A carton and a glass of eggnog from Montreal, called by its French name lait de poule, which means literally "milk of the chicken."

Eggnog, or egg nog, is a sweetened dairy-based beverage traditionally made with milk and/or cream, sugar, beaten eggs (which gives it a frothy texture), and liquor. Brandy, rum, moonshine, or whisky is sometimes added; and the finished serving would be garnished with a sprinkling of ground cinnamon or nutmeg.[1]

Eggnog is a popular drink throughout the United States and Canada, and is usually associated with winter celebrations such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year. Commercial non-alcoholic eggnog is typically available only in the winter season. Eggnog may be added as a flavouring to food or drinks such as coffee and tea. Eggnog as a custard can also be used as an ice cream base.



The origins, etymology, and the ingredients used to make the original eggnog drink are debated. Eggnog may have originated in East Anglia, England; or it may have simply developed from posset, a medieval European beverage made with hot milk. The "nog" part of its name may stem from the word "noggin", a Middle English term used to describe a small, carved wooden mug used to serve alcohol.[2] However, the British drink was also called an Egg Flip (from the practice of "flipping" (rapidly pouring) the mixture between two pitchers to mix it).

Another story is that the term derived from "egg and grog", a common Colonial term used for the drink made with rum. Eventually that term was shortened to "egg'n'grog", then "eggnog".[3]

In Britain, the drink was popular mainly among the aristocracy; dairy products and eggs were rarely consumed by the lower classes due to their high cost and lack of refrigeration. Those who could get milk and eggs mixed it with brandy, Madeira or sherry to make a drink similar to modern alcoholic egg nog.[4]

The drink crossed the Atlantic to the English colonies during the 18th century. Since brandy and wine were heavily taxed, rum from the Triangular Trade with the Caribbean was a cost-effective substitute. The inexpensive liquor, coupled with plentiful farm and dairy products, helped the drink become very popular in America.[5] When the supply of rum to the newly-founded United States was reduced as a consequence of the American Revolutionary War, Americans turned to domestic whiskey, and eventually bourbon in particular, as a substitute.


"Silk Nog," a commercial soy milk eggnog.

Traditional eggnog typically consists of milk, sugar, raw eggs, and spices, usually nutmeg. Cream may be included to make a richer and thicker drink, though some modern eggnogs add gelatin. Vanilla is a common flavouring, with grated nutmeg sprinkled on top. Other toppings may be whipped cream, meringue, cinnamon, ice cream, and chocolate curls.

Eggnog can be homemade from recipes. Ready-made eggnog versions are seasonally available and may contain whiskey, rum, brandy, bourbon, or cognac. Since the 1960s, eggnog has often been served cold and without spirits, both of which are significant departures from its historical origins.[citation needed]

Though eggnog is high in fat and cholesterol, low-fat and no-sugar formulations are available[6] using skimmed or lowfat milk.[7] Some North American manufacturers offer soy- or rice-based alternatives for vegans and those with dairy allergies.

Under current U.S. law, commercial products sold as eggnog are permitted to contain milk, sugar, modified milk ingredients, glucose-fructose, water, carrageenan, guar gum, natural and artificial flavourings, spices (though not necessarily nutmeg), monoglycerides, and colourings.[8][9] The ingredients in commercial eggnog vary significantly, but generally raw eggs are not included.[10][11]

The eggnog-custard connection

Some recipes for homemade eggnog call for egg yolks to be cooked with milk into a custard to avoid potential hazards from raw eggs; eggnog has much in common with classic custard-pudding recipes that do not call for corn starch, and many eggnogs can also be cooked into egg-custard puddings.

