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Prep 15 mins
Cook 15 mins
Thick, rich, creamy and oh-so-very-delicious! Serve this traditional eggnog in a large punch bowl for a stunning holiday presentation---and let the festivities begin! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Requires at least 2 hours chill time, and may be prepared up to 24 hours in advance. Makes 12 cups. Here is some interesting eggnog history I would like to share with you (information is adapted from various internet sources): Today Eggnog is synonymous with Christmas - there's even an Eggnog Day (24th December). However, some questions beg to be asked as to where this drink originated and how it got its name. History of Eggnog: Also known as an Egg Flip, the predecessor of today's eggnog is believed to have started life in England as early as the 8th Century. Originally a concoction made of milk mixed with alcohol, frequently beer and perhaps some spices, it was known as a posset and was initially taken for medicinal purposes but certainly by the 1550s, they had become a more fashionable drink amongst the upper classes with posset sets being a popular gift. It's possible that other parts of Europe were drinking possets too as Mary 1 of England was given a posset set from the Spanish Ambassador, though it's possible he just bought it when he arrived in England. By the 17th century, these milk "punches" had been transformed into celebratory beverages, often used to toast the health of friends and family albeit still mainly enjoyed by the more wealthy. One reason given for its popularity was the fact that there was no refrigeration so milk couldn't be kept for too long. By this time, alcohols such as Madeira, sherry and Brandy had replaced the original beer mixer, and eggs had been added, making an altogether more smooth rich drink. The drink crossed the Atlantic to the English colonies during the 18th century, and soon became a popular wintertime drink throughout Colonial America. Although dairy produce was plentiful, imported items such as wine and brandy were being heavily taxed (and thus very expensive), and so they started using rum from Carribean trading which was much more affordable. When the supply of rum to the newly-founded United States was reduced as a consequence of the American Revolutionary War, Americans turned to indigenous whiskeyï¿½and eventually bourbon in particularï¿½as a substitute. Eggnog, in the 1800s was nearly always made in large quantities and nearly always used as a social drink. It was commonly served at holiday parties and it was noted by an English visitor in 1866, "Christmas is not properly observed unless you brew egg nogg for all comers; everybody calls on everybody else; and each call is celebrated by a solemn egg-nogging...It is made cold and is drunk cold and is to be commended." Of course, Christmas was not the only day upon which eggnog was popular. In Baltimore it was a tradition for young men to call upon all of their friends on New years day. At each of many homes the strapping fellows were offered a cup of eggnog, and so as they went they became more and more inebriated. It was quite a feat to actually finish one's rounds. Our first President, George Washington, was quite a fan of eggnog and devised his own recipe that included rye whiskey, rum and sherry. It was reputed to be a stiff drink that only the most courageous were willing to try. How Eggnog (often spelled egg nog) got its name: Although eggnog is often defined as ï¿½eggs inside a small cup", no-one knows for sure how the drink got its name. The "egg" bit is simple enough but the "nog" bit is a little more challenging. Taking its origins into account, here are three possibilities: 1) Nog was a 17th century English name for a strong beer. 2) Noggin was an old English name for a small, wooden, carved mug used to serve drinks at table in taverns (while drinks beside the fire were served in tankards). 3) Grog was the name 18th century sailors gave to a dilution of rum and water served aboard British Naval vessels to prevent drunkenness. It's probably a mixture of all three. Today forms of eggnog are also made in many other countries including Germany (Eierlikör), Spain (ponche), Holland (advocaat), Puerto Rico (coquito) and Mexico (Rompope). 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. Some eggnogs add gelatin. Toppings may include vanilla ice cream, meringue, or whipped cream. Today, whiskey, rum, brandy or cognac are often added. As you can see, eggnog is still a popular drink during the holidays, and its social character remains. It is hard to imagine a Christmas without a cup of the "nog" to spice up the atmosphere and lend merriment and joy to the proceedings.
- Mix egg yolks, granulated sugar and salt in a 4 quart saucepan.
- Gradually stir in half & half cooking over medium heat. Continue to cook and stir until mixture coats metal spoon, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Place saucepan in cold water until custard is cool.
- Beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually stir in powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form.
- In a large punch bowl gently stir together the custard, brandy or rum (or rum extract), cinnamon and nutmeg. Fold in beaten egg whites.
- Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 hours, no longer than 24 hours.
- Cook time does not include chill time.
- Garnish with whipped cream and dust with additional nutmeg, if desired.
- Makes 12 cups.