The armored infantry was Santa Claus, the battle was our Christmas. What else for the elves to do on Christmas Eve but to let their hair down and drink a little eggnog.Hiroshi Sakurazaka
We all know that famous holiday drink, the one sold in stores only during the length of November through December. It’s eggnog! Whether we buy it in stores so the whole family can have a glass or make our own, eggnog has always been a staple drink for the Christmas season. The real question is, where did eggnog come from, and when did it come into existence? That’s what National Eggnog Day is all about!
History Of National Eggnog Day
Eggnog is historically also known as milk punch or egg milk punch when it is mixed with an alcoholic beverage. It’s a rich, chilled, creamy, and sweetened dairy drink traditionally created with milk and/or cream, sugar, whipped eggs which helps it gain it’s frothy texture, and sometimes mixed spirits.
The origins of eggnog are highly debated as are the original ingredients used for it. The Oxford English Dictionary claims that nog was “a kind of strong beer brewed somewhere in East Anglia” But where and when did the term Eggnog originate from?
The first time the term “eggnog” was ever used was in 1775 when Maryland clergyman and philologist Jonathan Boucher wrote a poem about the drink, which surprisingly was not published until thirty years after his death! The poem, which you’re bound to be curious about, went like this.
“Fog-drams in the morn,
or better still egg-nogg.
At night hot-suppings,
and at mid-day, grogg.
My palate can regale”
The first printed use of the term was in 1788 in the New-Jersey Journal of March 26th, which referred to a young man drinking a glass of eggnog. Eggnog may have developed from posset, a Medieval European beverage made with hot milk that curdled up when mixed with wine or ale and was then flavored with spices.
How To Celebrate National Eggnog Day
Celebrating National Eggnog Day is quite easy and enjoyable. In order to celebrate it, all we have to do is buy or make our own eggnog, sit by a fireplace or at the kitchen table, and enjoy the eggnog with our family and friends. After the children have gone to bed, we can also make an alcoholic version of the beverage to share around with the adult family and friends.
If you’ve never made Eggnog before, have a bash at the recipe below.
- 3 1/2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cinnamon stick
- generous pinch of ground clove
- 6 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup rum (optional)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Over low heat combine milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, cinnamon stick and clove in a medium saucepan. Rise the heat slowly and bring to a slow boil (it takes about 7 minutes to bring to a boil.) Once the milk mixture starts to boil take off heat and let the cinnamon stick seep for 2 minutes, remove cinnamon stick.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer combine egg yolks and sugar. Whisk together until pale and fluffy. With the mixer on low, pour the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks (tempering the yolks) whisk until well incorporated. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat on med/med-low for about 5 minutes, continually stirring, until thickened and creamy. Do not let it boil, or the nog will curdle.
- Stir in the rum, heavy cream and nutmeg and refrigerate over night. When ready to serve garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.