Christmas Series | Aged Eggnog
December 15, 2020
Welcome to my 12 days of Christmas Foods! I'll share which recipe I used, a little history about the recipe, the steps involved in making it, and, of course, delicious pictures. On day 1, I made gingerbread. You can read about it here.
For the second day of Christmas I made Alton Brown's Aged Eggnog. To me Christmas isn't Christmas without some eggnog in my cup. Most years I enjoy store-bought eggnog spiked with whatever liquor we have sitting on the counter. This year I went a different route and aged it.
Now, some of you may think aged eggnog is "dangerous" or "risky." But did you know that only about 1 out of every 20,000 eggs has salmonella? That's only a 0.4% risk. In other words, assuming you eat an average amount of eggs, you encounter about 1 salmonella egg every 84 years.
But none of that really even matters. Even if you put all salmonella-infected eggs into your eggnog batch, within 3 weeks all of that booze will have killed all of 'em. Still a little iffy? Check this out. Microbiologists purposely injected their eggnog with salmonella. Some of the bacteria succumbed immediately when pouring alcohol in. By week 3, the eggnog was completely sterile. Don't you just love science?
History Lesson: Like most foods I research the history of, eggnog’s past is a little blurry. However, the majority agree that it started in early medieval Britain. The British commonly drank something called “posset” which is a warm milky ale-like drink. Yep, back then they were drinking it hot.
Eggnog didn’t become associated with Christmas until the 1700s when it finally made its way to the United States and Mexico. There were plenty of farms in America so that meant lots of milk and eggs- perfect, let’s make eggnog. We’ll throw in that cheap rum we have laying around and call it a night [rum was not taxed as heavily as brandy and sherry]. Mexico created the “rompope” which consists of eggs, milk, and vanilla. Puerto Rico came up with the “coquito” which consists of coconut milk, coconut cream, spices, and rum.
Nobody really knows why we call it eggnog. Some say it comes from “noggin” which means wooden cup or “grog” which is another word for rum. Whatever the reason, eggnog became its name in the 18th century and has been known as that ever since.
It seems as if people either love or hate eggnog. George Washington was a lover and even had his own eggnog recipe: 1 quart cream, 1 quart milk, 12 TB sugar, 1 pint brandy, ½ pint rye whiskey, ½ pint Jamaican rum, and ¼ pint sherry. All the ingredients are beaten together and left in a cool place for several days. George didn’t just enjoy eggnog for the holidays. He also consumed it on his birthday and Independence day.
Annndd that brings me to the Eggnog Riot of 1826 that took place at the US Military Academy in West Point, New York on Christmas Eve and Christmas. At the beginning of 1826, Colonel Sylavanus Thayer banned alcohol from the academy in an attempt to prevent the shenanigans that normally happened during the Christmas party when the whisky eggnog was flowing. However, despite the restriction, about 90 cadets found their way to the boozy eggnog. Things got messy. Things were broken, and 11 of the cadets ended up being expelled. People just can't stay away from the nog!
It wasn’t until the 1940s when nonalcoholic eggnog was sold in stores. Borden and Sheffield Farms sold it for 60 cents a quart!
As years have passed by, not much has changed in terms of eggnog. People still like it. We make it pretty much the same way, and every Christmas many people consume more than they should. It seems as if every year it becomes more popular. It is said that we drink 130 million pounds during the holidays! It’s proven time and time again that if eggnog is around many simply cannot help themselves. You can find my sources and read more about eggnog here and here.
Let's talk about the recipe! This aged eggnog recipe comes from Alton Brown. You can find the recipe here.
If you like your eggnog to be extremely boozy then you should check out aged eggnog. In order to ensure all of the bacteria is gone, it has to be at least a 20% alcohol percentage. This recipe includes Jamaican rum, cognac, and bourbon.
This recipe is extremely easy to throw together. The hardest part is remembering to make it prior to the holiday season. This eggnog will have you feeling all of those wonderful Christmas feelings- especially after drinking a glass or two!
See you all again tomorrow for day 3. Happy Drinking!
December 15, 2020 by Laura Bullock