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Eggnog is a sweetened dairy-based beverage made with milk, cream, sugar, beaten egg (which gives it a frothy texture), and flavoured with ground cinnamon and nutmeg; alcoholic versions also exist with the addition of various liquors, such as brandy, rum, whiskey and/or advocaat.

Eggnog is a popular drink throughout the United Statesmarker, Canadamarker and Luxembourgmarker and is usually associated with winter celebrations such as Christmas and New Year. Commercially, non-alcoholic eggnog is available around Christmas time and during the winter.


The origins, etymology, and even the ingredients used to make the original eggnog drink are debated. Eggnog, or a very similar drink, may have originated in East Angliamarker, Englandmarker, though it may also have been developed from posset (a medieval European beverage made with hot milk). An article by Nanna Rögnvaldsdóttir, an Icelandicmarker food expert, states that the drink adopted the "nog" part of its name from the word "noggin", a Middle English term used to describe a small, wooden, carved mug used to serve alcohol. Another name for this British drink was Egg Flip. Yet another story is that the term derived from the name "egg-and-grog", a common Colonial term used to describe rum. Eventually the term was shortened to "egg'n'grog", then "eggnog".

The ingredients for the drink were too expensive and uncommon for the lower classes, but it was popular among the aristocracy. "You have to remember, the average Londonermarker rarely saw a glass of milk," says author and historian James Humes (To Humes It May Concern, July 1997). "There was no refrigeration, and the farms belonged to the big estates. Those who could get milk and eggs to make eggnog mixed it with brandy or Madeira or even sherry."

The drink crossed the Atlanticmarker to the English colonies during the 18th century. Since brandy and wine were heavily taxed, rum from the Triangular Trade with the Caribbeanmarker was a cost-effective substitute. The inexpensive liquor coupled with plentiful farm and dairy products helped the drink become very popular in America.


Modern eggnog typically consists of milk, sugar, nutmeg, and eggs. Frequently cream is substituted for some portion of the milk to make a much richer drink. In some eggnogs you can find gelatin. Toppings may include vanilla ice cream , meringue, or whipped cream.

Eggnog can be produced from homemade recipes, however ready-made eggnog containing alcohol and "just-add-alcohol" versions are available for purchase. Whiskey, rum, brandy, or cognac are often added. Since the 1960s, eggnog has often been served cold and without alcohol, both of which are significant departures from its historical origins. Lowfat eggnog is commercially available or it may be prepared in the home using skimmed or lowfat milk. In North America, a few soymilk manufacturers, including the widely available brand Silk, offer seasonally-available, soy-based alternatives for vegans and those with dairy or milk allergies. Eggnog may be added as a flavouring to food or drinks such as coffee and tea. Eggnog-flavoured ice cream, for example, is a seasonal product in the United States and Canada.


Eggnog is typically served as a Christmas drink or during New Year's Eve in the United Statesmarker, Canadamarker and Luxembourgmarker. American Thanksgiving (late November) falls at the beginning of the season in which eggnog is typically consumed, but the product begins appearing in stores around Halloween and can be found in a small handful of stores year-round. Historically it has been a winter beverage not specifically associated with any holiday.

See also

External links


  2. Low Fat Eggnog
  • Rombauer, Irma S. and Marion Rombauer Becker (1931 [1964]) The Joy of Cooking, pp 48, 50. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill. ISBN 0-452-25665-8.

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