Eggnog is one of my favorite holiday drinks, so I decided to make a hundred-year-old eggnog recipe to see how it compared with the modern version. The old recipe made a lovely eggnog that had a hint of vanilla and nutmeg. It was less sweet and thinner than the typical modern eggnog – but, in my opinion, that was a good thing.
Eggnog is considered very festive today, so I was surprised to find the old recipe for it in a 1920 home economics textbook, in a chapter titled “Illness in the Home.” Back then it was common for cookbooks and textbooks to include a chapter on cooking for invalids – and eggnog was considered a nutritious, easy to eat and digest food for someone who was sick.
Here’s the original recipe:
This recipe makes one fairly small serving. A hundred years ago, it was probably served in an 8-ounce (1 cup) glass.
Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:
1 egg (I used a pasteurized egg.)
1 teaspoon sugar
dash of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup milk
dash of ground nutmeg (or grate a small amount of whole nutmeg) (optional)
Put egg in a small mixing bowl; beat until smooth. Add sugar, salt, and vanilla; then gradually add the milk while continuing to beat. Strain, and pour into a glass. If desired, sprinkle or grate a little nutmeg on top. Serve at once.