[1] Eggnog was originally served in a four-ounce cup, called a nog (photo and recipe © Whole Foods Market). It’s the size of a modern punch cup.

Nutmeg and Microplane
[2] We like a grated nutmeg garnish on eggnog. You can substitute grated chocolate. (photo © McCormick).

[3] If you want to serve a nibble with the nog, try gingersnaps (photo © Splendid Spoon).


Eggnog, also spelled egg nog or egg-nog, dates to Colonial America. It is descended from European milk-and-wine punches that were served centuries before then. Here’s the history of egg nog.

In Europe as well as the Colonies, the alcoholic beverage was also known as milk punch or egg milk punch—hence the first part of “egg nog.”

A noggin is a small drinking cup or mug, holding a quarter of a pint (4 ounces)—the same as what we now call a punch cup.

“Noggin” first appears in print in the mid-17th century. It initially referred to the cup, and later indicated a quarter of a pint [source].

Noggin became nog, and the egg-based drink served in it: egg nog.

December 24th is National Eggnog Day, but we wanted you to see this recipe prior to Christmas.

Fortunate we are that an eggnog serving is only four ounces. The sweet, rich beverage is typically made with milk, cream, sugar, egg yolks and whipped egg whites.

Some people top it with whipped cream, others add ice cream. Talk about gilding the lily!

This recipe from Whole Foods Market adds another holiday ingredient: cranberries.

You can make the eggnog from scratch or save time and purchase it.

  • Here’s a recipe for classic eggnog.
  • Here are creative eggnog recipes, from chocolate to coconut to flaming eggnog.

    In the following recipe, the sweet richness of eggnog is tempered by the tart cranberries.

    For Thanksgiving, you can substitute pumpkin purée and some pumpkin pie spices (allspice, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg) for the cranberries.

    Eggnog is typically served with alcohol: bourbon, brandy or rum (if you have spiced rum, this is the time to bring it out).

    If you don’t know the preferences of your guests—cocktail vs. mocktail, or type of spirit—prepare the eggnog without alcohol.

    Leave bottles of any or all of the spirits next to the eggnog. People can add their favorite alcohol, or none at all.

    We like our eggnog with a crunchy gingersnap on the side—a seasonal cookie that’s better here than the even more seasonal gingerbread man, because it’s less sweet. Mini biscotti work, too.

    Ingredients For 8 Four-Ounce Servings

  • 3 cups eggnog, chilled
  • 2/3 cup fresh or thawed frozen cranberries, plus more for garnish
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Spirits of choice
  • Garnish*: freshly-ground nutmeg (substitute grated chocolate)

    1. COMBINE the eggnog, cranberries and salt in a blender and purée until smooth. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

    You can add a bit of the leftovers to your morning coffee.

    *We don’t like to garnish with cranberries because they’re too tart to eat. Thus: food waste by those who know; spitting out by those who try to eat them.


    THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food

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