Every thing you ever wanted to know about noggin the nog
December 8th, 2010
12:45 PM ET
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(Mental Floss) - There's a good chance you'll either drink too much eggnog this holiday season or spend time around someone who has. Here's a look at the background of this December staple.

Eggnog can trace its roots back as far as the 14th century, when medieval Englishmen enjoyed a hot cocktail known as posset. Posset didn't contain eggs - the Oxford English Dictionary describes it as "a drink made of hot milk curdled with ale, wine, or the like, often sweeten ed and spiced' - but over the years eggs joined in on the festive fun.

While the egg-laden version of posset was popular with the English, it became less common as time went by. Milk and eggs were both scarce and expensive, and the sherry and Madeira used to spike the mixture was pricey, too. Over time, the concoction became a drink that only aristocrats could really afford.

All of that changed in the American colonies, though. What we lacked in parliamentary representation we made up for in easy access to dairy products and liquor. Since many Americans had their own chickens and dairy cattle, tossing together a glass of eggnog was no problem, and the drink's popularity soared among the colonists even as it sagged back home.

Read the rest of "Eggnog: Everything you need to know" on CNN Living

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Filed under: Bite • Christmas • History • Holidays • Sip


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