Eggnog has been enjoyed seasonally around the world for decades— but how much do you really know about this creamy, boozy holiday staple? Here’s 5 fun facts to bring with you to the next family gathering.
1. Eggnog can be made with almost any combination of spirits— or none at all.
A traditional eggnog is made of milk or cream, sugar, and raw eggs. There are a lot of recipes that also add spices like vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, and adult consumers can add their favorite alcoholic spirits.
Sure, you can go ahead and serve up a virgin eggnog, but why not put your bartending skills to the test? At least where spirits are concerned, you can’t really go wrong. But if you’re in need of a little inspiration, then check out this boozy recipe from our nation’s first president.
George Washington’s presidential ‘nog involves the following, according to kitchen records from Mount Vernon:
One quart cream, one quart milk, one dozen tablespoons sugar, one pint brandy, ½ pint rye whiskey, ½ pint Jamaica rum, ¼ pint sherry—mix liquor first, then separate yolks and whites of eggs, add sugar to beaten yolks, mix well. Add milk and cream, slowly beating. Beat whites of eggs until stiff and fold slowly into mixture. Let set in cool place for several days. Taste frequently.
2. It tastes better aged.
If you’re determined to take a stab at making eggnog at home, then be sure to plan enough time to let it age before it’s served.
The amount of time you let it sit in the fridge is entirely up to you, but it is thought to improve the flavor significantly. In fact, eggnog can afford to age from anywhere between a few days to supposedly several years, if stored properly and with plenty of booze— though the sweet spot seems to be around three weeks.
The ratio of alcohol to other ingredients in the ‘nog is actually incredibly important where sterilization is concerned. The Chicago Reader recommends you use at least 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor for every egg (get pasteurized eggs to be extra safe), and to consider holding off on adding the dairy until you’re ready to serve it.
3. There are strict guidelines for what qualifies as commercially acceptable ‘nog.
In homemade eggnog, there is usually about 1 egg per serving; but according to The Code of Federal Regulations, the amount of egg yolk solids allowed in store-bought eggnog cannot come to less than 1% of the weight of the finished food. The product must also be “pasteurized or ultra-pasteurized and may be homogenized.”
Other guidelines describe what ingredients, flavorings, sweeteners, and coloring agents are allowed in the drink and how it should be labeled.
4. The seasonal Eggnog Latte originated from a famous coffee house.
The drink, which includes espresso, eggnog, milk, and ground nutmeg, was invented by Dave Olsen in 1986. He designed the beverage as a holiday special for Il Giornale, a small Seattle coffee chain owned by Howard Schultz.
When Schultz bought Starbucks a year later, he rebranded his stores but kept the Eggnog Latte, which has returned to menus every October since.
5. Eggnog continues to change what the world is drinking.
In addition to being a delicious seasonal treat, eggnog has continued to be innovated by beverage developers and drink brands around the globe.
Today, there are plenty of dairy-free eggnogs on the market, made using flavor substitutes and other ingredients like coconut, soy, or almond milks. Eggnog-flavored creamers powders, and syrups also make a great addition to everything from coffee to milkshakes.
Thanks to all of this innovation, eggnog has grown into a category all its own – with options to suit a variety of tastes! Whatever way you choose to enjoy your eggnog, this delicious beverage makes a wonderful treat for any holiday celebration. Cheers!
If you’ve got an innovative idea for the next take on eggnog, Flavorman can help you bring it to life! Get started by filling out this webform or by giving us a call at (502) 273-5214.