Eggnog, Nog, Flip and a Holiday Tradition

Egg Nog or Eggnog or both or none. This creamy and spicy spiked concoction is typically served in a punch bowl where I live. Actually, to be completely honest, I don’t know of anyone who serves eggnog these days. But, I love it, and if you’re up for an adult milkshake, read on and give this recipe a try. For a printable recipe of Daddy Jake’s Eggnog, click here. Eggnog has an interesting history. Sometimes called posset, sometimes nog, it’s also similar to a milk punch and an egg flip or flip, which is a cocktail made without the addition of cream. But maybe you don’t care about the history. Maybe you want the rest of my eggnog story?

I live in a small town in South Carolina. When I moved here many years ago, eggnog served from a  punch bowl was common during the holiday season. During my time working as director of our museum, I met many wonderful local ladies who volunteered in our gift shop. They shared with me their favorite community and church cookbooks and recipes. One of the party punch recipes that I was particularly fond of was a coffee punch made especially decadent with the addition of whipped cream. Needless to say, I was fond of eggnog also, but the best eggnog recipe came to me not from my museum volunteer friends, but from the father of a friend.

Photo by Magda V on Unsplash

Jake Holbrooks didn’t drink much, according to his daughter Phyllis–perhaps at a dinner party now and then and when he and his wife, Margaret, hosted their annual Christmas party. When I arrived at Jake and Margaret’s home for a Christmas gathering many years ago, I was surprised by a festive and very over-the-top greeting. It was a very well-lit sign on the roof wishing everyone a MERRY CHRISTMAS! It was then what you see now in all of the Christmas movies. Using more than his fair share of the power grid, Jake welcomed you with his fabulous smile and his rooftop sign full of a happy Christmas spirit. On this particular night, he offered me eggnog, which I’d never tasted before.

The creamy, velvety first sip left me almost speechless. Fortunately, I mustered enough energy to ask Jake for his recipe. His response was very laid back, something like Oh, just get you some eggnog, add some whisky, mix in the whipped cream and put a little nutmeg on it. Fortunately, my interpretation of Jake’s “recipe” turned out well, so I recorded it for future cocktail concocting. And since my initial sip, I’ve resurrected that Daddy Jake moment with his simple eggnog recipe. For me, the holiday season has officially begun when I take the first sip. No one else in my house enjoys eggnog, so it’s all for me, and I’m really happy about that. For a printable recipe of Daddy Jake’s Eggnog, click here

The Smithsonian has a short and sweet and interesting history of eggnog if you’re interested. There are some pretty spicy history tidbits, including the riot at West Point and George Washington’s super-boozy recipe.

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