Almost as omnipresent as eggnog at a holiday party is the chit-chat about eggnog. So here’s a little lore to get you in the game:


What is “nog?”

Eggnog probably dates back to the Elizabethan era. Over time, in England and America, there have been many incarnations of the drink, using alcohols like rum, brandy, whiskey, and bourbon. And it’s been flavored with everything from molasses to dried pumpkin, reports Similar drinks have been called posset and egg flip.


One theory is that “nog” derives from the word “noggin,” which was a Middle English word for a type of mug that alcohol was served in.


Another theory claims that the name derived from a Colonial term for rum: egg-and-grog. This term was shortened to egg’n’grog, and then eventually eggnog.


If you like eggnog, you’re in good company with the likes of George Washington. Kitchen records from Mount Vernon indicate that he served an eggnog-like drink to visitors.


Washington’s potent recipe included three different types of booze: rye whiskey, rum, and sherry.


Now, here are three of today’s favorite ways to do eggnog.


Alton Brown’s Eggnog


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 pint whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 ounces bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 egg whites



In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Add the milk, cream, bourbon and nutmeg and stir to combine.


Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat to soft peaks. With the mixer still running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.


Whisk the egg whites into the mixture. Chill and serve.



Vegan Eggnog


  • 1 quart soymilk
  • 6 ounces Mori-Nu silken tofu, extra firm
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup Amaretto, Southern Comfort, brandy, or alcohol of choice (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves



In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and blend until creamy and smooth. Chill before serving.


Serves: 5



Not so Humble’s Eggnog Cheesecake


  • 1 1/2 cup of graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter melted



  • 4 8 oz packages cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons dark rum
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup fresh eggnog
  • 4 large eggs (at room temperature)


boiling water



  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Nutmeg



Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 10 inch spring form pan with butter and parchment.

Combine the ingredients to make the crust and press into the bottom of the spring form pan. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack, reduce oven temperature to 320°F.

In your stand mixer, using the paddle attachment mix the cream cheese for about 4 minutes until smooth. On medium speed, slowly pour the sugar into the cream cheese scraping down the sides of the bowl well. Add the dark rum, brandy, vanilla and spices and mix. Sift the flour into the mixture. Reduce your mixer’s speed to low and add the eggnog mixing well. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each one is just incorporated taking care not to over beat the mixture.


Pour the mixture into the pan with the crust. Set the pan on two sheets of aluminum foil and smooth them up the sides of the pan making it water tight. Set the pan into a roasting pan and place in the oven. Carefully pour boiling water into the roasting pan, till it reaches about half way up the side of the cheesecake. I shouldn’t have to say this but I will, don’t fill the pan above the level of the foil. Cheesecake soup isn’t fun.


Bake for approximately 60-70 minutes until cake is set but center is still slightly wobbly. Carefully remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.


Chill for at least 6 hours, ideally overnight.


Before serving make the whip cream, dollop onto the cheesecake and grate fresh nutmeg on top.