Christmas is almost here and you know what that means: time to break out the eggnog! This creamy drink can be made with or without alcohol and has been a holiday tradition since the 13th century. Learn more about eggnog’s history and find the best homemade eggnog recipes!
What is Eggnog?
Eggnog has been a traditional Christmas drink since the 1200’s – talk about an old-fashioned holiday sip! While there is a lot of debate about how people decided to start drinking milk mixed with egg yolks and sugar, most historians agree that it probably started with monks who drank “possets” during the colder months. Possets were mixtures of eggs and figs and once the wealthy started drinking them they added milk and sherry to the recipe, both of which were expensive ingredients.
Eggnog became a traditional Yuletide drink when it came to the American colonies in the 1700s. The colonists had so many chickens and cows that it was easy for them to make eggnog – milk and eggs were cheap for them! They replaced the English sherry for a less expensive American rum and the combination stuck.
Where Does the Name Come From?
There are three theories about the origins of “eggnog” as a name:
- In Middle English (the form of English spoken in the 1400’s) “noggin” was a word for a small, carved wooden mug used to serve alcohol. Since eggs were added to an alcoholic beverage, perhaps it was also served in a noggin and then over time the words egg + noggin were combined into “eggnog.”
- In the 1600’s “nog” was a kind of strong beer. Here again eggs being added to an alocholic beverage may have resulted in egg + nog becoming the official name “eggnog.”
- Others believe that American colonials came up with the name in the 1700’s. Supporters of this theory claim that eggnog is a combination of two colonial slang words. “Rum” was called “grog” and it was served in small mugs called “noggins”. As a result the drink was called egg-n-grog and later as eggnog.
Who knew the name of a drink could be the source of so much mystery!
What Kind of Alcohol is Used?
Today eggnog is usually made with rum, brandy, or bourbon. However, if you aren’t a fan of alcoholic beverages you can leave the spirits out of this drink.
Homemade Eggnog Recipes
Now that we’ve dabbled a bit in eggnog history, let’s dive into some of the easy and delicious ways you can make it at home!
Rim a cocktail glass with sugar and add a sprinkle of ground cinnamon to your eggnog! This cocktail uses Brenda’s homemade eggnog recipe made with rum as a base for a cocktail made with vanilla ice cream and almond flavored liqueur.
Vegan Eggnog (Creamy & Heartwarming)
Not a dairy fan? Not to worry, this dairy-free, vegan eggnog recipe is here to bring you in on the fun. This eggnog recipe tastes almost exactly like a traditional eggnog and is flavored with pumpkin spice. It doesn’t contain alcohol but you can add a splash of rum if you like!
Treats Made with Eggnog
If you want to enjoy eggnog flavors but are seeking more than a drink, then look no further! These holiday recipes all take traditional eggnog and turn it into Christmas breakfast or dessert.
Overnight Chai Eggnog French Toast Casserole
An easy make ahead breakfast for Christmas morning that is full of eggnog flavor and also happens to be gluten free + vegan. It doesn’t get much more cozy than cubes of bread soaked in eggnog, spices and maple syrup.
Crockpot Eggnog French Toast Casserole
Let your crockpot do all the work for you with this slow cooker french toast recipe. Topped with chopped pecans, powdered sugar, berries and maple syrup, every bite of this simple breakfast idea is packed with flavor.
Gluten Free Eggnog Cupcakes with Eggnog Frosting
These cupcakes are so moist and fluffy you’d never know they are gluten free. The cupcakes and the frosting are both flavored with eggnog, with an extra of kick of rum added to the frosting!