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What is eggnog, why do we drink it at Christmas and what’s the best recipe?

Eggnog is a bit of an acquired taste – for some, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without this festive staple.

However, others might be put off by the pure fact that it not only has ‘egg’ in its name but involves drinking raw egg – which may sound so unpalatable that you’ve chosen to avoid the drink altogether.

It’s been around for centuries but, while it’s generally known to be a rich creamy drink, there’s often confusion over what’s actually in eggnog.

Whether you’ve never tried it and want to know more before you indulge, you’ve had a few sips and don’t really understand what the fuss is about, or you’re addicted and want to make your own at home, here is your essential eggnog guide…

What is eggnog?

Essentially, eggnog is a delicious (well, that bit is subjective), mix of beaten egg, sugar, cream, milk, nutmeg and booze – typically brandy, rum or whiskey, sometimes all three.

There are tons of recipes for making festive eggnog – although you can buy it ready made from the likes of Aldi, the fresh version is quick and easy to make too.

Why do we drink it at Christmas?

Much like mulled wine or excessive amounts of sherry and Baileys, eggnog is very much a drink that only comes out to play during the festive period.

The history of eggnog states that the first recorded recipe of the drink was in 1775.

Brits used to enjoy a drink called posset, which was a mix of hot milk, ale and spice. However, then the wealthy upper classes go involved and started adding expensive sherries or brandy to the mix. This helped stop the milk from spoiling without the use of fridges.

Eggnog soon made it across the pond to the America, which is when rum was used instead of sherry, brandy or, at times, whisky.

It became known as a Christmas drink as it was originally served warm but also because spices and certain liquors were hard to come by in the year, so people savoured it at Christmas as a special treat.

What’s the best recipe?

There are various eggnog recipes around, some not using vanilla extract, some not using cream. They also use varying amounts of alcohol – or none at all – but we find the boozy one the best.

  • 8 very fresh organic eggs, separated into yolks and whites
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 500ml double cream
  • 500ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 300ml bourbon
  • 200ml rum
  • 100ml brandy
  • freshly grated nutmeg

Method

  • Beat the egg yolks with the caster sugar until thoroughly combined, gradually beat in the alcohols, the vanilla, the milk and 250ml of the double cream.
  • Ideally you should then cover this mixture with cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for 2 hours.
  • When you’re ready to serve, beat the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff peak stage. Remove your mixture from the fridge and give it a good stir.
  • Stir in the whipped egg whites then whip the remaining double cream and stir that in also.
  • Serve in glasses topped with freshly grated nutmeg and a cinnamon stick (or you could serve with a chocolate flake instead!). This recipe will serve around 10-12 guests.


Credit: Original article published here.

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