Celebrate with this easy eggnog recipe; it is the classic Christmas beverage that will get your celebration off to a great start!
The holiday season is a time for happy gatherings of family and friends.
Entertaining them is easy when you can offer an old fashioned cocktail, such as Easy Eggnog Recipe, served as a welcoming appetizer.
There is nothing like a rich creamy concoction to promote good camaraderie and to warm up your guests on frosty nights to festive fun.
The first recorded use of the word nog comes from the Middle Ages in old England.
Nog referred to the common alcoholic brew of the day, a strong ale consumed by the population in lieu of fouled or tainted water.
No one really knows the origin of eggnog, but we do know over time old English nog was the grandfather of many drinks enjoyed through the centuries in many parts of the world.
England's posset, a hot drink made from milk, eggs and whatever spirits were available, is eggnog's closest cousin.
The early English colonists are credited with bringing the drink to the eastern shores of the New World, along with many other culinary wonders that became the backbone of today's American comfort food cuisine.
Eggnog was a frugal way to use and preserve an overabundance of certain foods, eggs from laying hens and milk from cows, which every colonial family kept in the barnyard, prior to the invention of refrigeration.
Rum, the readily available spirit of the day imported from the Caribbean, was the preservative of choice.
A large batch of the eggy brew was stored in root cellars of the day, or down cellar as our colonial ancestors would say, where time and cool temperatures worked their magic.
In the cool darkness it was believed the strong spirits would kill any microbes that might cause foodborne illness and the flavors would meld, yielding a very smooth and creamy mellow drink.
The first President of the United States of America, George Washington, popularized eggnog, his favorite drink for celebrating Christmas.
It too, is an easy eggnog recipe.
We love chef Alton Brown's take on this traditional American holiday beverage:
For individuals with Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance or Gluten Sensitivity, the alcohols and liquors used in eggnog recipes can pose even more health hazards than raw egg alone.
Below is a discussion about the spirits commonly used in homemade eggnog.
Bourbon and other whiskey are typically distilled from barley, rye and wheat, all gluten containing grains.
Though some authorities claim the distillation process results in a gluten-free product, others claim traceable amounts of gluten are still measurable in the final distilled product.
Moreover, sometimes the liquor is aged in oak barrels or casks sealed with grain paste usually made from wheat or rye.
The sad fact is, bourbon and other whiskey can be labeled and sold as gluten-free while containing more than 20 parts per million of gluten in the final product.
While some people with Gluten Intolerance or Gluten Sensitivity claim they can tolerate bourbon or whiskey labeled gluten-free without any known health problem, those with gluten or grain allergies or Celiac Disease do react.
Therefore, do your due diligence when researching manufacturing processes and risk of cross-contamination from in-field grain through bottling of bourbon and whiskey sporting gluten-free labeling.
Avoid bourbon and whiskey with added coloring and flavoring ingredients as these may contain gluten, which may not be disclosed on the label.
Because the debate over truly gluten-free bourbon or whiskey rages on, and at GlutenFreeHomemade.com we take our responsibility regarding gluten-free health seriously, we have chosen NOT to recommend any bourbon or whiskey brands labeled gluten-free.
Brandy is naturally gluten-free, because it is distilled from fermented fruit juices.
However, like every ingredient, be aware of cross-contamination in manufacturing and bottling processes.
Like bourbon whiskey and wine, some brandy may be aged in wooden casks or barrels traditionally sealed with a gluten containing grain paste, usually wheat or rye.
Choose plain brandy.
Avoid colored and flavored brandies as ingredients may contain gluten.
Rum is made from cane sugar or molasses and is naturally gluten-free.
However, like every ingredient, be aware of cross-contamination from in-field grain, manufacturing and bottling.
Colored rum can contain caramel coloring, a possible gluten ingredient depending on its undisclosed source.
Use white rum to avoid any possibility of caramel color gluten contamination and avoid flavored rums as the flavoring ingredients may contain gluten.
Wine is naturally gluten-free as it is made from fermented grapes, as is sherry.
However, like every ingredient, be aware of cross-contamination in manufacturing and bottling.
Like bourbon whiskey and brandy, wine and sherry may be aged in wooden casks or barrels traditionally sealed with a gluten containing grain paste, usually wheat or rye.
There is a growing trend for clean tasting wine and sherry that are aged in stainless steel vats; whenever possible choose these wines to help mitigate gluten cross-contamination.
Avoid wine and sherry with added color or flavoring (and wine coolers) as these ingredients may contain gluten.
The the debut of the film, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, to U.S. movie theaters during the holiday season in 1989, a resurgence of eggnog's popularity ensued well into the 21st century.
To say the movie has since become a Christmas classic is an understatement.
It continues to have wide appeal throughout the following generations.
One might even say it is responsible for the growth of a new eggnog culture.
Who can forget the scene when the characters, Clark Griswold and cousin Eddie, play by renowned comedians, Chevy Chase and Randy Quaid, so masterfully play up the moose mugs movie props filled with boozy eggnog in one of the film's most significant scenes?
Today, replica punchbowls and moose mugs have become traditional Christmas décor across the nation, alongside Nativity scenes, Christmas trees with all the trimmings, Christmas stockings and everything Santa Claus.
Decide on a holiday theme.
Put on an ugly Christmas sweater, turn on Christmas music and then decorate the kitchen.
Tie on a Christmas apron, roll up your sleeves and get ready to concoct!
Easy Eggnog Recipe is a vintage classic you're going to love!
Simple and luscious, it is a perfect make-ahead appetizer for all occasions, not just Christmas and holidays.
Since Easy Eggnog Recipe is written for a single serving yield, increase the ingredients measures as needed for family and guests, and include enough to accommodate second helpings.
For mixed gatherings, make a batch of non-alcoholic eggnog recipe for youngsters and another batch doused with gluten-free spirits for adults.
While you are at it, add and extra serving, or two, so you can enjoy a cup of hot eggnog while you cook up make-ahead dishes for your holiday feast.
For adults only gatherings, give the Easy Eggnog Recipe an extra kick by adding a bit more Christmas cheer (liquor).
Then, chill the rest until ready to serve.
Flavored eggnog will keep well for several days in the refrigerator.
Spiked eggnog will keep well in the refrigerator for weeks.
When ready to serve, pour chilled eggnog into a decorative pitcher or a punchbowl set into a container of crushed ice.
With friends and family, raise filled glasses and toast the festive occasion.