Food

What is eggnog, why do we drink it at Christmas and whats the best recipe?

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Eggnog is a Christmas staple – for some, anyway (Picture: Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/UIG via Getty Images)

Eggnog is a bit like Marmite – its either your festive staple and provides you with an instant Christmas hit, or the pure fact it not only has egg in its name but also involves drinking raw egg is enough to put you off so much youve never tried it.

Its been around for centuries but, while its generally known to be rich, creamy, pale-coloured drink, theres often confusion over whats actually in eggnog.

Whether youve never tried the stuff and want to know more, youve had a few sips and dont really understand the hype or youre addicted and want to make your own at home, here is your essential eggnog guide…

What is eggnog?

Essentially, eggnog is a delicious (well, that bit is subjective), mix of beaten egg, sugar, cream, milk, nutmeg and booze – typically brandy, rum or whiskey, sometimes all three.

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There are tonnes of recipes for making festive eggnogs (check out our ultimate boozy kind below), and the fresh is most def the best.

However, Or perhaps youve tried the ready-made supermarket variety and vowed never to let it pass through your lips again.

Eggnog with Cinnamon and Nutmeg at Christmas Time in front of the fireplace

Why do we drink it at Christmas?

Much like mulled wine or excessive amounts of sherry and Baileys, eggnog is very much a drink that only comes out to play during the festive period.

The history of eggnog states that the first recorded recipe of the drink was in 1775.

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Brits used to enjoy a drink called posset, which was a mix of hot milk, ale and spice. However, then the wealthy upper classes go involved and started adding expensive sherries or brandy to the mix. This helped stop the milk from spoiling without the use of fridges.

Eggnog can be made at home and its more delicious than the shop-bought varieties (Picture: Getty)

Eggnog soon made it across the pond to the America, which is when rum was used instead of sherry, brandy or, at times, whisky.

It became known as a Christmas drink as it was originally served warm but also because spices and certain liquors were hard to come by in the year, so people savoured it at Christmas as a special treat.

Whats the best recipe?

There are various eggnog recipes around, some not using vanilla extract, some not using cream. They also use varying amounts of alcohol – or none at all – but we find the boozy one the best.

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Metro.co.uks Hazel Patterson used to be averse to the idea of eggnog until she made her own and discovered its potent creamy awesomeness.

Forget eggnog lattes and go the whole nog hog. (Picture: Sarsmis)
  • 8 very fresh organic eggs, separated into yolks and whites
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 500ml double cream
  • 500ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 300ml bourbon
  • 200ml rum
  • 100ml brandy
  • freshly grated nutmeg

Beat the egg yolks with the caster sugar until thoroughly combined, gradually beat in the alcohols, the vanilla, the milk and 250ml of the double cream. Ideally you should then cover this mixture with cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for 2 hours. (The mixture can be left in the fridge for up to two weeks – when first American president George Washington used to make his, he insisted on it being refrigerated for at least two days to let the flavours mellow). When youre ready to serve, beat the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff peak stage. Remove your mixture from the fridge and give it a good stir. Stir in the whipped egg whites then whip the remaining double cream and stir that in also. Serve in glasses topped with freshly grated nutmeg and a cinnamon stick (or you could serve with a chocolate flake instead!). This recipe will serve around 10-12 guests.

MORE: 25 festive cakes and cookies to bake over Christmas

MORE: From worst to best – the definitive ranking of Christmas food

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Food

What is eggnog, why do we drink it at Christmas and whats the best recipe?

Your ads will be inserted here by

Easy Plugin for AdSense.

Please go to the plugin admin page to
Paste your ad code OR
Suppress this ad slot.

Eggnog is a Christmas staple – for some, anyway (Picture: Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/UIG via Getty Images)

Eggnog is a bit like Marmite – its either your festive staple and provides you with an instant Christmas hit, or the pure fact it not only has egg in its name but also involves drinking raw egg is enough to put you off so much youve never tried it.

Its been around for centuries but, while its generally known to be rich, creamy, pale-coloured drink, theres often confusion over whats actually in eggnog.

Whether youve never tried the stuff and want to know more, youve had a few sips and dont really understand the hype or youre addicted and want to make your own at home, here is your essential eggnog guide…

What is eggnog?

Essentially, eggnog is a delicious (well, that bit is subjective), mix of beaten egg, sugar, cream, milk, nutmeg and booze – typically brandy, rum or whiskey, sometimes all three.

Advertisement Advertisement

There are tonnes of recipes for making festive eggnogs (check out our ultimate boozy kind below), and the fresh is most def the best.

However, Or perhaps youve tried the ready-made supermarket variety and vowed never to let it pass through your lips again.

Eggnog with Cinnamon and Nutmeg at Christmas Time in front of the fireplace

Why do we drink it at Christmas?

Much like mulled wine or excessive amounts of sherry and Baileys, eggnog is very much a drink that only comes out to play during the festive period.

The history of eggnog states that the first recorded recipe of the drink was in 1775.

Brits used to enjoy a drink called posset, which was a mix of hot milk, ale and spice. However, then the wealthy upper classes go involved and started adding expensive sherries or brandy to the mix. This helped stop the milk from spoiling without the use of fridges.

Eggnog can be made at home and its more delicious than the shop-bought varieties (Picture: Getty)

Eggnog soon made it across the pond to the America, which is when rum was used instead of sherry, brandy or, at times, whisky.

It became known as a Christmas drink as it was originally served warm but also because spices and certain liquors were hard to come by in the year, so people savoured it at Christmas as a special treat.

Whats the best recipe?

There are various eggnog recipes around, some not using vanilla extract, some not using cream. They also use varying amounts of alcohol – or none at all – but we find the boozy one the best.

Advertisement Advertisement

Metro.co.uks Hazel Patterson used to be averse to the idea of eggnog until she made her own and discovered its potent creamy awesomeness.

Forget eggnog lattes and go the whole nog hog. (Picture: Sarsmis)
  • 8 very fresh organic eggs, separated into yolks and whites
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 500ml double cream
  • 500ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 300ml bourbon
  • 200ml rum
  • 100ml brandy
  • freshly grated nutmeg

Beat the egg yolks with the caster sugar until thoroughly combined, gradually beat in the alcohols, the vanilla, the milk and 250ml of the double cream. Ideally you should then cover this mixture with cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for 2 hours. (The mixture can be left in the fridge for up to two weeks – when first American president George Washington used to make his, he insisted on it being refrigerated for at least two days to let the flavours mellow). When youre ready to serve, beat the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff peak stage. Remove your mixture from the fridge and give it a good stir. Stir in the whipped egg whites then whip the remaining double cream and stir that in also. Serve in glasses topped with freshly grated nutmeg and a cinnamon stick (or you could serve with a chocolate flake instead!). This recipe will serve around 10-12 guests.

MORE: 25 festive cakes and cookies to bake over Christmas

MORE: From worst to best – the definitive ranking of Christmas food

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