Thursday, 1 December 2011

What is Eggnog?

EggNog Drink Mix by Big TrainWhat is Eggnog?

What is eggnog? That is a question that many ask when it comes around to the Christmas holidays. Eggnog is a tradition that came over to the United States and Canada from England during the 17th and 18th centuries. Due to slight differences in available ingredients as well as changing tastes, the eggnog of today is a bit different from the original English version.

Traditionally eggnog consisted of a mixture of raw eggs, sugar, milk, and spices like nutmeg. In some cases, cream was added for a thicker drink. Another ingredient commonly added to most eggnog recipes is some form of alcohol. Originally, in England, the eggnog was mixed with brandy or Sherry in order to make an eggnog that would not spoil easily. However, when this drink crossed over to North America, the availability of brandy and Sherry made the drink expensive. Substituting Rum became popular before the American Revolution. After the American Revolution, whiskey and bourbon became the liquors of choice for eggnog. Companies like Big Train make eggnog mixes to create a stand alone beverage or as a base for other holiday drink recipes. Whiskey or rum not included.

Here are some interesting facts about eggnog:

  • In North America, eggnog is connected with holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Finding eggnog other times of the year can be very difficult.
  • Today’s eggnog often contains gelatin as a thicker. Traditionally, the thickener of choice was cream.
  • The first mention of eggnog in North America was by Captain John Smith stating that eggnog was a beverage served at Jamestown in 1607.
  • The origins of the word eggnog are somewhat cloudy. Some think it is derived from Old English for eggs served in a small wooden mug.
  • While eggnog is mainly a North American drink today, there are versions found around the world. Iceland has a traditional non-alcoholic dessert that resembles eggnog. The Germans have a version that uses beer instead of hard liquor. Novemberfest?
  • Eggnog has a close tie for toasting one’s health during the holiday season. That derives from a 16th century custom.
  • Other names for eggnog include egg flip, posset, syllabub, coquito (Puerto Rico), biersuppe (Germany), rompope (Mexico) and biblia con pisco (Peru).
  • The first instance of the word eggnog appeared around 1775 according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Common spelling also include Egg Nog.

Around the holiday season, many people look forward to the flavors of eggnog. You can get that traditional flavor with Big Train Eggnog Blended Crème (great as is or with espresso) as a new seasonal gourmet drink mix. For more information on Big Train seasonal gourmet drink mixes go to BigTrain.com or call us at 800 BIG TRAIN (244-8724). Happy holidays! What’s your favorite holiday drink?