During the holiday season, eggnog is a must-have for many Americans. If you've never tried this classic drink yet, do you know what eggnog is made of? What it tastes like? Or where it comes from? No fear, as an eggnog aficionado, I have the answers to your questions!
What is Eggnog?
In its simplest form, eggnog is a creamy and frothy beverage made with milk or cream, sugar, eggs, and spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon.
It can be served hot or cold and usually contains either bourbon, brandy, rum, or whiskey. The alcohol content varies depending on the recipe but can range anywhere from 0% to 20%.
What is Eggnog Made Of?
The main ingredients in eggnog are eggs, dairy (milk or cream), sweeteners (sugar or honey), and alcohol. Many recipes also call for spices such as nutmeg, vanilla extract, and cinnamon to give the drink a unique flavor, however, these can be skipped for a more 'year-round' note. Pumpkin puree could be a great addition for Halloween!
Some people also like to add nutty flavors such as hazelnut or almond extract. If you don't want to use alcohol in your eggnog recipe, you can replace it with juice or other non-alcoholic beverages such as White Cane Spirit or Lyre’s Dark Cane.
What Does Eggnog Taste Like?
When I tried eggnog, the first thing I noticed was its thick, creamy texture. It was much thicker than regular milk or juice, but not quite as thick as a milkshake.
But, what does eggnog taste like? Eggnog's flavor is also quite unique; it has a sweet taste, and when added, the notes of nutmeg and cinnamon really shine through, giving it an almost dessert-like quality.
Many say that eggnog tastes like melted ice cream as it doesn't have an eggy taste, however, the moment you add alcohol, the story changes!
Hints of brandy or rum can be felt when used, adding depth and complexity to the flavor profile.
I find drinking eggnog to be quite enjoyable, especially as it can be made to taste, not like classic cocktails; it has a comforting sweetness and warmth that makes me feel festive and happy inside [I am sure the brandy helped!].
I can see why so many people enjoy drinking it year after year! Not only is eggnog tasty, but it also has some nutritional benefits too; depending on your recipe of choice, you can get some decent amounts of protein, calcium, iron, vitamins A & D, B12, and 419mg of potassium from one serving, thanks to the eggs and dairy the recipe calls for.
What To Mix With Eggnog?
Adding liquor to eggnog is a time-honored tradition. Here are some of the most flavorful pairings, which really take the festive notes to the next level! If this is the first time you drink eggnog with alcohol, start with a little and increase to taste.
- Brandy – Brandy is a classic way to enhance the flavor of your eggnog. Its warm sweetness pairs perfectly with the creamy texture and spiciness of traditional eggnog. Plus, brandy adds a bit of sophistication to any holiday gathering.
- Rum (either white or dark) – Rum gives your eggnog an extra dash of sweetness and complexity. It pairs especially well with coconut milk if you’re looking for a dairy-free alternative to traditional eggnog and it is a tried and tested cocktail combo [pina colada with spiced rum anyone?].
- Bourbon – Bring out all the notes in your eggnog by adding some bourbon to the mix! The smoky caramel flavor of bourbon pairs beautifully with the vanilla and nutmeg in most recipes.
- Whiskey – Give your eggnog a hint of smoke and spice by adding some whiskey to the mix! You can choose either Scotch or Irish whiskey depending on how strong you like your spirits.
- Cognac – Rich and complex, cognac adds depth and sophistication to any recipe. This French spirit is made from distilled grapes, so its sweet flavor complements the creaminess of traditional eggnog perfectly.
- Amaretto - The Italian in me couldn't skip this suggestion! Amaretto is extremely festive and it is a great addition to your homemade eggnog, especially if you are not planning to add spices. Amaretto flavored eggnog tastes like a vacation!
Can You Freeze Eggnog?
Is it possible to freeze eggnog? Yes! It can be frozen as long as certain steps are taken prior to freezing. Let me guide you through this process so that your eggnog can last for months in the freezer - always ready for the next unexpected guest!
- The first step in freezing eggnog is to make sure you are using a container that has a bit of extra room (about ½ inch from the top). This allows room for expansion as the nog freezes.
- After you have selected your container, pour in your favorite eggnog and freeze!
- Depending on what kind of eggnog you are using (store-bought or homemade), it can last up to 6 months in the freezer.
- Once frozen, there are a few things that must be done before consuming your eggnog.
- Make sure you thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
- Be aware that when thawed the texture may change slightly and become less creamy; this is normal and doesn’t affect taste or quality at all!
- Finally, be sure to consume thawed eggnog within 1-2 days after thawing; if not consumed within this time frame it should be discarded.
People Also Ask [FAQs]
Eggnog originated in medieval Britain as an adaptation of posset, a hot milk-based drink flavored with wine or beer.
The most traditional alcohols used in eggnog are brandy, dark rum, and bourbon, with cognac added for an extra depth of flavor
Wrap Up: What Does Eggnog Taste Like?
- Eggnog is a classic holiday beverage that has been enjoyed by many Americans for generations.
- Not only does it have a unique and delicious flavor profile with notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, and brandy or rum, but it also provides some nutritional benefits too, thanks to the egg and dairy the recipe calls for.
- Adding liquor to eggnog gives an extra special touch. Brandy, rum, bourbon, whiskey, and cognac are all classic pairings that work well with the creamy texture of traditional eggnog recipes.
- You can even freeze your cold eggnog if you want to make sure you have enough on hand this season.
- Serve eggnog with a little whipped cream and a cinnamon cookie on top!
With the right ingredients and the below recipe at hand, you can create an unforgettable drink that your friends and family will love. So go ahead – whip up a batch of festive eggnog!
Simple Homemade Eggnog Recipe
- 4 large egg yolks
- ⅔ cup white sugar
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/16 teaspoon ground cinnamon or a pinch
- 2 tablespoons dark rum or to taste
- 1 tablespoon brandy or to taste
- 1 tablespoon bourbon or to taste (optional)
- Whisk the eggs in a large bowl and gradually add sugar until fully incorporated; the color of the mixture will become lighter, fluffy and smooth.
- Next add in the ground nutmeg and cinnamon, salt, and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.
- Gradually stir in each cup of heavy cream and whole milk as you mix continuously to avoid clumping.
- The next step is to cook the eggnog in a saucepan over a medium heat whilst stirring continuously.
- Once it has thickened to your desired texture (avoid boiling), add in brandy, dark rum, and bourbon (these are optional), transfer it into a container or pitcher, cover tightly with some cling film, then chill in the fridge for at least 8 hours prior to serving.
- Lastly, enjoy your freshly made glass of eggnog with some whipped cream on top as well as a generous sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon!
- Make sure to cook the eggnog over a low-medium heat, stirring continuously to ensure the eggs do not scramble.
- To ensure an extra creamy texture, add an additional cup of heavy cream and two tablespoons of butter.
- Additionally, for an even more decadent flavor, use a mix of spices such as allspice.
- Alcohol is optional, and the type used can be chosen according to flavor.