How to make proper Southern eggnog (1937)
Article from the Mobile Register (Alabama) December 1937
Oscar of The Waldorf may be the world and all to Yankee epicures, but if he offered a Southerner egg-nog prepared to the recipe he gave the United Press, he would have to run for his life the minute the Southerner tasted the utterly unpardonable concoction.
In case you missed Oscar’s recipe as published in The Register yesterday, we print it again, warning you not to read it, however, if you are an egg-nog specialist and don’t want your Christmas ruined.
“Follow this recipe,” says Oscar, “and you can’t go wrong: One egg, one tablespoon of powdered sugar, one jigger of brandy. Fill glass with milk (add ice if desired), shake well and strain into a long tumbler. Grate a little nutmeg on top.”
The whole thing is a nightmare. At any rate, it is emphatically not recipe for eggnog. A recipe for a quick-acting poison, possibly, but for egg-nog — never, Oscar, never!
Ice, milk and brandy unquestionably have their place in this world, but they have no more to do with egg-nog than peppermint candy has. And what lends the final note of horror is the shaking. Shake an egg-nog? As well shake a bottle of rare old sherry! As well serve champagne warm! As well as celebrate Christmas on the Fourth of July!
The Register takes it for granted that all its readers know the basic rules for preparing eggnog, but for the education of the benighted Oscar, it offers an old recipe for Southern egg-nog, which is unquestionably the only genuine variety.
First, you separate the volk from the white of the egg. Then into the bowl containing the whites, you add a tablespoon of granulated sugar for each white. This you beat and beat and beat — until it stands, until, as the saying goes, you can cut it with a knife.
Thereafter — and, separately, mind you — you beat the yolks until they attain a beautiful lightness. Whereupon you add your whisky (never brandy, Oscar!) — a tablespoon for each egg — and this again you beat and beat and beat. Then into the mixture of the yolks and whisky, you fold the whites of the eggs until the whole is perfectly mixed and all of the color of a rich gold.
And, then, Oscar, you drink, and the spirit of Christmas descends upon you, and you are at peace with life. Kind thoughts invade you: a mellowness entwines itself around you; you bless your family, your friends and Saint Nicholas. You are ready for another glass of egg-nog.
There are, to be sure, a number of variations of the recipe set down for Oscar’s enlightenment. There are those who, to prevent a certain stiffness in the mixture of sugar, eggs and whisky, add a bit of cream — pure, thick cream, Oscar, never milk. And the cream, in the opinion of some, should be whipped before it is added.
There are also those who insist on a larger proportion of whisky than one tablespoon to an egg. And there is the nutmeg school, and, far larger, the anti-nutmeg school.
But on the essentials, nearly all Southerners are agreed, and they will call you bad names, Oscar, if you persuade the rest of the country to drink that miserable, barbarous, devil-possessed concoction that you have had the effrontery to call egg-nog. You yourself would never call it that, Oscar, if you had ever drunk the real thing.
8 old-fashioned eggnog recipes by the cup
Egg nog, we believe, is originally an American institution, popular both at the North and at the South, but more particularly in the southern states during the holiday season. It is, with milk punch, popular among the faculty for the encouragement and aid of convalescents. (Text from 1869)
1. Victorian egg nog (1869)
Sherry wine is not infrequently used as a substitute for the stronger liquors. Put into a large tumbler, quarter full of broken ice, a tablespoonful of white sugar; break an egg on the rim of the glass and turn in the yolk; fill it up with milk; shake well. Grate on top a little nutmeg, and drink to the health of your family.
2. Old-fashioned hot egg nog (1903)
Use a mixing glass.
1 fresh egg
2 spoonfuls of sugar
1 wine glass of Cognac
1 wine glass of Jamaica rum
Fill the glass with boiling hot milk, stirring contents well while adding the milk; grate nutmeg on top, and serve.
This drink will be found very beneficial to delicate persons, as it is not only a tonic, but strengthening and, if used regularly, will assist very materially in building up the system.
3. Sherry wine egg nog (1903)
Use a mixing glass.
1 spoonful of sugar
1 fresh egg
1-1/2 wine glass of sherry wine
1 pony glass of brandy (Hennessey)
1/2 glass of fine ice
Fill the glass with milk, shake well, strain into a large bar glass, grate a little nutmeg on top, and serve with straws.
Unsurpassed as an invigorator, not only for a short time as many are, but it will stand by you for a considerable period.
4. Brandy egg nog recipe (1903)
Use a mixing glass.
1 teaspoonful of sugar
1 fresh egg
1/3 glass of ice.
1 wine glass of brandy (Martel)
1 pony glass of Jamaica rum
[Add all above then] Fill the glass with milk. Shake well in a shaker, strain into large bar glass, grate a little nutmeg on top, and serve with straws.
This is a very swell drink, and, like all other drinks where an egg forms a component part, is very nutritious.
