Christmas isn't Christmas to some people without eggnog! That's right. An old tradition in this country and even older in other countries throughout the world such as England--where good old eggnog was invented in the 17th century. You see, "nog" is the English word for ale (which can be any type of liquor-from rum to bourbon or the liqueur of your choice).
Originally, eggnog was used for medicinal purposes--served to those "serfs" who were under the weather. It wasn't long before people realized it tasted too good to be medicine, and it became a holiday treat. It has traveled from England to Puerto Rico where it is called coquito and mixed with rum. To Mexico where it is called rompope and mixed with Mexican cinnamon and grain alcohol. To Peru where it is called biblia con pisco and mixed with pisco--a Peruvian pomace brandy. And to Germany where it is called Biersuppe (egg soup with beer) and where it is a hot dessert.
Eggnog is simply milk, eggs and some condiments. You can buy eggnog or you can make it using pasteurized eggs or egg substitutes (I say buy it; if it isn't cooked to 160 degrees you may get Salmonella poisoning). Once done, you can add flavoring for a variety of drinks-like mocha or coconut-and the liquor of your choice.
For those of you who are game, a basic eggnog recipe can be found at http://www.webtender.com/db/drink/1178.
Whether you make it or buy it, eggnog is so versatile you can cook with it, bake with it and/or use it as a "salad dressing." Make cookies, cheesecake, pie and other goodies. For some great eggnog recipes go to http://allrecipes.com.
and low cholesterol eggnog:
Not a cook? Well, there are some great products on the market this year for those of you who aren't handy in the kitchen: Schepp's has come out with individual eggnog (a 16 oz. serving); many ice cream companies have come out with eggnog flavored ice cream for the holidays; Starbucks has eggnog latte and TGI FRIDAY'S has a holiday "nog" you can order at the bar.
And if you're lucky, the liquor stores in your area are carrying Pennsylvania Dutch Eggnog which is premixed with rum, brandy and whisky! Quite a selection.
Want to do something fun and different at your holiday party? Create a make-it-yourself "eggnog" bar as part of the festivities. How? Easy enough…
Decorate the table with holiday colors, Christmas decorations, leftover ornaments- whatever is available. Your guests will love making their own concoctions and you'll be ever thankful that it was one less thing you had to serve!
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