The Twelve Mysteries of Christmas, Day 4: Why Can’t I Drink Eggnog All Year Long?

“Chicken Milk”?

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love queried me:  “Why is eggnog only sold around Christmastime?”

Dear Soul,

The answers for this are varied, and frankly, it is difficult to discern the truth.

Fact is, two of the most popular sources say that (1) nog chickens only lay in November and December, and (2) that if the beverage was sold all year round, many of us would weigh 500 pounds. Personally, I lean towards the latter explanation, as I was not able to find an example of a nog chicken anywhere on the internet, leading me to believe that it is a mythical creature, and I think it is far more likely that the government, having our best interests in mind, has licensed manufacturers to produce it only during the holiday season, when no one’s counting calories anyway. Of course, there will always be braggarts who claim that where THEY live, eggnog is sold all year round, but I do not believe this, and neither should you.

My take: It is a truth universally acknowledged that the scarcity of an object merely increases its value. Therefore, stop asking questions and just grab a case while you can.

Recipe for Best Eggnog Ever (from Narsai David)

  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1 lb. box powdered sugar
  • 1 qt. milk
  • 1 pt. bourbon (or four cups apple juice for non-alcoholic version)
  • 1 pt. brandy or rum (or four cups apple juice)
  • 1 qt. whipping cream
  • nutmeg

Crack eggs into 3-4 quart heavy pot and whisk well. Add sugar. Continue whisking while adding two cups milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 160º and a sauce-like consistency. Stir constantly and remove immediately when above temperature is reached or it will set into a custard. Transfer mixture to another bowl and chill in refrigerator.

To serve, pour cooked mixture into punch bowl. Mix in remaining milk and liquor or juice. Whip cream to soft peaks and float on top. Grate fresh nutmeg over mixture and serve in punch cups.

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