By Saskia Salak –
Sugar, spice and everything nice. These are the ingredients to create the perfect…holiday cocktail? Nothing says winter wonderland like the boozy embrace of a tall glass of nog—eggnog that is. As its name would suggest, the cocktail is a compilation of seasonal favorites that include raw eggs, milk, sugar, cream and for those above the age of 21—liquor or fortified wine.
The exact origins of the beverage are a mystery; though one lineage tracks the emergence of 13th century aristocrats, who held a monopoly on the then-limited dairy ingredients. Over the centuries, the beverage made its way across the pond to the colonies, where milk and eggs were more accessible. The American-inspired addition of rum, which had gained national prevalence thanks to low-priced Caribbean imports, soon transitioned the drink to a beverage for all classes.
Even Founding Father George Washington was said to have his own secret eggnog concoction, which was rumored to be heavily fortified with brandy, rum, rye, whiskey and sherry. While no written record exists linking the former president to any such recipe, many, nonetheless, have attempted to recreate his rumored drink.
Fret not, if old GW’s classic nog doesn’t hit the spot, there are a slew of modern, even healthy takes that are guaranteed to get almost anyone in a festive holiday mood. And while no one is going to argue that eggnog—with its sugar, raw eggs, milk and cream—is some kind of ancient elixir, it does actually offer a few surprising health benefits.
A decent cup of eggnog contains lots of vitamins, including over 400mg of the mineral potassium, perhaps 33 percent of a person’s daily calcium requirements, along with some vitamin B12, riboflavin/B2, vitamin A, phosphorus, and iron, Bustle.com reports.
It is also a decent source of protein thanks to the eggs involved. And those traditional spices can actually help individuals with inflammation. Not convinced of eggnog’s medicinal benefits? Okay, maybe, just maybe you win. But chances are you’re only consuming eggnog around the holidays, so relax and have a cup or two.
Great Noggin Options
The Thirsty Vegan
Nothing says rejecting contemporary culture like throwing in the word vegan. Now, embracing this rebellious streak does start to get a bit more challenging when 80 percent of a traditional eggnog recipe calls for animal products. No doubt a dash of creativity is needed to pull off this Christmas miracle. Luckily, the vegans are nothing if not resourceful as seen in this cruelty-free recipe, which is quick with the substitutes leveraging tofu and silk milk in place of the dairy traditions.
While on the subject of restrictions, it would be amiss not to consider those of the keto persuasion and their holiday needs. Thankfully, eggnog is an all-inclusive beverage as seen through this Keto Mexican Chocolate blend, offering a low-carb fix to that holiday sweet tooth.
Every region has a version of eggnog and Puerto Rico is no exception. While many argue that the Coquito is a wholly distinct cocktail from the holiday spirit, both would share a considerable number of items on that holiday eggnog grocery list. The Coquito, however, which translated from Spanish meaning Little Coconut, calls for just that—swapping raw eggs for rich coconut milk and cream. If you’re dreaming of warmer weather this winter, this flavorful cocktail might be the ticket.
They say to pick your poison, but in this case, there’s no need. Coffee, spiked whiskey, coupled with an eggnog base—this beverage goes out to all those poor souls showing up to the holidays still suffering from their previous night’s festivities. When the hair of the dog doesn’t cut it, throw in caffeine and anything else a pair of shaky hands can get ahold of.
Remember when butterscotch was nothing but the preferred candy of grandparents? Well, brace yourself because this flavor, like everything from the nineties, is getting a reboot. In order to create that famous salty-sweet taste, this recipe combines smokey scotch whiskey and brandy to usher in the next generation of holiday hangovers.
Cayenne Spiced Eggnog
Safe to say the pandemic has left many without enough spice in their lives. Maybe it hasn’t been their day, month or (probably) year. But that doesn’t mean the heat can’t turn up now, at least when it comes to cocktails. This spicey little number promises to light a fire of sorts with a healthy dollop of cayenne.
To Your Health
Finally, an eggnog solution for those attempting to get ahead of their New Year’s resolutions and the corresponding health kicks. Add almond milk and honey and lose the booze. This tall glass of feel-good, clean drinking will have everyone toasting to your health.