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Nog Your Average Holiday Drink

Love it or hate it – ’tis the season for eggnog.

How Americans named the simple (yet odd) concoction of milk, eggs & booze – and why you should be drinking it in a wooden mug.

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Toasting History

In medieval times, “posset” was made of hot milk & eggs, which only the wealthy could afford. Brandy or sherry kept it from spoiling.

When it came to America in the 18th century, milk & eggs were common. Colonists used rum instead of other heavily taxed liquors.

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What’s in a Name?

“Colonists referred to rum as grog; bartenders served rum in small wooden carved mugs called noggins. Thus the drink eventually became
egg-n-grog and over time eggnog.”

Frederick Opie, food historian & Babson college professor
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Why a Holiday Drink?

While the ingredients for eggnog are available year-round, it is usually enjoyed October – December.

It’s not clear how it became associated with Christmas, but it makes sense there was less work to be done in the fields during the winter (who wants to plow after a few eggnogs?) & more reasons to get out the spirits and celebrate.

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Eggnog Fun Facts

  • George Washington loved eggnog, serving a concoction with 3 different types of liquor: rye whiskey, rum & sherry. (recipe on our website)
  • West Point cadets rioted in 1826 when commanders threatened to disallow their spiked eggnog.
  • Eggnog varies around the world, like Ecuador’s “Ponche de Leche” or Scotland’s “Auld Man’s Milk.”
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If eggnog has raw eggs in it, why is it safe to drink? Store-bought eggnog is pasteurized (heat treated to kill bacteria). If you make it at home, the FDA advises heating it because alcohol alone won't make it safe. ...unless it's... like George Washington strong.

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