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Christmas 2023: Everything you need to know about Eggnog – Times of India

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As Christmas approaches, the aroma of holiday treats fills the air, and among the classics, Eggnog stands as a timeless festive delight. Well, do you know what Eggnog is? Here is everything you need to know about Eggnog— from its rich history to delightful variations, and tips on crafting the perfect cup.
What is Eggnog?
Eggnog is a classic holiday beverage, a creamy concoction traditionally enjoyed during the festive season. Made with simple ingredients like eggs, milk, sugar, and nutmeg, Eggnog delivers a rich and indulgent taste. Its velvety texture and spiced flavor create a comforting and nostalgic experience, often garnished with a sprinkle of cinnamon. While some variations may include alcohol like rum or brandy, non-alcoholic versions are equally popular. Eggnog has become a festive staple, symbolizing warmth and joy, making it a cherished tradition for many during Christmas and winter celebrations. Whether served hot or cold, Eggnog embodies the spirit of the holiday season.

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History of Eggnog
The history of eggnog dates back centuries, with roots in medieval Britain. The drink’s name is believed to have originated from the combination of two words: “nog,” an old English term for a strong ale, and “egg,” referencing the beverage’s key ingredient.
In the 17th century, posset, a hot milk-based drink with eggs and spices, gained popularity among the British elite. As the custom spread to the American colonies, the addition of local ingredients like rum became common, transforming it into a more decadent beverage.
Eggnog became synonymous with holiday festivities in the 18th century, with various regional recipes emerging. Its association with Christmas and winter celebrations solidified over time, making it a cherished tradition enjoyed in many cultures around the world. Today, eggnog remains a beloved seasonal treat, welcoming the holiday season with its rich and spiced flavors.

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Homemade Eggnog Recipe:
Ingredients:
4 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (plus extra for garnish)
Optional: 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Optional: 1/4 cup bourbon or rum (for spiked version)
Optional: Whipped cream for topping
Instructions:
Separate Eggs:
Separate egg yolks from whites. Place yolks in one bowl and whites in another.
Beat Egg Yolks with Sugar:
Whisk the egg yolks with sugar until well combined and slightly thickened.
Heat Milk and Cream:
In a saucepan, heat the milk and cream over medium heat until it begins to steam. Do not boil.
Temper Egg Yolks:
Slowly whisk the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture to temper the eggs.

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Cook and Stir:
Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches 160°F (71°C) and slightly thickens. Do not boil.
Add Vanilla and Nutmeg:
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and ground nutmeg. Add ground cinnamon if desired.
Cool and Chill:
Allow the mixture to cool, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Whip Egg Whites (Optional):
Just before serving, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold them into the chilled mixture for a frothy texture.
Serve:
Pour the eggnog into glasses. Add bourbon or rum if desired. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.



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