Eggnog has been around for a long time. Captain John Smith reported that eggnog was consumed in 1607 in Jamestown, Virginia.

    ‘Nog’ is an English word for strong ale, and eggnog was originally made with ale. Eggnog is descended from the English drink ‘posset’ or ‘sack posset’, which was a hot drink made with sweetened milk and ale or a Spanish wine called ‘sack.’

    Americans adapted it but used American liquors, like rum, or even cider. Early American cookbooks listed eggnog recipes in sections for the sick and infirm.
    -Food Facts & Trivia

Southern Custard Eggnog

Soft Custard (below)

Prepare Soft Custard. Just before serving, beat whipping cream, powdered sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla in chilled mixing bowl until stiff. Stir rum and food coloring into chilled custard. Stir 1 cup of the whipped cream gently into custard.

Pour eggnog into a small punch bowl. Drop remaining whipped cream in 4 or 5 mounds onto eggnog. Sprinkle nutmeg on whipped cream mounds. Serve immediately. Make about 10 servings of about ½ cup each.

Soft Custard

Mix eggs, sugar and salt in heavy 2-quart saucepan. Stir in milk gradually. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture *just coats a metal spoon, 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove custard from heat; stir in vanilla. Place saucepan in cold water until custard is cool. (If custard curdles, beat vigorously with hand beater until smooth) Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours but no longer than 24 hours.


*Current estimates show that there is a 1 in 10,000 chance that the eggs in your nog could contain a harmful bacteria. To avoid the possibility of food poisoning it is recommended that you slowly heat the eggs to 160º F before using. Another way to tell if the eggs are ready is if they coat a metal spoon.

Here's a little history about this delightful little drink!

Eggnog translated from an old English dialect word, East Anglia from unheard-of origins was used to describe a kind of strong beer called noggin and means eggs inside a small cup. An alternative name from Britain is egg flip. The term eggnog was used on both sides of the Atlantic in the early nineteenth century but earliest records indicate its use as early as the seventeenth century.

Still it appears to have originated as an English where eggnog was the trademark drink of the upper class where recipe descended from a hot drink called posset, which consists of eggs, milk, and ale or wine. Some speculate that eggnog was used for medicinal purposes, served to serfs who were under the weather and it wasn't long before people realized it tasted too good to be medicine,

Eggnogs From Around the World

A welcome concoction it has been easily adapted around the world.

Germany The Germans had a favorite drink which they consumed in alehouses called Biersuppe, meaning Beer Soup, an egg based ale.

France Had a drink called Lait de Poule, a mixture of egg yolks, milk, sugar and spirits, such as sherry, rum or brandy.
Hence the name may have been taken from the German ale and the ingredients from the French Lait de Poule, changed and somewhat derived from became the modern term known as Eggnog.

Netherlands "For your collection: Eggnog in the Netherlands is called "advocaat", and is made of eggs, sugar, vanilla and brandy," says sloebertje.

Puerto Rico Not surprisingly, rum is the liquor of choice and has been readily adopted by the nog lovers in the United States. However, in Pueto Rico it has the added novelty of being made with fresh coconut juice or coconut milk.

Mexico Eggnog is called rompope and added to the recipe a heavy dose of Mexican cinnamon and rum or grain alcohol, enjoyed as a liqueur. Created by the nuns of Santa Clara in the state of Puebla.

Peru Further south Peruvians celebrate the holidays withbiblia con pisco an eggnog made with the Peruvian pomace brandy called pisco.

American South Bourbon has replaced ale the richer and stronger, the better. In New Orleans it is referred to as a sillabub, a less potent mixture than eggnog but just as rich. It’s made with milk, sugar and wine and is somewhere between a drink and liquid dessert.

Author and noted historian James Humes writes about eggnog in To Humes It May Concern, 1997.

    " You have to remember, the average Londoner rarely saw a glass of milk. 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. But it became most popular in America, where farms and dairy products were plentiful, as was rum. Rum came to these shores via the Triangular Trade from the Caribbean; thus it was far more affordable than the heavily taxed brandy or other European spirits that it replaced at our forefather's holiday revels."

Happy Holidays!

Compiled from


The Story of Eggnog:

I spent Christmas, 1987 in the home of a friendly Belgian family. I was in the Army, stationed in Hanau, West Germany. The family I was staying with was in a religious group affiliated with the Word of God, the American group my family is a part of.

The father of the family, Luc, took me shopping to get food for the Christmas dinner. When we arrived at the store, he asked me if there was anything that Americans traditionally consumed on Christmas that I might want. All I could think of was eggnog, so that's what I told him.

"Eggnog?", he said.
"Yeah. Eggnog."
"Hmm... what's in this eggnog?"

By some fluke of nature I actually knew how to make eggnog (though the recipe I knew varies slightly from those mentioned above.) I began to list the ingredients for him (he was visibly pleased by the fact that rum was involved) and quickly arrived at vanilla.

"I don't know this word, vanilla", he said.
"Oh, well vanilla is... it um tastes like... um, vanilla".

I knew from his blank stare that this wasn't going to be an acceptable explanation if we were going to find vanilla in the store. "Um, lets just go to where the spices and flavorings are," I said. "I'll know it when I see it."

I lied. I picked up numerous boxes and noticed that they were all labled in French and Dutch, but not English. It occurred to me that I was at a total loss. I couldn't possibly pick vanilla out of all these spices, and I couldn't describe vanilla. Then it hit me:

"White ice cream!" I blurted out. "It's the flavor of white ice cream!"
"Ahhh...." he smiled, and pulled a box from the shelf.

Homemade Eggnog

Eggnog is my favorite holiday drink. You can make it spiked or nonalcoholic; either is delicious.