5. General Harrison Egg Nogg (1884)
(Use large bar glass.) One egg; Three-quarters tablespoon sugar. Fill glass with shaved ice; fill with cider; stir well with a spoon. Strain in large bar glass. Grate nutmeg on top and serve.
6. Old-fashioned eggnog recipe (1869)
One tablespoonful of fine white sugar; one tablespoonful of cold water and one egg; one and half wine glasses of brandy. Let the glass be filled one quarter or half with broken or shaved ice. After the sugar, egg, water and spirits are placed in the tumbler, fill up with milk and shake well. Santa Cruz or Jamaica rum may be used instead of brandy, or brandy and rum combined, allowing one or the other slightly to predominate. This drink may be made hot by using boiling milk without the ice.
7. Eggnog recipe: East coast (1911)
Here is a real “down south” recipe for eggnog: Beat separately the whites and yolks of one dozen eggs. While beating the eggs, stir in with them 12 heaping tablespoons of powdered sugar; then mix nine wineglassfuls of best whisky, four wineglassfuls of Jamaica rum and one of Curacao cordial. Pour the liquor very slowly into the yolks and sugar. Then add very slowly two quarts of cream. Then stir in the whites of the eggs, which have been beaten very light. – Mrs J J O’Connell, 934 Eye Street, N W, Washington DC
8. Egg nogg recipe: West coast (1911)
To make a two gallon bowl of eggnogg, take two pounds of powdered sugar, 30 eggs beaten together, three pints of brandy and one quart of Jamaica rum. Add the liquor a little at a time until there is enough to cook the eggs — that is the secret of good eggnogg. Stir into this three pints of rich cream, then beat up one quart of cream for the top. Sprinkle with grated nutmeg and it is ready to serve. – Mrs P Bergston, 2134 Parker Street, Berkeley, California
(Editor’s note from 2019: These vintage recipes use raw eggs, which have been linked to foodborne illness. Find out more here, and use with caution.)
Victorian eggnog recipes that make enough for a party punchbowl (1890)
Egg nog is considered the national drink for Christmas. Here are some recipes which were obtained from well-known experts in the art of mixing drinks. These recipes will each make enough of this festive beverage for a party.
1. Egg nog recipe for a party (1890)
Divide the white and yellow parts of the eggs. Beat them separately until stiff. To the yellows of fifteen eggs, add half a pound of good brown sugar, then stir into this three pints of the best French brandy and one pint of the best Jamaica spirits, and enough rich cream to form a gallon of egg nog. To this add the beaten whites of the fifteen eggs. This is the old Maryland style.
2. Eggnog for a group (1890)
To make one gallon of eggnog, take one dozen eggs, beat the yolks and whites separately, add one pound or pulverized white sugar to the yellow part, then stir until the sugar and eggs are thoroughly mixed. To this add one quart of best whisky or brandy and half a pint of Jamaica rum: stir while pouring in the spirits and add three quarts of milk. Decorate the top of the mixture with the whites of the eggs beaten stiff.
3. Egg nog for a party (1890)
Take one and a half pounds of pulverized white sugar and the yellows of two dozen eggs. Beat these together. Add one gallon of cream, and then add half a pint of best rum and one quart of best whisky. Stir while mixing, and pour liquors in slowly. Beat the whites of the ears until they are stiff and float on the top of the eggnog in the bowl. A gill of Benedictine added to this mixture pleases many palates. It is very important to place the liquor slowly in the mass after the cream has been added.
4. Eggnog for a holiday party (1890)
To the yellows of eight eggs well-beaten, add half a pound of powdered white sugar; mix with one gallon of rich cream. Stir in one pint of rum and one pint of brandy or whisky. Beat the white of the eggs and then place on top the liquid. A little oil from the rind of a lemon gives a good flavor.
This is the last: One dozen eggs to one gallon of milk, sugar to the taste, one quart of whisky, rum to the taste. Add milk to the sugar and yellow of eggs beaten together, then add spirits.
5. Egg nog for a party of 20 (1869)
Half dozen eggs; 1 quart brandy; 1/2 pint Santa Cruz rum; 1 gallon of milk; 3/4 pounds white sugar. Beat separately the whites and the yolks of the eggs. Mix all the ingredients except the whites, which should be beaten until they have a light frothy appearance, in a punch bowl, then let the whites float on top.
6. Maryland eggnog for a party of 20 (1889)
Mrs. Justice Field was a Maryland girl, and she gives a recipe that speaks of the old days of hospitality. It is egg-nogg, or the “greeting cup,” and in Maryland and Virginia houses, is sent around Christmas morning to every room before breakfast.
1 gallon of milk
1 dozen eggs
15 tablespoonfuls of sugar
1 grated nutmeg
1 pint of brandy
1 pint of Jamaica rum
Divide the yolks from the whites and beat them. Beat the yolks and sugar until light. Add the brandy and rum, stirring constantly. Last of all, put in one gallon of milk or cream, and cover with the beaten whites of the eggs.