Christmas Traditions: Eggnog (1200s)

Eggnog. Source: Wikimedia Commons

This is seventh in a series of 12 posts on historical Christmas traditions. I didn’t note my sources, but please trust I did verify the information.

In the Middle Ages in Britain, a drink called a posset – a warm, thick, milky drink of eggs or milk, alcohol (wine, ale, or sherry) and spices – was very popular. It became the eggnog of holiday tradition in the early days of American history. Some say Captain John Smith’s Jamestown colony was the first in the U.S. to make eggnog in 1607. Supposedly (and among many other theories) colonists called their mixture “egg and grog,” the latter being a then-common term for any drink made with rum (which was way cheaper than sherry). The name was eventually shortened to “egg’n’grog” and later, eggnog. Today eggnog is still very similar to the original posset (with the addition of sugar) with ingredients such as milk, sugar, beaten eggs, some kind of liquor (brandy, rum or whiskey) and spices such as ground cinnamon and nutmeg.

What’s your favorite holiday drink?

I don’t like eggnog, but I love me some hot chocolate spiked with Bailey’s!

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