Simple Single-Person's Eggnog

Get a big, wide-mouthed glass or plastic tumbler (the 16 oz variety works fine here, but you have to like eggnog). Fill with the following, in order:

Mix the above together in your glass with a spoon. Now, fill your glass with plain whole milk. Skim milk won't suit most people's tastes here. If you're using a large glass, you might want to only fill it 2/3 full, or else your drink will lack sufficient egginess. If you are lactose intolerant, you can try substituting unsweetened soy milk.

Thoroughly mix up the 'nog with your spoon or a small wire wisk. Fish out any lingering clumps of egg white. Dust with nutmeg if you have it. Drink and enjoy!

Fancy Whipped Eggnog

Having a party? Then presentation is probably important to you, and the quick in-the-cup preparation method I described above just won't do. Try the following recipe if you're pulling out the stops (and the little glass punch cups!) for your next holiday shindig. You'll need:

Mix the egg yolks, sugar, salt, and liquor or flavoring until the mixture is smooth. Whip the whipping cream. Beat the egg whites until they stand up in peaks. Fold the sweet yolky-alcoholic goodness into the whipped cream. Then, fold the egg whites into the yolky cream. Chill the whipped 'nog thoroughly, then dish out into little cups with spoons and dust with nutmeg and/or cinnamon. This recipe should be enough for 12 servings.

Store-Bought Eggnog

I can hear you now: "Gosh, Lucy, those recipes sound yummy, but haven't you heard of a little thing called salmonella? I don't want to spend the holidays sick as a dog over a little cup of 'nog."

Indeed, I have experienced the miseries of salmonella several times, never due to eggnog, but it's enough to put me off any raw egg products. As a result, I haven't made homemade eggnog in a while, instead preferring to buy pasteurized nonalcoholic quarts at the grocery store.

When I was a kid and eggs were considered safe to drink raw, grocery store eggnog seemed close to vile. But today, it seems much better and quite drinkable. I recently got a quart of store brand eggnog at Giant Eagle that has been quite tasty.

Using Eggnog as a Mixer

Store-bought nonalcoholic eggnog works marvelously well as a base for creating all manner of creamy, eggy drinks. Lometa has touched on the many liquors used in regional eggnog recipes, but it goes far beyond that. Unlike regular milk, eggnog won't curdle in the more acidic liquers. Try citrus or coconut flavored liquers for a tasty sweet drink.

Last night, I experimented with mixing eggnog with clear Italian lemon liquer (limoncello). The result tasted just like lemon pudding with a kick. Got some vanilla vodka? Try it for a vanilla pudding flavor.

You can also try mixing eggnog half-and-half with sodas. Vanilla cream soda works beautifully for this, as does ginger ale, root beer, and colas.

I know the thought of mixing eggnog with something like Pepsi might seem revolting, but it's really quite good (think of how tasty a root beer float with vanilla ice cream is). The carbonation adds a nice subtle bite that can make the eggnog more interesting if you don't want an alcoholic version. I had my first Pepsi eggnog the other night, and later I caught our kitten drinking the dregs out of my glass, so he thinks it's pretty yummy, too.

- For a joyous drunken revel

Makes about 2.3 gallons. The quantities for the more manageable 2.25 quart volume are in ( ). This requires at least 9 hours of chilling time, so make it ahead!

This fantastic eggnog tastes deceptively light, and is truly intoxicating. Sitting overnight allows the liquor to mellow. The resultant milk of paradise is richly flavored and not at all harsh. Rather ironically, I got this recipe from a Jewish friend. Needless to say, this would only be served on a dairy night!

Additional needs
  • An egg beater
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • Something from which to serve
  • Someone sober to drive home. Or, if you are home, someone to tuck you into bed. Pick someone who is lactose intolerant….

Beat the yolks, preferably with a whip or whisk attachment, until they are light in color. Continue to beat while adding half the sugar. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, mix the rest of the sugar with about 20% of the whiskey. Add this to the yolks while beating on high speed, but be careful as it may splash. Add all the rum, and mix until well blended and the sugar is dissolved. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.

A few hours before serving, beat the cream until it is thick but not holding peaks. Add the milk to the cream, and then add the milk and cream to the yolk mixture. Add the remaining whisky, mix thoroughly and chill at least 1 hour. Sprinkle the top generously with nutmeg before serving.

Additional notes

Regarding salmonella. The yolks sit with quite a bit of alcohol and sugar for a rather long time. I find it unlikely that salmonella would survive this particular torture. However, if it worries you, do what I always do when I use eggs in a recipe with little or no cooking. Thoroughly wash your eggs in cold water and then lightly dry them off before you use them. Any salmonella on the shell will be washed down the drain. If you have the bad luck to have a salmonella infected egg, one with salmonella on the inside, make sure to keep the eggs and eggnog properly chilled at all times and you'll be fine.

ke6isf suggests the use of pasteurized eggs for the recipe. I've no experience with the things, but it's an intruiging idea. I believe it's done by irradiation.

My friend with the recipe always made the point of saying, as I was measuring the booze, 'Measure generously.' So I say to you now, the quantities of the liquor are a tasty guideline, but don’t be obsessive about the measuring. It is a time of joy after all!

Regarding spare egg whites. Angel food cake anyone? Meringues? Almond macaroons? Or freeze them individually in a plastic ice cube tray and save 'em for later. All sorts of recipes require egg whites, and a few added to scrambled eggs, etc. are invisible. So eat up them whites!

Egg`nog" (?), n.

A drink consisting of eggs beaten up with sugar, milk, and (usually) wine or spirits.


© Webster 1913.

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