A Brief History Of A Favorite Holiday Beverage:
What Christmas celebration would be complete without the traditional drink of eggnog? Eggnog is a rather interesting beverage that I haven’t thought much about and yet it has always been a part of my childhood. After doing some research I learned the history behind the drink which I found very interesting.
The exact history of both the drink and the name is debated and there are many different theories about it. The first theory says that eggnog originated in East Anglia, England. It is believed to have been made during medieval times and was a drink made from hot milk. The name is thought to have originated from “noggin” which was a Middle English word for the mug that alcohol was served in.
Another idea was that it originated in colonial America as egg and grog. Grog refers to a traditional drink made with rum. It is thought that over time the name was shortened to egg’n’grog and then simply to eggnog. Eggnog was a drink popular with aristocrats due to the difficulty to get the ingredients for it which often included brandy or sherry.
The rum was a cheap alternative to lower class individuals in colonial America as it could easily be obtained from the Caribbean. After the American Revolution however, rum was hard to come by so it was replaced with whiskey and eventually bourbon.
Along with alcohol if you want, eggnog is typically made from raw eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and the occasional spice such as cinnamon or nutmeg. In the modern day eggnog is mass produced as a nonalcoholic drink for everyone. The FDA has made new guidelines concerning the health risks with raw eggs and milk as an ingredient so modern eggnog has less than 1 percent egg or milk products.
Eggnog varies greatly from brand to brand with many different ingredients. Some eggnog brands substitute cream with gelatin and others add vanilla. Many companies also offer eggnog made with soy, rice, or coconut-milk for vegans and those with dairy allergies.
From an interesting history from Europe and colonial America, all the way to the modern day refrigerator, eggnog is a traditional Christmas drink that has been made into many forms for everyone to enjoy.