in restaurants, alcohol free eggnog can be made more safely by using pasteurized eggs.