December 24th is not only Christmas Eve, but in the U.S., it is National Eggnog Day.
Eggnog is a dairy based drink made with eggs, cream, milk, and sugar. It's often mixed with alcohol such as brandy, rum, whskey, and bourbon. Traditionally eggnog is most popular during the holidays from around the end of October into the new year, although it can be enjoyed all year. Other names for eggnog are milk punch and egg milk punch.
The history of eggnog is debated but its origin is mostly recognized as being from England, specifically East Anglia (one British name for eggnog is egg flip). The word eggnog is American, with it's origin credited to a poem by written clergyman Jonathan Boucher in 1775. The poem wasn't published until 30 years after his death. The first time eggnog was used in print was 1788 in the New Jersey Journal on March 26th, which referrenced a man drinking eggnog.
Celebrate Eggnog Day by enjoying some eggnog with family and friends. Most stores are well stocked with eggnog this time of the year. You can also can make your own eggnog by using simple ingredients that you probably already have on-hand in the kitchen. I've included a nice easy recipe below courtesy of DaysOfTheYear.com.
3 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cinnamon stick
Generous pinch of ground clove
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup rum (optional)
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Over low heat combine milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, cinnamon stick and clove in a medium saucepan. Rise the heat slowly and bring to a slow boil (it takes about 7 minutes to bring to a boil.) Once the milk mixture starts to boil take off heat and let the cinnamon stick seep for 2 minutes, remove cinnamon stick.
In the bowl of a standing mixer combine egg yolks and sugar. Whisk together until pale and fluffy. With the mixer on low, pour the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks (tempering the yolks) whisk until well incorporated. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat on med/med-low for about 5 minutes, continually stirring, until thickened and creamy. Do not let it boil, or the nog will curdle.
Stir in the rum, heavy cream and nutmeg and refrigerate over night. When ready to serve garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Have a wonderful Christmas Eve and Eggnog Day!