TSL Homestead Cocktail of the month – Egg Nog – July 2021

This month the video is from our camera angle, so there is some behind the scenes dialogue between the Mad Farmer and Miss Mercy as we were figuring out the Facebook ‘go live’ feature. This is the same feature we struggled with last month. Hopefully we will get all that sorted.

Now, on to the July Cocktail of the month – Egg Nog! We decided to do a little Christmas in July here at the homestead and nothing says holidays like Egg Nog (according to Miss Mercy).

This was a fun cocktail to research and fun to make. The recipe I used was from my 1941 Boston Cooking School Cookbook by Fannie Merritt Farmer. The first edition of this book came out in 1896, and the earliest edition I have is 1912. The 1941 book is the first one in which this eggnog recipe appears, as far as I could tell. As a side note, a very similar recipe is included in Esquire’s Handbook for Hosts, published in 1949.

Known during the medieval period as ‘posset’, it was made with hot milk curdled with ale, wine or something similar and then sweetened and spices added. Because of the high cost of ingredients, it was a drink enjoyed by the upper class. How the drink came to be called Egg Nog is a bit of a mystery. One possibility of its origin comes from the wooden cup used to drink it was called a “noggin”. Egg Nog was a pretty common drink in England and the United States by the 1700s. Here in states, we swapped out the alcohol for some that was not being taxed. Read more from the History Kitchen from PBS.

One of the more sensational notes about our cocktail this month comes in the story of the Egg Nog riot of 1826. This riot took place at West Pointe – and it was a doozy. The Superintendent of the school had forbade the consumption of alcohol by the cadets, which really put a wrench in their traditional Christmas celebrations which included spiked Egg Nog. The cadets spiked the Egg Nog and things, as they say, escalated. Cadets were expelled and Christmas celebrations were no more. Smithsonian Magazine had quite an article about the riot, which you can find here.

I am a big fan of Egg Nog, even more so now that I have this delicious recipe to make. It makes 5 quarts, which does sound like a lot, but it goes surprisingly quick! And while not everyone enjoys the tasty drink, as a country we manage to drink 15 million gallons of it during the winter holiday season.

If you decide to give this recipe a try, do let us know what you think!

Virginia Egg Nog – The Boston Cooking School Cook Book by Fannie Merritt Farmer

12 eggs

12 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 quart milk

2 cups whisky (we used Weller Special Reserve)

1 cup rum (we used Bacardi light rum)

1 quart heavy cream, beaten

Beat egg yolks with sugar until very light. Add milk, whisky, and rum. Fold in cream and egg whites, beaten until very stiff. Add more sugar or liquor to taste. Serve very cold with grated nutmeg on each cup. Makes 5 quarts.

Enjoy!