December 24 is not just Christmas Eve; it is also the day eggnog lovers rejoice: National Eggnog Day!
Eggnog, also known as egg milk punch, is a sweetened dairy beverage that is made with milk or cream, sugar, spices, whipped eggs. It is available for sale in the United States from mid-November to January. Its popularity is shown by the fact that an estimated 135 million pounds of eggnog are consumed each year in the United States.
Many people wonder why eggnog isn’t made year round. Manufacturers would do so if it were cost effective, but consumption of eggnog falls notably after Christmas, flattening out in January.
There are many opinions on the origins of eggnog, but most historians agree that it started as a posset, a drink made of hot milk curdled with ale or wine and sometimes with sweetener and spices. After that, opinions vary. Whatever the history, it was exported to America and became popular among the settlers. George Washington is said to have been a big fan, with kitchen records at Mount Vernon showing that Washington had his own recipe, which contained sherry, rye whiskey, and rum.
Nonalcoholic Eggnog Recipe
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 8 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Freshly grated nutmeg
- Whisk together the milk, cream, sugar, and eggs in a medium-sized nonreactive saucepan.
- Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Do not let it boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Serve immediately, topped with freshly grated nutmeg to taste. Or you may refrigerate it, serve it cold, or reheat it before serving. If it thickens with refrigeration, simply thin with a little extra milk.
Source: How to Make Kid-Friendly Eggnog