A comforting, creamy beverage that is often served at holiday parties, eggnog is traditionally served spiked. The recipe has been modified through the years to accommodate food sensitivities and adapted to suit many cultures.
Whether you love it or hate it, here are seven fun facts about this classic drink.
1. Most culinary historians agree that eggnog is a descendent of the British posset, a drink made with hot, spiced milk curdled with ale or wine.
2. The main ingredients of eggnog – raw eggs, milk and sugar – are the basic components of ice cream. The addition of alcohol makes eggnog difficult to freeze.
3. Eggnog recipes that contain alcohol can be aged since the alcohol acts as a preservative. The drink’s taste is usually best after aging it for at least a month.
4. George Washington was a fan of eggnog, and he often served it to visitors at his Mount Vernon estate. His version included rum, rye whisky and sherry.
5. Eggnog that is sold in grocery stores does not include raw eggs. Modern versions of homemade eggnog use pasteurized eggs to avoid the risk of salmonella.
6. Eggnog’s flavors are extremely versatile. Some use eggnog as a substitute for coffee creamer while others integrate the flavors of the beverage into tasty treats like cookies, cheesecake and fudge, just to name a few.
7. Individuals dealing with food allergies don’t need to avoid eggnog. Use almond milk or coconut milk instead of cream if you have dairy sensitivities. Diabetics can sweeten it naturally with pureed dates and a frozen banana or go even further by using sugar-free vanilla instant pudding mix and a sugar substitute packet in place of eggs and sugar.
-8 eggs, separated
-⅓ cup sugar
-½ teaspoon salt
-4 cups whole milk
-2 cups heavy whipping cream
-1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1 cup bourbon, optional
-½ cup amaretto, optional
Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and salt until smooth and light in color. Add in the whole milk, whipping cream, nutmeg, vanilla, bourbon and amaretto (if using). Whisk until smooth. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or using a hand mixer, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form — about four minutes. Fold the whipped egg whites into the cream mixture until smooth. Chill until cold then serve with more freshly grated nutmeg on top.