While the exact origin of the eggnog we know and love today remains hazy, it is clear that the drink evolved from milk and alcohol punches dating back to renaissance Europe. In the days before refrigeration, it made sense to mix perishable dairy products with alcohol -- not that you should ever rely on booze rather than refrigeration to keep your eggnog fresh.
The alcohol of choice during the renaissance was wine or ale. It was the American colonists who brought rum and brandy to the eggnog mix.
As far as the name, there seems to be many theories, so it all depends on who you believe. Grog was a slang term for rum in Colonial times; one theory has the "gr" morphing into an "n." Similarly, Nog was an English word for ale, so it might have to do with that. Yet another hypothesis attributes the name to the small wooden cups called noggins that were originally used for serving the drink.
In the 1800's eggnog was nearly always made in large quantities, much like it usually is today. After all this is a party drink and is most closely associated with the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
Captain John Smith reported that eggnog was consumed in 1607 in Jamestown, Virginia.
George Washington was an aficionado.
At various times and places in history, eggnog was also known as Egg Flip.
A Tom and Jerry is a popular eggnog variation that includes brandy.
1 1/2 cups egg substitute (equivalent of 6 eggs)
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups evaporated skim milk
2 cups low-fat milk or skim milk
Refrigerate liquids in advance. Beat the egg substitute for 2 or 3 minutes with an electric mixer at medium speed until very frothy. Gradually beat in the sugar, vanilla and nutmeg. Stir in the milk by hand. Chill before serving.
Let guests add their own rum or brandy or a sprinkle of nutmeg, if desired.
Kim, Great back up. I should have posted a recipe too. Forgot some don't have the same traditions. My Mother and one brother used to drink this all the time at Christmas. But to me it is such a rich bev. I never cared for it.
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