A lot of the food eaten during Christmas are not new to us by now. There’s the ginormous turkey (good luck on finishing that), honey baked ham, chocolate log cake (sans the plastic pine tree décor please), to name a few. But every year, we are stumped by a particular drink that is supposed to ‘taste like Christmas’ called the eggnog. The name seems to suggest there are a whole of eggs going on but other than that, we have no idea what to expect. If you’re just as clueless, let’s find out once and for all why so many people around the world toast to this drink during the Yuletide season.
What is eggnog?
First up, eggnog is a drink. A standard eggnog is basically a blend of milk, cream, sugar, whipped eggs (yeah, we knew that already) with spices like vanilla, nutmeg or cinnamon sprinkled on top to give it that festive touch. If you’re wondering why you felt groggy after knocking back a few of this seemingly innocent drink, that’s because you’ve had one spiked with an alcohol like whiskey, brandy or rum — triple-laced in some instances. Traditionally, eggnog, which originated in the 17th century Europe, was a drink that the wealthy indulged in. After all, eggs and milk were considered to be expensive and rare ingredients back then. Raw eggs were used in traditional recipes but most store bought variety today use cooked eggs instead due to health reasons – we’re guessing some dude suffered a bad case of food poisoning from it.
Places to enjoy
Supermarkets like Cold Storage carry a rather extensive range of eggnog ranging from $8.95 for a 1L cartoon to $17.50 for the organic lo fat version of the same size. There is even a gluten-free version available there. NTUC Finest carries Paul’s brand for $9.90 for 1L. December is a good time to check them out.
Surprisingly, calls to popular coffee chains in Singapore such as Starbucks, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Olio Dome and TCC reveal that they do not serve eggnog. However, Coffee Bean said you can buy their eggnog coffee blend for $19.90 (8oz pack) to make at home. Celede Café’s response, on the other hand, was particularly interesting when we called them. It goes like this:
GrateNews: “Do you serve eggnog for Christmas?”
Cedele: “Er…no. But we have turkey, ham, log cake all that…”
GrateNews (thinking): Either she thinks eggnog is a dish (not drink) or she’s trying to upsell us.
Where eggnog is concerned, we’ve been told that nothing beats the taste of a freshly brewed cuppa. Since the drink takes only around 15-30 minutes to make and is not too complicated, we say it’s worth giving it a shot (or how ever many shots you want to add). Check out these two recipes.
Or better still, make the drink your very own by infusing it with local flavours like pandan or horlick or substituting sugar with gula Melaka. Have fun, it’s the festive season after all.