Eggnog is an Annual Christmas Tradition with Interesting Roots
Found at Christmas Lore
If you love the great beverage options that are a part of the Christmas season, you might be wondering about the history of eggnog. There are many beverages associated with the winter months, particularly during the holiday season. During December many of us enjoy hot apple cider, hot cocoa, and, of course, eggnog. Below you’ll find some interesting information about the history of eggnog during the Christmas season.
What Came First – Christmas or the Eggnog?
Drinking eggnog at Christmas is believed to go back as far as the early 1600s. Eggnog actually was a beverage that was common to the upper class in England during the 1800s. Eggnog is actually a “descendant” of a British drink called posset which contained eggs and milk but also ale. The word eggnog has an interesting etymology. It is believed that the “nog” in the word eggnog refers to a noggin, which was a wooden mug that was used to serve drinks in taverns.
A Long-Lived Tradition
Centuries later, eggnog is still an incredibly popular drink during the holiday season. There are many variations of eggnog, and each family seems to have their own secret recipe. There are tons of recipe variations for eggnog. Generally, though, the U.S. version of eggnog includes milk, sugar, egg yolks, and heavy cream. During Colonial times, rum was used as the alcohol. Sure, there are other popular drinks during the colder months such as hot cocoa or hot apple cider, but these drinks don’t have a personality of their own the way eggnog does. Eggnog truly is a very social drink during the Christmas season.
This Christmas when you drink a cup of eggnog, keep in mind the interesting history of the drink you learned about here. Sure, you’ll still want to enjoy hot cocoa and apple cider, but Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without a cup of eggnog.
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 1 cup half-and-half (equal parts cream and milk)…
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar…
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg…
- 6 Tablespoons dry sherry…
Blend cream and half-and-half in pan and bring to a simmer. Separately, whisk egg yolks and sugar to combine, then gradually whisk hot cream mixture into yolk mixture. Return to same pan. Stir over medium-low heat (do not boil) about 4 minutes until it thickens and leaves a path on the back of a spoon when finger is drawn through it. Strain into bowl. Cool slightly and stir in nutmeg.
Divide into glasses (warm or cold) and stir in 1 Tablespoon of sherry into each, if desired. extra nutmeg to sprinkle over, then serve.
* Boozey Eggnog*
Source: "Gooey Desserts" by Elaine Corn
Yield: 25 Servings.
- 1 qt Milk
- 1 Vanilla bean OR 1 tblsp extract
- 12 Egg yolks
- 2 c Sugar
- 1 c Dark rum
- 2 c Bourbon
- 1 c Cognac or other brandy
- 8 Egg whites
- 3 tblsp Sugar
- 1 qt Cream
- Freshly grated nutmeg
For Base: In a heavy medium-sized saucepan, barely boil the milk with the vanilla bean, which has been split lengthwise, scraped with the back edge of a knife and added to the milk — seeds, pod, and all (if using vanilla extract, you’ll add it after eggnog base has cooked). Meanwhile, place a large fine-mesh strainer over a bowl set in a large bowl of ice. Beat the yolks and sugar together in the top of a double boiler, by hand or with electric beaters, until thick and smooth, about 1 minute. Whisk in the hot vanilla milk. Cook in the double boiler set over simmering water, stirring constantly all around the bottom and corners with a rubber or wooden spatula. In time, foam will subside. The eggnog base is done when it coats a wooden spoon without bare spots, 12 to 15 minutes. Immediately pour through strainer, stirring to cool. When cool to the touch, slowly whisk in all liquors (if using vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean, add this now, too). Store eggnog base in refrigerator overnight or up to three days, to ripen.
To Complete Eggnog: At serving, remove vanilla bean and pour eggnog base into a large punch bowl. Beat egg whites with 3 tablespoons sugar to stiff peaks; fold into eggnog mixture. Beat cream to stiff peaks and fold it in, too. Let some lumps of the cream and egg whites float on surface. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Serve immediately, using a ladle.
* Yule Bread*
Posted by Willowsong from The Dance
- 1 cup milk
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 cup lukewarm (100F) water
- 1 tbsp dry yeast
- 1 beaten egg
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp mace
- 6 cups flour
- 2/3 cup blanched raisins
- 2/3 cup fruit cake fruit
- Red and green candied cherries to decorate
Scald milk. Pour into a large bowl and add sugar, salt, and butter. Stir until butter melted. Cool to lukewarm. Meanwhile, dissolve 1 tsp sugar in 1/2 cup lukewarm (100F) water and sprinkle dry yeast over top. Allow to stand for 10 minutes. When yeast is a fluffy layer on top of the water, stir briskly with a fork to mix. Add to lukewarm milk mixture, and add egg, cinnamon, nutmeg and mace. Stir in 2 1/2 cups flour and beat vigorously for five minutes. This mixing allows gluten formation, which gives the bread a springy texture. Add raisins and fruit cake fruit. Work in another 2- 2 1/2 cups flour. Turn dough onto a floured surface and kneed 9 minutes. Add up to another cup of flour if the dough gets sticky. Sing appropriate chants or carols while kneading, and meditate on the returning of the light. Shape into a smooth ball and place in a buttered bowl. Rotate dough in bowl to grease surface. Cover with a damp tea towel. Allow to rise until dough is doubled in volume (1 1/2 to 2 hours). Punch dough down and divide into three equal parts. Roll each into a long snake about 1" in diameter. Take the three rolls, and braid them together. Form the braid into a wreath. Cover the ends with red and green cherries to decorate. Lay on a greased cookie sheet. Brush top of wreathe with melted butter. Allow to rise under the damp tea towel for another 45 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
Bread will sound hollow when tapped when cooked. Brush top with melted butter. Place on cake racks to cool. Put the wreathe into the oven to warm while you go out to watch the sunrise on Yule morning. Your house will smell wonderful and you will have a hearty breakfast when you return home.
* Eggnog Yule Bread *
Submitted by Bev
Makes 1 – 9×5 inch loaf.
This eggnog bread would be good sprinkled with confectioners sugar and served with Yule breakfast. Ingredients:
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup eggnog
- 2 teaspoons rum flavored extract
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease bottom only of a 9×5 inch loaf pan, or three 3×5 inch loaf pans. Blend together the eggs, eggnog, rum extract, sugar, vanilla and butter. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Add to eggnog mixture and stir just enough to moisten; pour into prepared pan. Bake bread in large pan for 40 to 60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Breads baked in the smaller pans require 35 to 40 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, and remove from pan. Cool completely, wrap tightly and store in refrigerator.
* Holiday Eggnog Cheesecake *
Ingredients for crust:
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup margarine, melted
- Combine crumbs, sugar, nutmeg and margarine; press onto bottom of 9-inch
- spring form pan.
Ingredients for Cheesecake:
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 8-oz. package Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup eggnog
- 1 cup whipping cream, whipped
Soften gelatin in water; stir over low heat until dissolved. Combine cream cheese and sugar, mixing at medium speed on electric mixer until well blended. Gradually add gelatin and eggnog, mixing until blended. Chill until slightly thickened; fold in whipped cream. Pour over crust; chill until firm. Garnish with additional whipped cream and nutmeg if desired.
Makes 10 to 12 servings.
Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.