Food With Friends: Eggnog origins

By Meaghan Sands

As we enter December and Christmas grows near, streets, shops and families are in full regalia with holiday merriment. Presents and trees are bought, lights are hung and cookbooks and recipes are pulled out to aid in making holiday baked goods. Once again, we find food and drink unique to this time of year.

Eggnog, one popular Christmas drink, has stood the test of time as a beloved yuletide beverage whether you drink it with or without liquor.

While the exact date of its conception is unknown, it was first made with liquor and culinary historians seem to be in agreement that it originated in early, medieval Britain.

This drink did not always carry the title “eggnog” and is believed to be based off of a medieval drink known as “posset.”

Made with liquors such as sherry, brandy and Madeira, this drink was only for the wealthy during toasts and celebrations. The low supply of readily available milk and eggs also added to the drink’s moderate consumption.

In the 1700’s American colonists got a hold of the drink and its popularity soared.

Colonists couldn’t afford the expensive liquors originally used, but had supplies of cheaper rums. These, paired with access to milk and eggs, made it possible for them to enjoy their version of posset.

The first recorded use of the term eggnog dates back to the late 18th century. It is believed that the colonists coined the name “eggnog” from the words “nog,” meaning a wooden cup, and “grog,” a strong beer.

From here on out, eggnog took hold of the Americas and grew in popularity, even surpassing the popularity held in its country of conception. Even today, still surpasses the level of consumption in Britain as it does here.

So, this December, you might share a glass, or two, of store-bought eggnog with family and friends, or try and make a batch from scratch so you and your party guests can have a real eggnog treat.

But don’t drink too much eggnog this holiday season. Large amounts of the spiked version could cause you to reveal a few drunken secrets, while both versions aren’t the healthiest drinks around: an average 4-ounce glass of store bought eggnog comes with 70 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 calories. and 10 grams of fat.

So as you eat and drink til you’re stuffed this holiday season, better take the safe route and avoid going for that fourth glass of hard nog.

*Information courtesy of TIME News Feed and CNN Living

Food With Friends

Food With Friends

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