Egg nog recipes
The egg is the star of nog recipes extraordinaire
Poor Scrooge. The grumpy old humbug quickly would have lost his scowl if his lips more often had kissed the chilled brim of a goblet full of golden nog. Egg nog is the cherished topper to any holiday festivity. A glass of egg nog raised in a toast is a sure way indeed to welcome a new year and pay tribute to days of old. Friends and family alike are sure to be mellow when sipping a serving of egg nog.
Egg nog in one form or another has been around for centuries. Its exact origins are hazy but aficionados tend to agree it evolved from beverages known in ancient Rome that evolved into medieval concoctions of wine, beer and milk. High class merchants, royalty and other aristocracy in England partook of the frothy delight—a mixture of cream and sugar beaten into whipped eggs fortified with some kind of alcoholic beverage. In the days before refrigeration, it was mostly those in a privileged social class that had access to eggs, sugar and milk.
The choice of alcohol varied from country to country. Wine, beer and brandy have been used. When egg nog recipes made their way from the Old World to other countries such as colonial America the alcoholic ingredients tended to be whatever spirits were most plentiful, most inexpensive and least taxed.
Various regions adapted the recipes to whatever was grown locally—sugar cane, hops, grapes and such—and then processed, fermented and bottled in the area. Hard to believe access to a full menu was scarce in the old days. Today, food is plentiful in most pantries and gourmet foods online bring the world to the doorstep. But rum was the favorite additive in the 1700s in America.
• America: rum
• Puerto Rico: rum
• England: brandy or wine
• New Orleans: bourbon
• Mexico: grain alcohol
• Germany: beer
The name of the drink may be a blend of commonly used words. Rum was called "grog" by most colonials. Therefore, it is easy to see how the name "egg grog" may have evolved into "egg nog". Making matters more complicated is this bit of colonial trivia: a noggin was the name for a small serving mug routinely used at taverns to serve such drinks. Egg grog, egg grog served in a noggin, a noggin of egg grog…ordering the drink from a colonial barkeep probably went faster when one just said, "Egg nog, please." Wouldn't you like to whip up some egg nog recipes right now?
Non-alcoholic Holiday Egg Nog
2 ½ cups sugar
3 tablespoons vanilla
1 ½ tablespoons nutmeg
4 tablespoons sugar
A dash of cream of tartar
2 pints whipping cream
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1 cup milk; used to thin nog if desired
Separate 12 eggs, putting yolks into a decorative punch bowl and reserving whites for later use. Add to the yolks in the punch bowl 2 ½ cups of sugar. Beat until thick and yellow. Mix in 3 tablespoons vanilla. Mix in 1 ½ tablespoons nutmeg. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, whip egg whites until medium stiff; add a dash of cream of tartar and four tablespoons sugar. Add whites to punch bowl. In another bowl, whip 2 pints whipping cream. Add to punch bowl. Add to punch bowl 1 pint vanilla ice cream. Thin egg nog to desired consistency milk—regular or low fat is okay. Make a couple days ahead, if possible to bring nog to its full flavor.
Quick and Easy Egg Nog with Brandy
3 quarts milk—whole or nonfat, your choice
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons nutmeg
3 teaspoons vanilla
2-3 cups whipping cream, whipped
2 ½ cups brandy
1 cup flavored brandy, your choice
1 cup of honey
Separate 12 eggs and mix the 12 yolks and 1 cup of honey in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whip the 12 whites until they form soft peaks. Add the mixed yolks to the whipped whites and blend well. Add the 3 quarts of milk, the vanilla, the cinnamon and the alcoholic ingredients to the yolks-whites mixture and blend well. Whip the 2-3 cups of whipping cream and add shortly before you plan to serve the egg nog. Transfer everything to a large punch bowl. Sprinkle decorative accents of nutmeg over the top.
Some helpful tips about food safety and food handling
Eggs are a wonderful ingredient to many holiday dishes. Egg nog recipes, however, usually call for uncooked—raw—eggs. Always inspect your eggs. Are the shells clean? Are there any cracks? Make sure to keep all refrigerated ingredients cold until use. A little prevention guarantees that your guests will depart from your festive celebration with a full belly—and not a belly ache.