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Eggnog Day


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 Mark Stout -


Jump to:  History  |  How it got its name  |  Eggnog Recipes


24th December (Christmas Eve) is Eggnog Day. For many of us, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without an Eggnog or two so what better day to be set aside for the celebration of this delicious drink than the day before Christmas.


However,  some questions beg to be asked as to where this drink originated and how if got its strange name. 




Also known as an Egg Flip, the predecessor of today's eggnog is believed to have started life in England as early as the 8th Century.  Originally a concoction made of milk mixed with alcohol, frequently beer and perhaps some spices, it was known as a posset and was initially taken for medicinal purposes but certainly by the 1550s, they had become a more fashionable drink amongst the upper classes with posset sets being a popular gift.  It's possible that other parts of Europe were drinking possets too as Mary 1 of England was given a posset set from the Spanish Ambassador, though it's possible he just bought it when he arrived in england.


By the 17th century, these milk "punches" had been transformed into celebratory beverages, often used to toast the health of friends and family albeit still mainly enjoyed by the more wealthy. One reason given for its popularity was the fact that  there was no refrigeration so milk couldn't be kept for  too long. By this time, alcohols such as Madeira, sherry and Brandy had replaced the original beer mixer, and eggs had been added, making an altogether more smooth rich drink.


The Europeans who colonised America took the tradition with them. Although dairy produce was readily available, imported items such as Brandy were very expensive and so they started using rum which was much more affordable.


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How it got its name

No-one knows for sure how the drink got its name. The "egg" bit is simple enough but the "nog" bit is a little more challenging. Taking its origins into account, here are three possibilities:-


Nog was a 17th century English name for a strong beer.

Noggin  was an old English name for a small wooden cup used to serve alcohol in hostelries.

Grog was the name 18th century sailors gave to a mixture of Rum and water.

It's probably a mixture of all three.


Today forms of eggnog are also made in many other countries including  Germany (Eierlikör), Spain (ponche),   Holland (advocaat) and further afield, Puerto Rico (coquito) and Mexico (Rompope).


Below are three Eggnog recipes for you to try to celebrate National Eggnog day. Why not just use these as a guide and add your preferred alcohol . . . . be it spirits or liqueurs.

Happy Drinking !

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Easy No Alcohol Eggnog

Extreme Christmas Eggnog

Chocolate Eggnog



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