For some, the Holidays aren’t complete without a frothy glass of Eggnog. It’s not just a beverage, it’s a tradition.

The more you think about it, the stranger the idea of Eggnog becomes. The drink consists of raw eggs, milk, spices, and sugar – who thought of this, anyway? And what does “nog” even mean?

We don't have eggnog at Blue Line, but we thought it would be fun to look at the history and origins of this holiday beverage. 


While the drink’s exact origin is murky, most historians agree it stems from a medieval British drink called “posset,” which was hot, milky and alcoholic. People often drank posset in wooden mugs called “noggins,” which may be the origin of the “nog” in “eggnog.”

Later on, monks were credited for adding in eggs and figs to the mix, making it the eggy drink we know today.

The beverage gained a wider following in the American colonies, whose farms had all the milk and eggs needed for the recipe. Though it wasn’t initially a Christmas drink, scholars believe the refrigeration provided by the cold weather plus the seasonality of spices – which were rare and reserved for special occasions – made it perfect for the Christmas holiday.

In fact, even George Washington was famously an eggnog lover, writing down his own recipe for his Mount Vernon guests. The founding father’s recipe contained brandy, rye whiskey, rum, and sherry. Go ahead and try it out (eggnog purists insist homemade is the best), but you’ll have to guess on the number of eggs. Washington didn’t disclose it.

Eggnog isn’t always alcoholic in modern recipes, but in those days, the alcohol acted as a preservative and was added to dairy to kill bacteria.

Today’s store-bought eggnog actually contains very little egg. You can find the flavor everywhere during the holidays, including eggnog-flavored gelato and even almond-milk, dairy-free eggnog.

Still, not everyone is a fan. If you’re not into festive yuletide beverages, there’s always beer on tap at Blue Line.