Sue in South Africa, asked me about the eggnog Chuck and I enjoy during the holidays. It’s hard to know the exact origin of eggnog, but it likely was first concocted in England, hundreds of years ago. Here in New England (maybe all over the U.S.?) eggnog is available in the dairy department of any grocery store from before Thanksgiving in November, through at least the turn of the New Year. We usually buy Hood brand eggnog (although the idea of some of their new “flavors” makes me shudder!). Commercially prepared eggnog is pasteurized and therefore prompts less concern about the possibility of salmonella.
Eggnog can be served with or without alcohol such as brandy, rum or bourbon. Because we think of it as a celebratory holiday drink, we usually add the liquor. We like Gosling’s Dark rum from Bermuda. And just to put all the misconceptions to rest about Chuck and I being heavy drinkers, we are still using the same two bottles of Gosling’s light rum and dark rum which we bought in Bermuda, on our honeymoon, seventeen years ago!
Here’s a traditional recipe for eggnog (using an uncooked egg) from The Country Hen in Hubbardston, Massachusetts. The Country Hen is an organic farm with free walker hens, who lay eggs rich in Omega 3s. The farm is tested regularly and continues to be salmonella free, so, personally, I trust their eggs. The Country Hen also has a recipe for a Hot Egg Flip. Flip is a British term which usually refers to a hot beverage containing alcohol. This recipe is basically a hot eggnog.
Alton Brown, of “Good Eats”, his long running Food Network show, has a recipe for eggnog which provides the option of cooking it. If you’d like to listen to Alton talk about the entire topic of eggnog, (including his deep loathing of commercial eggnog!) check out this segment on National Public Radio.
And if you want a more tropical take on eggnog, you can try Bobby Flay’s recipe for Puerto Rican Eggnog with coconut milk. A video of Bobby making this version can be found here. This one might be just perfect for those who celebrate Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere!