Eggnog, Egg nog, Egg flip, milk punch, egg milk punch, Tom & Jerry – there are numerous names for one of the most popular Christmas drinks out there. The light yellow, creamy beverage is a holiday essential in several English-speaking countries, foremost the US and Canada.
While there are countless variations of the Eggnog, they are all based on the same principle: a long drink with egg, milk, cream and sugar. Even though, the traditional drink usually contains some type of spirit, there are also non-alcoholic versions suitable for children. Eggnog is sweet and smooth. The ingredients blend into a unique flavor that doesn’t instantly reveal the raw eggs. Nevertheless, knowing about the content may put off one or another.
Most Americans love to drink the Christmas cocktail nicely chilled. However, hot Eggnog can also be a great alternative to mulled wine. In this case, it is often called a Tom & Jerry in North America. A warm cup of the frothy gold will make even the toughest winter more bearable. Either way – hot or cold – it is absolutely delicious!
What’s The “Nog” In Eggnog?
Like with many traditional dishes or drinks, the true origins of Eggnog aren’t entirely clear. There are probably as many theories about its name as there are different recipes for the festive drink, today.
Most traces lead to England as the place of origin. That is for the basic concept of the drink. Ingredients and the name of today’s Christmas classic were later modified in the United States. After it appeared in written form for the first time in 1796, the Eggnog had already turned into the ultimate winter drink in the following century. No cook book would be complete anymore without a recipe for the beloved beverage.
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This still leaves us with the question about where the name came from. Well, there are several possibilities. In the East Anglian dialect, a strong beer was called “nog”. As a drink with eggs and ale was already common in the area before the invention of the American version, a combination of the words could have led to the new name. Or was it maybe a malapropism together with “grog”, the name for rum in colonial-time America? A third possible explanation has nothing to do with the ingredients but the cup they were served in. Back in the days, a “noggin” was a small wooden drinking vessel in English pubs.
Of course you can simply get any king of ready-to-drink egg punch in the supermarket or order it online. The offering of commercially produced versions is huge, especially during Christmas season. But, after all, nothing really beats a proper Eggnog made from scratch at home. For that reason, you can find our super simple and traditional recipe below. Please note: raw eggs can be harmful. To prevent contamination with salmonella, only use the freshest eggs. Our recipe also suggests heating the mixture to help kill off potential bacteria.
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Eggnog by JillWellington on Pixabay