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Eggnog: A History as Rich as the Drink Itself

By / Photography By Shell Royster | November 14, 2017
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A simple mixture of eggs, milk and sugar spiked with strong bourbon and good company blend together for a seasonal, alcoholic treat: eggnog. If a store-bought carton comes to mind, take a seat because it’s high time you learned that real eggnog is made at home.

Eggnog’s history is as rich as the drink itself. Early renditions were enjoyed in medieval Britain, but because of the high price of its ingredients this first eggnog-like cocktail held a much higher status than today’s concoctions. Upon arriving in America, eggnog took a turn towards the common man. Eggs and milk were more readily available in the New World, and in this new land of invention pricier liquor was replaced with the ever-plentiful rum.

Despite becoming a less-expensive libation, eggnog has maintained its revered status and is thus timelessly tied to special occasions like Christmas. The spiced, rich drink still complements celebrations that come around this time of year. Now, it is no secret that not everyone loves this drink, and its thick texture is the primary complaint. The benefit of making eggnog from scratch is that recipes are easily tweaked to personal taste. Once the mixture comes together, you’ll discover that there is something about homemade pleasures that fosters a sense of ownership and affinity for foods we might otherwise avoid.

Eggnog recipes vary in secret ingredients and mixing methodologies, but the result ought to be strong, rich and, most importantly, shared. Creamy and cool, eggnog looks harmless with its delicate sprinkling of nutmeg, but this cocktail undoubtedly livens up any Christmas celebration.

A foolproof approach to a good eggnog recipe requires filling your home with friends to share the delicious drink. A fancy garnish of freshly grated nutmeg is permitted but not required as these days the drink is grounded more in tradition than pretention. The timeless tradition of sharing eggnog is one that Louise Meyers of Boykin, South Carolina, understands well. Each December, she lines up with friends and family to watch the Boykin Christmas Parade, homemade eggnog in hand. Louise is well known for this holiday treat and as the word of her concoction spreads, the size of her eggnog batch grows.

South Carolina is a perfect source for ingredients used in this homemade eggnog recipe. Egg and dairy farms across the state provide fresh, local ingredients to make this seasonal treat taste a little more like home.

Article from Edible Charleston at
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