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The student news site of Hereford High School

Hereford Harbinger

The student news site of Hereford High School

Hereford Harbinger

    Holiday drink eggnog has interesting origins

    Mr. Rose tries homemade eggnog and thinks it was a success.

    There are many commercialized holiday traditions: pictures with Santa, reindeer, cookies. The tradition of serving eggnog, however, seems strange.  

    Eggnog is historically known as “milk punch” and is thought to have originated in England. In early English history the drink was known as Posset and was a combination of curdled milk and wine or ale. This drink was made in the wintertime and was sometimes given to soldiers to warm them up in the colder months.  

    Many years of Posset passed until colonists settled in America, where they brought the once known drink of Posset to America and added a few twists to it. They added egg yolk, milk, cream, and sugar. The alcohol of choice in this drink was rum or brandy. In 1775 after the creation of the new drink the term “eggnog” was coined.  

    It was not until 1990 however that the drink became a holiday staple in some American households. The drink drifted away from being made in homes to being mass produced and sold in convenience stores. The warm fuzzy feelings are captured in this drink with or without alcohol added in. This has helped solidify the drink as a holiday must have.  

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    I set out to try my hand at making eggnog. It is made of milk, heavy cream, egg yolks, sugar, nutmeg, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. You start with whisking the egg yolks and sugar and set it aside. Next, add the milk, cream, salt, and nutmeg in a saucepan and stir until it reaches a simmer. Then once heated add in small amounts of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks while continually whisking to avoid curdling. Once all mixed, heat again in the saucepan until the mixture reaches 160 degrees to eliminate the possibility of salmonella from raw eggs. Once done, put the product in the fridge and once chilled pour it into the blender and thin it out with a little addition of milk.  

    Bringing the drink into class felt like the holiday spirit had come to life. Learning and teaching the history of eggnog brings up the tradition and can help keep it alive.  

    “[The homemade eggnog] was absolutely delicious; [it] took me back to my childhood,” Mr. Imhoff said.  

    The making of eggnog has not always been up to proper health standards, but with today’s knowledge of salmonella and food born illnesses, the drink is now safe to consume if purchased commercially or made properly  

    When speaking with Imhoff, he mentioned how his family used to just mix the ingredients together; no cooking was done to ensure the safety of the product.  

    “I’m convinced we made it with raw eggs,” Imhoff said.  

    Because of the deep seeded history of eggnog, it certainly will not be going away any time.

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