Whenever I hear the word Eggnog it reminds me of a scene from one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s also pretty much required watching in my house around the holidays. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. In the scene we have two of the most memorable characters from the movie, Clark Griswold and Cousin Eddie. They stand and chat while drinking eggnog out of glasses shaped like a moose. Then comes one of my favorite lines as they both stand around the Christmas tree. Clark says “Can I refill your eggnog for you Ed? Get you something to eat? (under his breath) Drive you out to the middle of nowhere, leave you for dead?” It’s an unforgettable moment in the movie and relatable if you have a crazy family like I do. So let’s find out about a drink that just might make your holidays more tolerable if you have a family like this or top off your holiday if you don’t.
The Moose Mugs are available on Amazon by the way!
Is Pre-Made Eggnog Better Than Homemade?
Eggnog is a traditional drink for the holidays in the United States and Canada but the popularity has spread to countries like Australia, Venezuela, and Trinidad. In these countries it is known as Ponche Crema. In some areas in goes by the name “milk punch” or “egg milk punch”. The reason they call it this is because it is an egg based recipe. It is made with milk, cream, sugar, whipped egg whites, and egg yolks and served chilled. Here are some of the best that you can buy.
Then of course there is the alcohol part. Alcohol like brandy, rum, whiskey, and bourbon have all been added to the mixture to make it a real holiday hit.
In an article from time.com Elizabeth Dias wrote “While culinary historians debate its exact lineage, most agree eggnog originated from the early medieval Britain “posset,” a hot, milky, ale-like drink. By the 13th century, monks were known to drink a posset with eggs and figs. Milk, eggs, and sherry were foods of the wealthy, so eggnog was often used in toasts to prosperity and good health.”
So it’s been around for a long time. So the question is, should you buy your eggnog or make it? Well, here are some things that might help you make the decision. The version you see in stores is usually mass produced and primarily made with more milk than eggs. The FDA permits it to be made with just 1% egg yolk, which is a far cry from the normal recipe. However, some folks like the idea that they can run out to the store and grab something that tastes like the “holidays” without doing any of the work. You can choose from non-alcoholic or from many varieties of alcohol laden “nogs”.
The alcohol content of the eggnog varies widely. Homemade recipes tend to be heavy on the alcohol while the store made are a little more conservative. If you don’t believe me, well then let me tell you about a recipe by a little known guy by the name of George Washington. His recipe is super heavy on the booze. Here’s his recipe via food.com
George Washington’s Eggnog
- Mix Liquor First
- Separate yolks and whites of the eggs.
- Add sugar to beaten yolks and mix well.
- Add combined liquors to the yolk and sugar mixture, drop by drop at first, slowly beating it all the while.
- Add cream and milk and mix thoroughly.
- Beat the egg whites until stiff and gently fold these into cream liquor and yolk mixture.
- Let this sit in the refrigerator for several days.
- Taste frequently.
So is that a recipe or what? We’ll get to some more recipes later on but I just wanted you to know what the store bought versions are up against before I introduce them to you. Also, if you love the smell of Eggnog then check out this amazing candle on Amazon.
Alcoholic Eggnog Brands
- 30 Proof
- Taste – Velvety custard flavor, toasty vanilla and caramel flavors
- Aroma – cinnamon and nutmeg
Christian Bros Holiday Nog
Christian Brothers enriches traditional nog with the creamy, smooth taste of their top selling brandy.
- 30 Proof
- Taste – Creamy custard
- Aroma – rich cream with fruity bouquet
Recipes For Homemade Eggnog
If you prefer to control what you put into your drinks then here are some recipes for Eggnog that may peak your interest. The nice thing about a recipe is that you can always deviate a little in order to achieve the goal you want, like less fat, less booze, etc. Here are some of the best.
Amazingly Good Eggnog
- Combine milk, cloves, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and cinnamon in a saucepan, and heat over lowest setting for 5 minutes.
- Slowly bring milk mixture to a boil.
- In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar.
- Whisk together until fluffy.
- Whisk hot milk mixture slowly into the eggs.
- Pour mixture into saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes, or until thick. Do not allow mixture to boil.
- Strain to remove cloves, and let cool for about an hour.
- Stir in rum, cream, 2 teaspoon vanilla, and nutmeg.
- Refrigerate overnight before serving.
- Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a medium bowl until light and creamy.
- In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the cream, milk, nutmeg and salt. Stir often until mixture reaches a bare simmer.
- Add a big spoonful of the hot milk to the egg mixture, whisking vigorously. Repeat, adding a big spoonful at a time, to temper the eggs.
- Once most of the hot milk has been added to the eggs, pour the mixture back into the saucepan on the stove.
- Whisk constantly for just a few minutes, until the mixture is just slightly thickened (or until it reaches about 160 degrees F on a thermometer). It will thicken more as it cools.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Pour the eggnog into a pitcher or other container and cover with plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate until chilled. It will thicken as it cools. If you want a thinner, completely smooth consistency, you can add the entire mixture to a blender with 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk and blend until smooth.
- Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon, and fresh whipped cream, if desired.
Dietary Restrictions Around the Holidays
Vegan living is no longer a fad or a passing phase. There have been serious studies done on the effects of a vegan diet for the human body. There is still much to be learned but it looks promising as one of the healthiest lifestyles. There are finally more options available to those looking to live a vegan lifestyle. Now you can have your eggnog too!
Per bestproducts.com “Dairy-free, soy-free, and made with nut milk, this Almond Milk Holiday Nog from Califia Farms is so tasty, you might choose it over more traditional dairy-based options. We think the subtle ginger and nutmeg flavor plus the touch of sea salt really knocks this nog out of the park.”
$6 for 48oz.
- 25 Proof
- Taste – deliciously smooth spirit
- Aroma – delightful cream, vanilla, and nutmeg
Drinking Eggnog On A Diet
If you’ve ever decided to start a diet before the holidays then you know exactly how easy it is to get derailed. However, some live by a certain lifestyle or have dietary restrictions that won’t allow them to take part in the festivities. Well, you’re in luck. Eggnog has a lot of work arounds for those of you who feel left out. Below are some of the varieties to get you back in to the party!
Horizon Organic Lowfat Eggnog
Not only is this option organic but it only has 3 grams of fat per serving, without skimping on the taste.
$5 per Quart
Why miss out on the festivities because you have an allergy to lactose. This one hits the spot with a great taste and none of the lactose to ruin your party.
$3 per Quart
A Warm Eggnog For Cold Nights
If you thought Eggnog was only coming out of the fridge then, phew, are you in for a surprise. Warm eggnog is as good as a Chai Tea Latte, gourmet hot chocolate, or a freshly brewed, artisan coffee. It’s just what the Doctor ordered with temperature dips.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks on high speed until thick and creamy. Add sugar and beat on high again until very light, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add salt and beat to combine. Set aside. In another large bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, heat the milk, cream, and vanilla over medium heat. Do not boil. When small bubbles begin to appear, whisk the hot milk into the yolk mixture. Add the beaten whites and the cognac and stir until everything is incorporated.
- Fill a punch bowl and let everyone serve themselves, or pour egg nog into serving cups and sprinkle a generous amount of freshly grated nutmeg on top. Drink hot.