Bartender’s-Favourite — Eggnog
Welcome to another instalment of Bartender’s Favourite and it’s just in time for the festive season! We all know there are plenty of Christmas-themed drinks out there to help you celebrate Christmas but one is possibly the most Christmas-y of all cocktails – Eggnog!
This indulgent drink has a long, somewhat vague history which begs the question – which came first, the cocktail or the Eggnog? Most culinary historians agree that it was first invented in early medieval Britain known as “posset” which was more of a milky, ale-like drink. By the 13th century, monks were known to drink posset with eggs and figs. Mexico also has their own variation called “rompope” and Puerto Rico has “coquito” which adds coconut milk.
In the 1700s, American colonists started drinking it with the addition of rum. On Christmas Eve, 1826, the Eggnog Riot erupted (yep, that actually happed!) at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. The Superintendent, Colonel Sylvanus Thayer, had previously banned alcohol from the barracks. However, during the annual Christmas party, cadets smuggled barrels of whiskey onto campus and mixed it up some eggnog. The cadets got so intoxicated that all hell broke loose! As a result, eleven of the cadets were expelled from the school.
The earliest connection of Christmas and eggnog is found in the Virginia Chronicle in 1793:
"On last Christmas Eve several gentlemen met at Northampton court-house, and spent the evening in mirth and festivity, when EGG-NOG was the principal Liquor used by the company. After they had indulged pretty freely in this beverage, a gentleman in company offered a bet that not one of the party could write four verses, extempore, which should be rhyme and sense..."
Today, eggnog is more popular than ever with 130 million pounds of it drank around the world during the holiday season.
Here’s how to make it at home:
6 medium free-range eggs (preferably organic and as fresh as possible), separated
150g golden caster sugar
500ml whole milk
240ml heavy/double cream
3 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish
5 eggs, separated
30ml Monin Vanilla Syrup
*You can always use just one spirit on its own for the recipe if you prefer, or a mixture of two
Step 1) Add the milk, cream, cinnamon, syrup, and nutmeg to a saucepan over medium heat until it starts to boil then remove from the heat.
Step 2) In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar until combined. Thick ribbons should form when the whisk is lifted. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to mix until the mixture is combined and smooth. Add the rum and bourbon/brandy. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 3 days.
Step 3) Before serving, beat the egg whites in a large bowl or stand mixer to form soft peaks. Gently fold into the eggnog. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and serve.
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Nollaig Shona daoibh agus sláinte!
Irish Drink Shop Team