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George Washington is the Author of an Eggnog Recipe

Have you ever wondered about the history of eggnog and how humans thought chugging a spiced and spiked egg yolk and milk mixture was a great idea?

Culinary historians debate its exact lineage - However, 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 posset with eggs and figs.

Milk, eggs, and sherry were foods of the wealthy; therefore, eggnog was often used in toasts to prosperity and good health!

How did eggnog become tied to the holidays?

The historic record seems to indicate that eggnog was an aristocratic drink in Great Britain, enjoyed by the upper classes at various times of year. But it was not associated with any particular holiday until after it was brought to America.

One source says it was originally drunk by the British, with brandy and sherry added. Since rum was less expensive in the colonies, whereas brandy was taxed heavily, locals made the switch to spike their beverage with something more affordable.

During the American Revolution, sources of rum dried up. This explains why spiked eggnog became a beverage for occasions, served only at the holidays – because of scarcity during the Revolutionary War, based on reduced trade in the Caribbean.

Mexico adopted the eggnog varietal "rompope," and Puerto Rico has the "coquito," which adds coconut milk.

The English name's origin however remains a mystery! Some say "nog" comes from "noggin," meaning a wooden cup, or "grog" a strong beer.

By the late 18th century, the combined term “eggnog” stuck.

If you aren't a fan of eggnog, you may have simply never tasted the real thing. Sugar-laced supermarket versions don't compare to the homemade goodness! Especially since the US Food and Drug Administration permits that the drink can be made from as little as 1% egg yolk. That seems more like 'milknog' to me!

George Washington penned his own famous heavy-on the-alcohol eggnog recipe, but he never recorded the exact number of eggs - Cooks in his era estimated a dozen would suffice:

Recipe via Time's Website

  • One quart cream

  • One quart milk

  • One dozen tablespoons sugar

  • One pint brandy

  • 1/2 pint rye whiskey

  • 1/2 pint Jamaica rum

  • 1/4 pint sherry

—mix liquor first, then separate yolks and whites of eggs, add sugar to beaten yolks, mix well. Add milk and cream, slowly beating. Beat whites of eggs until stiff and fold slowly into mixture. Let set in cool place for several days. Taste frequently!

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