Eggnog (sometimes Egg Nog) is a traditional element of the Christmas Season. The exact origins of eggnog are unknown, but by the 1600’s it was popular in Europe and England, where the aristocracy would drink the sweet, creamy mixture with Brandy or Wine. Due to the taxes on imports, American Colonists turned to Rum from the Caribbean. When the American Revolutionary War disrupted all coastal activity, domestic whiskey and bourbon was substituted, resulting in the recipes and varieties we all enjoy today.
If you’re planning a Christmas Party for your business, or are simply looking for a great way to enjoy the holidays and relieve some of the shopping stresses, this eggnog recipe from my grandmother will help!
Grandma Esther and Aunt Agnes
My grandmother and her sister were in charge of making the eggnog each Christmas. They would start by following the recipe, but then things would devolve from there. You see, in between tasting the eggnog, grandma and Aunt Agnes would take turns drinking straight from the Whiskey bottle. By the time everyone else was allowed to have some eggnog, grandma and Aunt Agnes were already having a great time. I suggest you do the same!
Traditional Eggnog Recipe
1 cup sugar
8 oz. Whiskey or Brandy
3 Tbsp. vanilla (yes, TBSP)
1 quart milk
Separate eggs and beat egg whites until stiff. In a separate bowl beat egg yolks until lemony. Add approximately 1 cup sugar. Then add Whiskey and vanilla. Stir in milk. Fold in egg whites. Taste and add more milk, sugar or Whiskey to taste. Serve with nutmeg.
I always double this recipe. Not only do you want to be sure that there’s enough for everyone, but this eggnog makes for amazing coffee creamer the next morning!
I also began using Brandy instead of Whiskey some years ago and found that my family and I enjoy the smooth taste quite a bit more. I had discovered, while researching traditional British Christmas menu items, that eggnog was originally made with wine or Sherry or Brandy. In America, it would have been made with Rum or Bourbon, with my German ancestors in Ohio substituting the more readily available and affordable Whiskey. Which means, of course, you can use just about any spirit you prefer.
I hope you deck the halls with this delicious drink! If you try it out, please let me know what you think! And feel free to share any special Christmas traditions or recipes of your own.