Safety concerns

For concerns about the safety of selling products made from raw eggs and milk, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has changed or altered the definition of eggnog a number of times towards artificial replacements for the large number of eggs traditionally required. Modern FDA regulations permit eggnog to contain less than 1% egg yolk solids and "milk or milk products."[12][13][14][15]

In the home and in restaurants, alcohol free eggnog can be made more safely by using pasteurized eggs although this often results in a less frothy mixture.[16]

See also


  1. ^ Egg Nog Recipe - Historical Foods
  2. ^ Rögnvaldardóttir, Nanna; Linda Stradley. "History of Eggnog". What's Cooking America. 
  3. ^ "Egg Nog Recipe — Classic Rum Egg Nog". 
  4. ^ Robinson, Oliver (2006-12-15). "Bottoms Up: Eggnog". that's Beijing Magazine and Blogs. True Run Media. Archived on 2007-11-14. Error: If you specify |archivedate=, you must first specify |url=. 
  5. ^ Block, Stephen. "The History of Egg Nog". Food History. The Kitchen Project. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Low Fat Eggnog". 2009-10-30. Retrieved 2009-12-25. 
  8. ^ "Welcome to Dairy Ingredients Inc. | Beverages & Fluid Dairy Products". Retrieved 2009-12-25. 
  9. ^ "Ohio Authority / Food & Drink / Cocktails 101: Ruminations on Eggnog". 2009-12-11. Retrieved 2009-12-25. 
  10. ^ "Hood Light Egg Nog — Dairy — reviews, ingredients and nutrition from". Retrieved 2009-12-25. 
  11. ^ "Lite Egg Nog". Roberts Dairy. Retrieved 2009-12-25. 
  12. ^ "Index of Memoranda of Interpretation (M-a)". Retrieved 2009-12-25. 
  13. ^ "CPG Sec. 527.350 Eggnog; Egg Nog Flavored Milk — Common or Usual Names". 2009-07-17. Retrieved 2009-12-25. 
  14. ^ "M-I-03-13: Questions and Answers from FY'02 Regional Milk Seminars, the Regional Milk Specialist's Conference and Special Problems in Milk Protection Courses". Retrieved 2009-12-25. 
  15. ^ "US Code of Federal Regulations — Title 21 - Regulation Number: 131.170 Eggnog". Retrieved 2009-12-25. 
  16. ^ Zeldes, Leah A. (December 23, 2009). "Eat this! Old-fashioned eggnog, made safer, thanks to Chicago-area eggs". Dining Chicago. Chicago's Restaurant & Entertainment Guide, Inc.. Retrieved January 1, 2010. 


  • Rombauer, Irma S. and Marion Rombauer Becker (1931 [1964]) The Joy of Cooking, pp 48, 50. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill. ISBN 0-452-25665-8.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Eggnog — Egg nog , n. A drink consisting of eggs beaten up with sugar, milk, and (usually) wine or spirits. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Eggnog — er en amerikansk juledrik der laves af alkohol blandet med flormelis, æg, mælk og muskatnød …   Danske encyklopædi

  • eggnog — (n.) also egg nog, c.1775, American English, from EGG (Cf. egg) (n.) + NOG (Cf. nog) strong ale …   Etymology dictionary

  • eggnog — ☆ eggnog [eg′näg΄ ] n. [ EGG1 + NOG2] a thick drink made of beaten eggs, milk, sugar, and nutmeg, often containing whiskey, rum, wine, etc …   English World dictionary

  • Eggnog — Ein Eggnog (auch Egg nog sowie Egg flip) ist ein meist alkoholhaltiges Getränk mit Ei und Milch oder Sahne. Es wird vor allem in Großbritannien, den USA, Kanada und Luxemburg getrunken. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Details 2 Etymologie 3 Einzelnachweise …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • eggnog — Nog Nog, n. [Abbrev. fr. noggin.] 1. A noggin. [1913 Webster] 2. A kind of strong ale. Halliwell. [1913 Webster] 3. eggnog. [PJC] {egg nog} A drink make from eggs beaten with milk, cream, and sugar, often spiked with rum or other alcoholic liquor …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Eggnog — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Eggnog est un album des Melvins sorti en 1991. Eggnog est également le mot anglais pour désigner le lait de poule. Catégorie : Homonymie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Eggnog — Egg|nog [ ɛgnɔg] der; s, s <aus engl. eggnog »Eierpunsch«> ein ↑Longdrink, der hauptsächlich unter Verwendung von Milch u. Eiern bereitet wird …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • eggnog — [[t]e̱gnɒg[/t]] also egg nog N UNCOUNT Eggnog is a drink made from egg, milk, sugar, spices, and alcohol such as rum or brandy …   English dictionary

  • eggnog — noun Date: circa 1775 a drink consisting of eggs beaten with sugar, milk or cream, and often alcoholic liquor …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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