After hearing rumors of egg nog sightings at area grocery stores, I finally saw the blessed cartons of deliciousness firsthand last week. This got me thinking about seasonality of eggnog and the calendar of allowable eggnog drinking. After some (careful) thought, Mr. Marlow presents:
Rule 8: The Proper Consumption of Eggnog
Eggnog is described by Wikipedia as a "sweetened dairy-based beverage made with milk, cream, sugar, and beaten eggs... flavoured with ground cinnamon and nutmeg." Families will often have variants of this basic recipe, and the spice used to garnish a glass of egg nog will often range from cinnamon to nutmeg to allspice. John Legend, however, has a strong opinion on the correct spice to use.
As a lifelong drinker of eggnog with cinnamon, I have a bit of a soft spot for that combination. While there may not be a 100% correct recipe for this nectar, there are definite time periods where it should and should not be consumed.
Commercial non-alcoholic eggnog - Thanksgiving to March 1st
Commercial alcoholic eggnog - Thanksgiving to February 1st
Homemade non-alcoholic eggnog - year-round
Homemade alcoholic eggnog - November 1st to March 1st
Explanations (though not necessary) follow.
Homemade eggnog has a longer season because a: the effort that goes into making it should be rewarded and b: it's tough to find the stuff in stores all the time.
Non-alcoholic eggnog has a longer life because at some point, if you want a drink with alcohol in it, there are better options than eggnog. However, sometimes there is just an irresistible urge to have the coma-inducing elixir. I understand that.
It's happening to me right now.