There are a lot of people who think that eggnog has been brought from Europe by the settlers. In reality this is only partly true. Eggnog is closely related to different kinds of wine and milk punches that have been traditional in Europe.
Still the American version is pretty different from these punches. While Europeans have been using wine, the Americans opted for rum. Back then rum was known as ‘grog’ and so the beverage became ‘egg-and-grog’ that later got shortened to eggnog.
This is one of the explanations that specialists gave for the appearance of eggnog. Others say that the term was derived from the word ‘noggin’. This was used to describe a small mug that was made of wood. These were used to serve drinks in taverns.
The specialists say that at the beginning the beverage was made of Spanish sherry and milk. It is easy to see that the egg in a noggin would become eggnog.
Still the truth might be somewhere in the middle, and it is possible that at the beginning the beverage was called ‘egg and grog in a noggin’. In case this was the term used, it was easy to shorten it.
Since the ingredients were available in old times, it is no wonder that eggnog shortly became one of the most popular winter drinks in the New World. There were a lot of advantages: it was spicy, rich and alcoholic.
There has been a period author called Pierce Egan who has been working in the 1820’s. He wrote a book and in this he came up with a new variation of the traditional eggnog that became known as ‘Tom and Jerry’, based on the name of the characters. The only difference was that this recipe came with ½ oz. brandy besides the traditional ingredients.
During the 1800s, eggnog usually was made in larger quantities and it also served social purposes, being a social drink. Usually it was served at holiday parties. In 1866 an English person observed that people have been drinking a lot of eggnog. There were people called on, and on each occasion people drank some of it. Also he noted that the drink is served cold and that is the way it should be drunk.
Naturally Christmas wasn’t the only time when people were drinking eggnog. In Baltimore there has been a tradition according to which young men have been travelling from one house to the other and on each occasion they were served some eggnog. We can imagine that it was quite a challenge to finish a round.
George Washington was known to be a fan of eggnog, and he even came up with a new recipe. This involved some rum, rye whiskey and sherry.
It is also possible for you to come up with a new variation based on the things you like. You might see that there are several different kinds of alcoholic beverages that you can add, and you could also try some other kinds of seasoning.