Ring in the New Year with Eggnog!

Eggnog has been served for hundreds of years —
Even President George Washington enjoyed the holiday beverage! / Photo: Depositphoto

By Angela Shelf Medearis


Eggnog has been prepared and served during the holidays for hundreds of years. Upper-class Europeans served the drink to their holiday guests as a hot milk punch combined with liquor, usually wine or brandy. The traditional recipe traveled from Europe to America with the English colonists during the 18th century. President George Washington was very fond of eggnog.

While dairy products were plentiful in America, wine and brandy were heavily taxed. Since rum, which also was called grog, was inexpensive, it became the traditional addition to eggnog. The name eggnog is thought to be a derivative of egg and grog.

While it was once believed that adding alcohol to eggnog inhibits or destroys bacterial growth, including salmonella, there really is no scientific data to support this claim. One of the best ways to ensure the safety and quality of your eggnog is to cook the ingredients and to use quality eggs.

Times have changed, and eggnog has conformed to modern tastes. You can find recipes for this holiday drink with and without alcohol, and commercially prepared recipes that use skimmed, low-fat or soy milk. There are even brands of eggnog especially for vegans and for those who are lactose intolerant. While the recipes for this delicious drink vary, it’s still traditionally served during the winter as a way to celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year.


This easy eggnog recipe cooks the eggs and milk in the microwave. You might want to make a double batch and use any extra eggnog as a flavoring for baked goods or coffee.

  • 6 Eggland’s Best eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 quart milk
  • Garnishes or stir-ins, optional*

*Whipping cream, ground nutmeg, sherbet or ice cream, fruit juice, brandy or rum extract, peppermint sticks or candy canes, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, pomegranate seeds and juice, maraschino cherries or chocolate curls

1. In large microwave-safe bowl, beat together eggs, sugar and salt until thoroughly blended. Stir in vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.

2. In a smaller microwave-safe bowl, cook the milk in the microwave on high or full power, about 3 minutes. Stir and continue to cook on high power for another 3 minutes or until bubbles form at the edges of the milk.

3. Slowly stir 1/4 cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture. Stir vigorously until the ingredients are well combined to bring both mixtures up to the same temperature and to avoid scrambling the eggs. Continue to add the hot milk, 1/2 cup at a time, until all of it has been combined. Stir vigorously after each addition.

4. Return the mixture to the microwave and cook on high for another 2 to 3 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, several hours or overnight. Just before serving, pour the eggnog into a punch bowl or a pitcher. Garnish or add stir-ins, if desired. Serve immediately. Makes 1 1/2 quarts, or 12 (1/2-cup) servings.


Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her website is http://www.divapro.com. Recipes may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis.

(c) 2018 King Features Synd., Inc., and Angela Shelf Medearis

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