I’ve often wondered why humans ever thought drinking a spiced and spiked egg-yolk-and-milk mixture was a good idea. I mean that just doesn’t sound very appetizing to me. Nonetheless, I was coaxed into trying it many years ago and it has become an essential part of my holidays. And I’m not alone. Eggnog has charmed drinkers for nearly a millennium.
Culinary historians still debate its exact lineage, but most agree eggnog originated from the early medieval Britain “posset,” a hot, milky, ale-like drink. Our forefathers certainly loved their holiday eggnog. George Washington even penned his own famous heavy-on-the-alcohol eggnog recipe. Unfortunately he must have enjoyed a few cups before he wrote it down because he forgot to record the exact number of eggs in his recipe. Cooks in his era estimated a dozen would do.
George Washington’s Heavy-on-the-Alcohol Eggnog
One quart cream, one quart milk, one dozen tablespoons sugar, one pint brandy, 1/2 pint rye whiskey, 1/2 pint Jamaica rum, 1/4 pint sherry—mix liquor first, then separate yolks and whites of eggs, add sugar to beaten yolks, mix well. Add milk and cream, slowly beating. Beat whites of eggs until stiff and fold slowly into mixture. Let set in cool place for several days. Taste frequently.
There are lots of variations on eggnog today. Please share some of your favorites!