Eggnog has a long history – the festive drink dates back to the 14th century in Europe – but it was the American colonists who made it really popular.
Since a lot of them had their own chickens and cows for the milk and egg parts – it wasn’t just for aristocrats anymore. Recipes varied – basically they had the eggs and the nog – which is just another word for the cup it’s served in – some cream and sugar – and then pretty much any spirits they could find.
George Washington’s recipe found at Mount Vernon had three different kinds of booze in there – rye whiskey, rum and sherry. An 1879 Virginia housewives’ recipe consisted of 12 eggs, 8 glasses of brandy and four glasses of wine.