One drink that epitomizes Christmastime is a creamy, rich, slightly spicy eggnog drink. Really, there’s no point in trying to make it low-fat, although many have tried! Just enjoy the full-fat goodness and flavor. One of the best pairings is with coffee. If so inclined, maybe add spirits to warm up after a long day.
The origins of eggnog come from medieval times, when the British drank something called “posset,” a hot milk drink combined with ale and spices and often used as a cold remedy. And monks drank a mixture of egg and figs in the 13th century. The ingredients of milk, egg, and sherry were expensive and traditionally made for the wealthy to toast to riches and good health.
In colonial America, the British settlers called strong ale “nog.” The term became “eggnog,” morphing into a drink consisting of milk, sugar, egg, spices, and rum.
Brandy and wine were heavily taxed in America at the time. Rum was a cheaper alternative, brought from the nearby Caribbean islands, and a new drink was born.
In the middle of winter, eggnog with alcohol would keep easily before refrigerators and electricity; another reason for this annual holiday tradition.
Usually eggnog is consumed between Thanksgiving and Christmas time, during celebrations and feasting with family and friends. Some commercial eggnogs have very little egg in them. If you want a true eggnog, it’s best make your own.
There is a good standard non-alcoholic recipe here. If you’d rather not use a dozen eggs in the process, or don’t have the time, however, find a store brand that suits your fancy.
Now, let’s get to the yummy add-ons to any eggnog recipe. If you decide to make your own, you can control the amount of spices and the creaminess easily. Add a little more or less cinnamon or nutmeg for your own personal touch. If adding alcohol, there are an abundance of spirits that mix well, including rum, brandy, bourbon whiskey, Kahlua, vodka, and flavored liqueurs.
Here are a few ideas for getting into the swing of holiday season.
Creamy Eggnog Coffee
- 8 oz. eggnog
- 1 c. cold coffee
- 2 oz. container frozen whipped topping
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- Nutmeg (optional)
- A generous shot of rum (optional)
Mix coffee, eggnog, and whipped topping into a mason jar and shake briskly until smooth. Add rum. Garnish with nutmeg or cinnamon, or use a cinnamon stick. Serve cold.
- 2/3 c. eggnog
- 1/3 c. milk
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup strong coffee or 2 shots espresso
- Pinch of ground nutmeg (optional)
Pour milk, eggnog, and sugar into a microwave-safe jar.
Shake/mix the milk mixture for less than a minute, stop when the mixture looks like it has doubled in size because of air bubbles.
Remove cover and place jar into microwave. Heat on high for about 30-45 seconds, or until the mixture starts to bubble up almost to the top of the jar. (Take care not to let the milk mixture overflow the jar or to bubble too much and then fall flat.)
Repeat shaking and heating once more until the milk is very frothy.
Pour the hot prepared coffee/espresso into a large mug. Pour the milk mixture into the coffee while holding the foam back with a spoon. Do not stir. Spoon the foam on top and garnish with nutmeg.
Irish Eggnog–perfect for parties!
about 6 servings
- 2 c. eggnog
- 1 c. coffee
- 1/4 c. white sugar
- 1/3 c. Irish Cream liqueur
- 1/4 c. brandy
- ground nutmeg
Pour the eggnog into a small pitcher or large measuring cup with a spout.
Stir the sugar into the coffee until dissolved. Let it cool slightly. Pour into the eggnog to combine. Stir in the Irish Cream and brandy.
You may choose to either heat carefully in a microwave or on low heat in a saucepan, or serve room temperature.
Sprinkle with nutmeg.
Eggnog Chai Latte
Serving size: 2 mugs
- 2/3 cup chai concentrate
- 1/2 cup eggnog
- 2/3 cup milk
- 2 shots espresso (optional)
- whipped cream
- grated nutmeg
Divide the chai (and espresso) between the two mugs. Mix eggnog and milk with a frother or in the blender. Split in the mugs and microwave to heat. Garnish with nutmeg and whipped cream.
Eggnog is a great traditional Christmas drink. Try it and you’ll see why. Those who like to drink a little during festivities will enjoy the addition of spirits to these delicious drinks.
With so many varieties and room for creativity, you can make your own signature eggnog this Christmas. Use your favorite coffee to make your Christmas drink even more special.