Eggnog is not a global thing, it’s a western culture thing! Who knew?
Honestly, I thought it was everywhere! And I thought everyone loved it.
It isn’t and they don’t.
I used my fancy red punch bowl once and filled it with eggnog.
40 people in the house, and I was the lone ranger at the punch bowl.
Traditionally consumed in Canada and the US, eggnog is a Christmas season beverage. It usually goes on sale around Thanksgiving (American in November) and lasts until they run out of the stuff in January.
I love the stuff, but it’s generally a take it or leave it kind of thing.
Most people add booze to their eggnog – I do not.
I tried the stuff for the first time when I was in High School, and I’ll admit; it was spiked!
I won’t go into details, but nowadays, someone would probably go to jail…but hey it was the 60s. Things were different.
When alcohol is added, rum, brandy, and bourbon are the choice.
Back in the day it was Seagram’s 7. (The booze of choice for Germantown teens, if I remember correctly!)
But, I digress.
As I was saying, it’s a Western thing. A few South American nations partake, but they call it Ponche Crema, and it’s not all that widespread.
So, where did it come from?
Who thought UP this crazy, thick, sweet concoction that is either loved or hated.
Really, there is no middle ground.
Origins and ingredients are debated.
Honestly, we can’t agree on much anymore!
According to many sources, nog was a strong beer brewed in East Anglia – a large area of England to the north and east of London.
Or, maybe it comes from the small carved wooden mug used to serve alcohol in pubs across the area.
In the 1760s, there was a drink called egg flip, which got its name from the way it was made. The mixer poured the concoction from one container to another to mix it UP!
Some say it is an Americanism – a word invented in the US of A in the mid 1700s, but Captain John Smith, in his diaries used the term eggnog in 1607 while in Jamestown , VA.
One college professor insists that it is the combination of two words – colonial slang – and stems from rum which was called grog, which was served in the noggin mug mentioned earlier. He says the colonials called it egg-n-grog, and as the accent or state of stupor changed, it was slurred into eggnog. This is disputed by the folks at dictionary.com who tend to think the Scot’s version of the drink and word is probably more accurate.
Of course the Scots called it nugged ale, and with the influx of Scots-Irish into the US, it could have come from there.
BTW, they warmed their nugged ale, or eggnog with a hot poker from the fire place.
Hey, the microwave was a long time away!
Other online dictionaries say it is truly an American term and didn’t show UP until 1775 along with our independence. Apparently a Maryland clergyman, Jonathan Boucher wrote a poem about the drink. Not published until 1805, it contained the line, “fog-drams I’ the morn, or better still egg-nogg at night hot suppings and at mid-day grogg. My palate can regale…
Not a catchy tune, American Bandstand would give that a 2!
The first printed use of the word wasn’t until 1788 when some dude in New Jersey referred to a young man drinking a glass of eggnog.
And in 1869 we saw the first dictionary entry for the stuff where it was defined as a mixture of wine, spirits, eggs, and sugar. Dairy got not cred.
The debate rages in culinary circles – those people can be vicious. Especially the culinary historians. They all think it comes from posset; a medieval drink made with hot milk and then curdled with wine or ale and the occasional spice like nutmeg or some such.
Honestly, everyone has an opinion.
Well, everyone except the Norwegians.
So, back to the stuff, a couple of tips:
When you add booze, it’s no longer eggnog, it’s milk punch or egg milk punch. Technically – but, hey, who’s technical at Christmas?
Really fattening; the average cup has 225 calories, but many brands can reach 400 or more! Add the booze and YIKES!
A single cup can contain the equivalence of 15 packets of sugar and the saturated fat of a Big Mac.
But, hey, it’s Christmas! You can diet in January.
Drink UP, I say, Drink UP! Maybe I’ll have a party, the punch bowl gets no play!