The creamy, sweet concoction is thought to have originated in Britain—from the Middle English “noggin,” meaning a small wooden cup for drinking alcohol. It was a 17th-century beverage, consumed primarily by the wealthy because of how expensive eggs and dairy were. Now, however, everyone can afford to get an upper-crust buzz.
Eggnog—generally consisting of eggs, milk, cream, sugar and alcohol—varies widely in quality. Quality alcohol-free eggnog from specialty grocers can turn the eggnog averse into fans: try the stuff from local dairy Winder Farms (4400 W. 4100 South, West Valley, 801-969-3401, WinderFarms.com), which produces delicious eggnog seasonally. It then can be spiked with whiskey, brandy or rum (or any combination thereof). To go local, try blending in High West Distillery (703 Park Ave., Park City, 435-649-8300, HighWest.com). Though the nog’s sweetness might overpower such a quality add-in, using decent-grade liquors may help you avoid unmerry holiday hangovers.
Making eggnog from scratch is easier than you think. Of the myriad recipes out there, this one is excellent: Separate a dozen egg whites and egg yolks. Whisk the whites until bubbly, then whisk in about 3/4 cup sugar until “fluffy.” Mix 3/4 cup sugar with the yolks. Then slowly stir in the yolks with the whites. Stir in approximately a fifth of spiced rum, followed by 2 cups whole milk. Next, add a pint of whiskey, followed by 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and grated nutmeg and cinnamon to taste. On the side, whisk another cup of cream until nearly stiff and pour in. Serve in clear glasses topped with nutmeg. Finally, relax while putting back the holidays’ holiest libation.