In honour of National Eggnog Day (which also coincides happily with Christmas Eve), let’s devote a chapter to this delicious holiday drink. A delightful concoction of spiced and sweetened milk, cream, beaten eggs and a shot of liquor, eggnog is a very popular beverage served during the festive season.
So where did eggnog get its unique-sounding name from? We know that the presence of eggs in the recipe explains the first part of the moniker, but what about the “nog” part? Although we can’t be certain of its origin, there are a few theories on the subject. One is that the drink was actually called “egg an’ grog”, and later got shortened to “eggnog”. Another story maintains that because the drink would be served in carved wooden mugs called “noggins”, its name came to be derived from it. It could even be a combination of both these tales!
Regardless of which legend holds true, eggnog continues to live on in our festive traditions, in no small part because of its wonderful flavour and of course, a generous doze of whisky. So without further ado, let’s look at some variations of this rich dessert-drink.
A traditional recipe for eggnog uses several whole eggs, a few additional egg yolks, sugar, whole milk, whipping cream, grated nutmeg, vanilla extract and an ample measure of whisky and/or rum. Seagram’s Canadian whiskey would make for an excellent choice in complement with the other ingredients.
While this classic version is well-loved by all, why not spice things up and experiment with a few other delicious flavours? Not only will your guests appreciate the creativity, they are sure to love the stuff and will probably want seconds, so do make the batch large enough!
For a sophisticated spin on the regular version, add about 200 grams of chopped and melted dark chocolate to the classic recipe, and whisk it in with the cream after cooking the mixture. This one will satisfy all the chocoholics out there (and there are many)! The rich flavours of dark chocolate pair marvellously with Jameson Irish Whiskey, so consider spiking your chocolate eggnog with this gem for a smooth and rare treat.
Substitute both milk and cream with coconut milk and coconut cream for a tropical touch reminiscent of a Caribbean summer! So what if it’s the dead of winter? This is an effective way to lift the seasonal blues in style. A blended scotch whisky goes best with the taste of coconut, so 100 Pipers whisky is one very suitable option, as is Ballantines whisky, for those with refined palates. Garnish the eggnog with coconut curls for added flourish.
This one’s for all the health conscious folk who diligently watch their diets even at a party during the holiday season! Simply substitute the whole milk and cream with fat-free (or low-fat) milk, and the sugar with 2 sachets of artificial sweetener. Add a shot of blended Scotch to retain flavour while keeping the calorie count low— Aberlour whisky would be a safe bet.
So raise a toast to the year about to end, and keep your spirits up!