No drink has assumed such exclusive ownership of the holiday season the way eggnog has. Its beloved rich taste is suitable for high society, and no wonder. Historically, eggnog was a drink for the aristocracy, since only they had copious amounts of dairy and eggs from their expansive farms along with a way to refrigerate them. Even today, a sip of eggnog during the holidays makes you feel a little opulent.
It can also warm your cockles, thanks to its boozy embellishments. Traditionally made with liquor, eggnog can contain brandy, rum, whiskey or bourbon, or sometimes a combination of these. Alton Brown’s eggnog recipe uses only bourbon, while Martha Stewart recommends bourbon, dark rum and cognac. But non-alcoholic eggnog loses virtually nothing in translation. You don’t have to stop with drinking it, either. Eggnog is a shoe-in for holiday treats like creme brulee and bread.
However, if your familiarity with eggnog is limited to opening a carton, you don’t know real eggnog, says Time Magazine in their Brief History of Eggnog. According to the article, “Sugar-laced supermarket versions can’t hold a candle to the homemade goodness, especially since the US Food and Drug Administration permits that the drink can be made from as little as 1% egg yolk. That often borders on “milknog” or egg flavoring.”
So, if you are after the real eggnog, it is imperative that you find some farm-fresh eggs and make your own. While usually made with sugar, eggs and milk (along with some spices) some recipes use cream to make their nog even richer. Of course, calories in eggnog can be sky-high, especially with the added alcohol. If you are using cream, indulge and still be sociable without glugging an eight-ounce glass. Opt for a shot glass or espresso cup just to get the taste, then move to something else less filling. Other health-wise alternatives include using low-fat, soy, or rice milk.
Day 2: Wild Blue Eggnog
Blueberries provide the inspiration for many holiday drinks, and eggnog is a perfect foil for the festive fruit. There are plenty of ways to add the thrill of wild blueberries to your eggnog.
This recipe from epicurious.com uses frozen blues boiled and made into a puree for a wonderful blue take on the classic recipe. They recommend biscotti as a delicious accompaniment.
Other more conservative nods to blue include adding a few semi-frozen berries swirled into the glass to create a beautiful swish of blue, followed by cream topped with a few more on the top. Or, instead of a sprinkle of nutmeg, use a sprinkle of colored sugar—in blue. It’s a wonderful way to pay homage to a superfruit.
To your health!
More Eggnog Recipes