All About Eggnog
By Marie Gorbenko Published November 2021
‘Tis the season where households across America celebrate the holidays with soft, nostalgic mountains of white—and, no, we’re not referring to a white Christmas. It’s time to talk ‘nog! No drink is quite as synonymous with the holiday season as eggnog, but have you ever wondered how spiked dairy became the celebrated Christmas drink of choice? Here’s the scoop (or pour) on the creamy concoction that captures the holiday spirit.
What is eggnog?
Also known historically as milk punch or egg milk punch, eggnog is a rich and sweet, dairy-based beverage consisting of milk, cream, sugar and tempered eggs. This festive milk is most often served chilled and garnished with cinnamon or nutmeg; however, eggnog’s most festive and favored ingredient is usually a distilled spirit—such as rum, brandy, whiskey, or bourbon. Today, we’re also seeing eggnog used in novel and inspired ways acting as the base of brewed coffees, teas and desserts, adding a fun seasonal twist to classic favorites.
Where did eggnog originate?
While the exact origin of this boozy holiday drink is a bit ambiguous, most historians agree that eggnog began as a hot, non-alcoholic mixture in England at some point during the 17th century. Luckily for us, the British colonists in North America decided to turn up the fun dial and began adding rum during the next century, turning the drink into something similar to what we delight in today. When rum was unavailable due to lack of access or heavy taxes, the colonists would substitute any spirit in lieu of rum to ensure that their ‘nog was properly spiked.
By the time the 19th century rolled around, eggnog had become such a popular drink that it became a holiday staple all over the newly formed nation. With eggs being both cheap and plentiful, eggnog naturally became the beverage of choice to serve at large holiday gatherings. And while premade, non-alcoholic eggnog is certainly an option, we like to focus on the classic, spirited version.
How is eggnog made?
What’s the best alcohol to put in eggnog? It’s up to you! Our traditional, chilled, boozy version allows you to choose your spirit of choice and makes it easy to create the time-honored and tasty treat at home. You’ll need:
6 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar, split into ¾ and ¼ portions
½ teaspoon salt
16 ounces heavy cream
16 ounces whole milk
Freshly ground nutmeg
Separate eggs into yolks and egg whites. In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks and add ¼ cup of sugar until the yolks are lighter in color and the sugar is dissolved. Add the milk, cream, spirit of your choice and salt and whisk it all together. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and remaining sugar until you have stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the bowl with your creamy mixture. Chill for three hours before serving. Top each glass with freshly ground nutmeg. Serves 10-12.
Can you buy premade eggnog?
Need a seasonal drink in a pinch? You can also tuck into a premade version. While crafting some creamy goodness from scratch can be a delightful way to get in the holiday spirit, you may not always have the time for prepping and mixing. Enter our selection of delicious premade eggnogs.
Wondering which to choose? The ever popular Evan Williams Egg Nog is sure to be a crowd favorite, with 93% of our customers giving it the green light when asked if they would purchase again. With scrumptious aromas of crème brûlée and nutmeg and a creamy vanilla and smoky bourbon taste, it’s no wonder that this sweet concoction remains a holiday mainstay.
Craving a sweet deal? Our Zackariah Harris Eggnog is not only packed with notes of caramel, and hints of vanilla, oak and barley with corn sweetness and a bit of honey on the nose; but it’s also part of our special Sourced & Certified Collection —providing you with ABC-exclusive products at an excellent price.
Perfect for group gatherings, these premade eggnogs are great holiday party savers and taste just like the homemade versions—your guests won’t be able to tell the difference.
Looking for more ideas to spread the holiday cheer? Check out our spirited gift guides for everyone on your shopping list this season.