(Apologies for the fuzzy audio - not sure what happened!)
"This drink can be made with either Brandy, Whisky, Rum, Gin, Sherry, or Port.
"Pour into the shaker: 1 measure of the desired spirit or 1 wine glass of the chosen wine. Add the contents of 1 egg, 1 tablespoonful of sugar, 1/2 tumbler fresh milk.
"Shake extra well and strain into a tall tumbler glass. Grate a little nutmeg on the drink before serving."
Here's my adaptation, which I shook over ice to make it cold, which I think watered things down a smidge. Still very good.
1 jigger spiced rum
1 pony bourbon
1 large egg, well-washed
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon sugar
Shake very well until cold and frothy. Grate some fresh nutmeg on top and serve cold.
I am not generally a fan of prepared eggnog you can buy in stores. It's usually thickened with carageenan, VERY sweet, and very strongly flavored. This homemade version was much nicer - not as thick (although you could use half and half or light cream instead of milk for a richer product and skip the ice), not nearly as sweet, and although the alcohol was very forward (you could cut back a bit if you want), it was quite nice - creamy with a frothy head and didn't taste much like eggs at all, surprisingly. I'm a fan!
Holiday Beverage Glossary
- Hypocras/Hippocras - A mixture of red wine, sugar or honey, and spices, including cinnamon, ginger, grains of paradise, and long pepper. Other recipes contained nutmeg and/or galingale. Dating back to antiquity, the mixture got its name from the hippocratic sleeve - a type of filter to remove the spices from the steeped wine that was named after Hippocrates, who invented it to purify water. Sangria was purportedly inspired by hippocras. The drink may have been served hot and was popular in Medieval France.
- Posset - A Medieval mixture of hot wine or ale, spices, and milk, which curdles in the alcohol. Some versions strained out the whey to make a sort of pudding. In the 16th century the dish evolved into something more similar to syllabub, using cream and lemon juice.
- Syllabub - A mixture of cream and wine, whipped together until the cream separates slightly. Served cold. Often augmented with fruit juices and sugar and served as either a pudding-like dessert or a frothy punch. Popular in 18th century America.
- Milk Punch - Traced to 17th century Scotland, milk punch is a mixture of brandy or bourbon, sugar, and milk. Sometimes the punch is clarified by heating the milk before adding the alcohol, adding an acid like lemon juice, or both, to curdle the milk so the solids may be strained out. Resulting in a clear but creamy-tasting alcohol. In the United States, milk punch is most commonly associated with New Orleans, especially at holiday times, including Mardi Gras.
- Eggnog - Eggnog is probably a descendant of posset, as are most milk and alcohol mixtures. Made of eggs, distilled liquor, sugar, milk, and/or cream, recipes vary. Served in large quantities and especially popular in the 18th century, most recipes called for the egg yolks to be whipped with the sugar, milk, and alcohol, and the whites to be whipped separately, sometimes with whipped cream folded in, and floated on top. Fresh nutmeg is always grated over the whole, however you make it. Other countries in the Americas have variations, including coquito in Puerto Rico and ponche crema in Venezuela, and rompope from Mexico and Central America.
- Tom & Jerry - Dating to the early 19th century and named after a play from the 1820s, Tom & Jerry is essentially hot eggnog. A "batter" of whipped egg whites, yolks, sugar, and spices is augmented with a hot punch of milk, rum, and brandy. The two are mixed to create the Tom & Jerry. The proliferation of storebought "batters" in the 20th century led to a rise in Tom & Jerry consumption in the 1940s, '50s, and '60s, with custom-made punch bowls and cups (often made of milk glass) were designed just for this specific beverage.
- Flip - The flip has had a couple variations. In the late 17th century, it was a mixture of ale, distilled liquor, sugar, and occasionally but not always an egg or egg yolk, heated with a hot poker - causing the drink to spit and boil or "flip." Some recipes also called for the beverage to be "flipped" between two pouring jugs. Later variations got rid of the beer, kept eggs, and were served cold. I made a cold brandy flip for Food History Happy Hour several months ago, using my Cherry Bounce recipe.
- Wassail - Made famous by the Gloucestershire Carol, wassail comes from the Anglo-Saxon for "good health" and was originally made with hard cider or ale with the addition of sugar and spices (sensing a theme?). Later varieties were made with wine and also included citrus fruit. The carol goes, "Wassail! wassail! all over the town, Our toast it is white and our ale it is brown;" referencing the practice of floating toast in the bowl.
- Lambswool - Thought to be the original wassail, Lambswool is a type of mulled ale or cider with roasted apples or crabapples that was extremely popular in Elizabethan England and came to be associated with Twelfth Night celebrations, including blessing apple trees for the following year. Some recipes can include toasted bread in the bottom of the bowl over which the hot mixture of cider, spices, sugar, and roasted apples were poured. The apples were roasted on the hearth and the pulp squeezed out.
- Smoking Bishop - Mentioned in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, smoking bishop is made from port wine, roasted lemons or Seville oranges, spices, and lemon-rubbed sugar, served hot. The "smoking" part may come from the practice of burning off some of the alcohol while it was heating. Apparently a whole host of variations, called "the ecclesiastics," used different alcohols, including (according to Wikipedia), "the Smoking Archbishop (made with claret), the Smoking Beadle (made with ginger wine and raisins), the Smoking Cardinal (made with Champagne or Rhine wine) and the Smoking Pope (made with burgundy)."
- Glogg - Popular in Scandinavia since the 16th century, glogg is a mixture of red wine, spices, distilled spirits, and often fruit juice, served hot.
- Hot Buttered Rum - An American invention that combines rum, butter, sugar, spices, and hot water (later, hot cider). Also mentioned in White Christmas (1954).
So what do you think? Did I miss any historic holiday beverages? At our house, we always serve an 18th century punch called Second Horse Punch. Which, like most Christmas classics, needs to be made in advance! Do you have any special or traditional holiday beverages? Share in the comments!