Eggnog Day: Whip up a glass of liquid Christmas

Published: Saturday 24th December 2016 by Rich Sutherland

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As well as Christmas Eve, today is Eggnog Day.

If you’re not familiar with it already, eggnog is a chilled, sweet and creamy seasonal drink. Traditionally made with milk, cream, sugar and whipped eggs, you can also add spices or even alcohol to improve the flavour.

The history behind the froth

The origins of the festive drink are highly debated. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the ‘nog’ was a strong East Anglian beer.

It is also believed that eggnog may have developed from posset, a drink from Medieval Europe. People would add hot milk to wine or ale to make it curdle, and then flavour it with spice.

Weirdly enough, the first time the word ‘eggnog’ was ever used was in America, where it featured in a late-eighteenth century poem written by clergyman and philologist Jonathan Boucher:

“Fog-drams in the morn,

or better still egg-nogg.

At night hot-suppings,

and at mid-day, grogg.

My palate can regale.”

How best to celebrate Eggnog Day

You can probably guess how people honour Eggnog Day: with a glass of it, of course! On Christmas Eve, sit down in front of a cosy fire or at the dinner table with friends and family, and enjoy a mug of the frothy stuff.

What you need

  • 1L milk
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 12 egg yolks
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 1L single cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 600ml light rum (optional)

How to make it

  1. Combine the milk, cloves, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and cinnamon in a saucepan. Heat over the lowest setting for 5 minutes, then slowly bring to the boil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk together until fluffy.
  3. Whisk the hot milk mixture slowly into the eggs.
  4. Pour the mixture into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes, or until thick. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
  5. Strain to remove cloves, and let it cool for about an hour.
  6. Stir in the rum (if desired), cream, 2 teaspoons vanilla and nutmeg.
  7. Serve in mugs or glasses.

With Christmas being a time for relaxing, Eggnog Day gives us the perfect reason to all sit down together for some quality time.

Why not exchange some stories or jokes over this festive beverage, or just watch the telly or a box set together? Whatever you like to get up to over the seasonal holidays, you can’t beat doing it whilst sipping something delicious.

It’s also a great opportunity to get the kids involved in the kitchen. Even something as simple as making eggnog will prove a fun activity for all ages. Plus, encouraging a DIY attitude will give them a sense of empowerment and achievement.

Then of course there’s the extended family, friends, neighbours and other visitors. Invite people over for a Christmas catch-up or a gift swap, and offer them a glass of eggnog whilst they’re round. Chances are that many of them won’t have tried it before, and it’s always fun to enjoy new experiences at this time of year.

However you decide to celebrate Eggnog Day, make sure to do it in the spirit of the season: take your time, share with as many people as possible, and feel free to indulge a little. Plus with it being Christmas Eve, you might want to leave a glass out for Santa.

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Published: Saturday 24th December 2016 by Rich Sutherland

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