Old Tennessee Distilling Puts the ‘Nog’ in Eggnog
There aren’t many festive drinks that have inspired a riot. No, this isn’t a history of the Molotov Cocktail; we’re talking all things eggnog.
If you had three seconds to name a holiday-season drink ubiquitous at this time of year, chances are you would yell, “Eggnog!” Rich in protein, the drink has become intrinsically tied to the festive season. We’re here to tell you the brief when and how of eggnog and why Old Tennessee Distilling Company is the place in East Tennessee to stock up on the finest eggnog liqueur.
Why is Eggnog a Christmas Drink?
Although the historical record of eggnog is patchy and still up for debate among historians, the beverage’s origins are said to stem from early medieval Britain, where a “hot, milky ale-like drink” called a posset was popular. According to Time, in the 13th century, monks added eggs and figs to their possets, and from then on, the rich ingredients (milk, sherry, eggs) aligned the drink with toasts to prosperity.
Fast forward to the 18th century, and eggnog was brought to American shores. What was once a drink for the wealthy soon found a much broader captive audience across all economic levels. Sherry had made eggnog expensive, but in America, it was replaced by rum. Rum, imported from the Caribbean, was not as heavily taxed as spirits arriving from Europe, so the drink was adapted to its new environment.
Eggnog was a flying success. By the 1800s, it had become a staple in the American Christmas tradition. George Washington even had his own eggnog recipe, which was adapted to include toe-curling amounts of rye, brandy, sherry, and rum.
How Eggnog Inspired a Christmas Riot
On Christmas Day of 1826, eggnog was in the spotlight for a very different reason: as the cause for a riot breaking out at the United States Military Academy of West Point, New York. Despite an alcohol ban on the premises, cadets smuggled in spirits and mixed them into eggnog, and chaos ensued. According to Smithsonian magazine, the debauchery suggested to be a result of the oppressively strict rules of the Academy’s superintendent, caused a remarkable amount of damage. Windows were smashed, banisters torn out, and several West Point cadets were expelled.
These days, Eggnog has acquired a much more peaceful reputation. Most varieties in the supermarket are simply a mix of eggs, sugar, dairy products, and ‘seasonal’ spices. It might give you a sugar rush, but not much else.
Enjoy Our Happy Holiday Nog
We don’t do ‘placid’ at Old Tennessee Distilling Company. Our Happy Holiday Nog recreates your favorite festive drink with an extra kick. The 34-proof is designed to get your Christmas party swinging (but not rioting!), and if you want to give your guests the real holiday treatment, try our Egg Nog ‘N’ Coffee cocktail.
- 2 oz. Happy Holiday Nog Cream Liqueur
- 4 oz. cold brew coffee
Pour the liqueur and coffee over ice blocks in a tumbler, and stir until combined.
Holiday Fun and $5 Cocktails
Come for some Happy Holiday Nog, and stay for some festive cheer, and $5 cocktails at our distillery in Kodak, TN. We’re open seven days a week, excluding national holidays.