Many of us would rather sleep through Christmas and New Year’s than face the holidays without Eggnog. It’s a one-of-a kind-beverage what can be consumed warm or cold, and always seems to perk up one’s spirits. But how do you make real, traditional Eggnog? And what’s the ‘nog’ about, anyway?
“Eggnog /ˈɛɡˌnɒɡ/ (“egg nog'” or “egg-nog”), historically also known (when alcoholic beverages are added) as milk punch or egg milk punch, is a rich, chilled, sweetened, creamy dairy-based beverage traditionally made with milk, cream, sugar, whipped egg whites and egg yolks (which gives it a frothy texture, and its name) and, in some contexts, distilled spirits such as brandy, rum or bourbon.”
So… Now you know one thing that most, if not all, of your friends don’t – the ‘nog’ refers to the frothy, creamy texture. Keep reading. There’s more!
“Eggnog is traditionally consumed throughout Canada and the United States at Christmas season every year, often from American Thanksgiving until the end of the Christmas season. Eggnog has also gained popularity in Australia with supermarkets stocking pre-prepared versions of the drink. A variety called Ponche Crema has been made and consumed in Venezuela and Trinidad since the 1900s, also in the Christmas season. During this period commercially prepared eggnog is sold in grocery stores in these countries.”
How to make it…
My personal recipe uses the following, for four nice coffee cups full:
Two cups / 500 ml) Heavy Cream.
1 cup / 250 ml Whole or 2% Milk
1/4 cup / 85 ml of Pure Maple Syrup
2 large Eggs
1 tsp. / 5 ml Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup / 85 ml Dark or Amber Rum
What I do…
Separate your Eggs and use a whip to beat the Whites just to a creamy froth, not to stiff peaks. Set the Yolks aside for use later in the recipe.
Place the other ingredients, including the Egg Yolks in a chilled glass or steel bowl and whisk gently to combine well.
Add the Egg Whites and fold in gently with a spatula so as not to lose all the air in them.
Store in a tightly covered Mason Jar on the bottom shelf of your fridge.
Serve in well chilled on a chilled Red Wine glass and sprinkle with cinnamon and/or Nutmeg to finish.
About the Booze…
You can dispense with the booze if you like, but taste for ‘character’ and add a little more Syrup or Vanilla if your mixture seems a little flat.
If the booze component ‘makes’ a shot of Eggnog for you, and Rum’s not your thing, remember you can try other spirits. Or you can adjust the amount you add to your taste.
You could just go the the store and buy a quart / litre of Eggnog. And add your own booze. But it wouldn’t be the same! And commercial Eggnog has all kinds of nasty artificial colours and flavours, texturizers and preservatives in it. Do yourself and your friends and family a big favour: Make your own!
Enjoy the holidays!
~ Maggie J.