INDIANAPOLIS — “Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?”
December 24 not only marks the holiday of Christmas Eve, but also National Eggnog Day!
There are many debates over where the drink originated. Some say England and some say medieval Europe. Either way, it remains a classic holiday drink.
The sweetened dairy-based beverage is traditionally made with milk and cream, sugar, whipped eggs, and different spices, usually including sweeter spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg.
When served at parties and holiday get-togethers, liquor is often added to the eggnog. Rum tends to be the most popular alcoholic addition to eggnog, however many people prefer other liquors like brandy, whiskey, bourbon, or vodka.
Some people may like it for the many ways to make it, or maybe just for the holiday tradition and nostalgia.
According to VOX.com, George Washington famously put 12 eggs in his recipe (a traditional recipe usually only calls for 6).
From VOX.com, “U.S. soldiers were so desperate for eggnog that they caused a riot at West Point on Christmas Eve in 1826. Their holiday party was meant to be booze-free, but they smuggled in some whiskey for the recipe and got ridiculously drunk. Things got so out of hand that 70 cadets were later arrested.”
How about that! Eggnog was so popular and traditionalized even over almost 200 years ago that our own troops refused to abide by the law to forego drinking it.
According to Nielsen data provided by the American Egg Board (yes, that’s a real thing), Americans have spent $185 million on eggnog (53.5 million bottles) at retail between 2018 and 2019. There is no data on spending from 2020, most likely due to the pandemic.
So whether you hate it or love it, or maybe you’re somewhere in between, eggnog will definitely continue to be an American holiday tradition.