Know what’s on the top of my grocery list right now? Eggnog. Because we’re out, and this won’t do. As soon as the first cartons appear in the supermarket, my daughter is clamoring for it…and I’m with her. Though it was an acquired taste for me, it’s one I now adore–both the store-bought version, and the homemade variety that I’ll splurge on making for Christmas morning.
But what’s the history of eggnog, and how did it get tied to Christmas?
The beverage itself dates back to the Middle Ages as “posset,” a drink that combined milk, eggs, alcohol, and spices. The egg part of its eventual name, then, is obvious–and it seems that nog was a strong, ale-like drink, though no one’s quite sure on the etymology of that part. The ingredients, however, were expensive, which meant it was reserved for the wealthy or for times of celebration.
At least until the recipe came to America. Since so many people here had farms, and hence access to cream and eggs and cheap Caribbean rum, eggnog quickly became a favorite beverage for special occasions for everyone. George Washington even shared his favorite recipe (which was quite heavy on the liquor, LOL). The drink became known as eggnog first in America around 1775.
Are you an eggnog fan? Store bought? Homemade? With or without alcohol? (My daughter and I prefer it without, but my husband enjoys the flavors more with a dash of sherry or rum in there.)