The Best Alcohol for Eggnog
As we get more and more bogged down by the upcoming holidays, we might forget about one important day tucked between more notable holidays: Eggnog Day, of course! This Tuesday, December 24th, is Eggnog Day in the United States. Whether you buy it in store pre-made or make it on your own, December 24th is the perfect day to celebrate eggnog.
Brief History of Eggnog
Eggnog, when you think about it, is a pretty weird drink. Cream, nutmeg, and eggs?? Historically, it was known as “milk punch” or “egg milk punch”, which don’t sound all that much better. So how did it become such a holiday staple? Many different culinary historians debate how it came to be. However, it has been around since at least 1693. In the early Medieval Ages, it was curdled hot milk and wine. They added flavored spices in to hide the taste of the curdling (more nutmeg, anyone)?. It was originally used as a remedy for a heavy cold or the flu. However, it has since come a long way into its more modern form, thanks to the abundance of farms (with cows and chickens) in the American colonies. Plus, it’s certainly not used regularly to alleviate symptoms of the flu anymore.
What’s in Eggnog?
Eggnog is a combination of things. On one side, it has a medley of non-alcoholic components: cream, milk, sugar, and eggs! On the alcoholic side, it’s often a mix of brandy, rye whiskey, Jamaican rum, and sherry. This recipe below is George Washington’s own (heavily alcoholic) eggnog recipe, from Time.
How to Make Eggnog
To make it following George Washington’s recipe linked above, you need the following ingredients:
- Cream (1 quart – you’re making enough to share!)
- Milk (1 quart)
- 12 Eggs
- Sugar (¾ cup)
- Brandy (1 pint)
- Whiskey (½ pint)
- Jamaican rum (½ pint)
- Sherry (¼ pint)
Mixing it together is easy. The hardest bit is separating the egg yolks from the whites, which you should do first. Once that’s done, beat the egg yolks. Mix in the sugar; the egg yolks should become a much more pale color. Then, add in all of the other non-alcoholic beverages (cream and milk) and beat it slowly while you do so. Lastly, mix all of the liquor together and slowly beat in. Cool it, and you’re good to go!
However, other recipes recommend you heat up the milky liquid to raise the temperature of the eggs a bit. When in doubt, I’d go with their method rather than George Washington’s outdated one. You can find a great boozy eggnog recipe from Spruce Eats.
What Alcohol to Include?
This is a contested topic, but there are a few good choices for alcohol for eggnog. Here are the best alcohols for eggnog:
-Dark Rum or Spiced Rum
According to George Washington, brandy was definitely the most predominant alcohol. However in the end, the choice is yours!