October 22, 2020

Mondays with Michael Spencer: December 28, 2015

Holiday Eggnog

From a 2006 post, “True Confessions of an Egg Nog Addict”

• • •

There is a category containing foods over which I have no ability to reason or resist. Should you wish to make a fool out of me, these are the foods that will facilitate the process. If you want to see a grown man reduced to the level of pure lust, this is the formula. If you want to frighten your children with visions of pure addiction, simply bring them over and set one of these foods before me. Just don’t put it in their hands or things could get ugly.

In this third category of food temptations beyond all reason is egg nog.

Yes, egg nog, that heavenly concoction that appears in the holiday seasons and lays claim on the minds, desires and appetites of those of us who have, after ten months, achieved some balance, sanity and clarity in life. It is entirely possible that one day, Denise will come home and there I will be in the kitchen, propped up in the corner, dead, surrounded by a dozen empty egg nog cartons. Pity me not. It will not have been an unpleasant end, I assure you.

Now I must quickly clarify that by egg nog I do not mean some milky sweet medium for the consumption of various kinds of hard liquor. Denise’s dear grandmother Lottie would end the family Christmas Eve dinner with a concoction that looked like egg nog, but which tasted, at least to my untrained Baptist palate, like gasoline. She would laugh with glee at this horror, and I would wonder how anyone could ruin the nectar of the gods.

In a review of egg nog in New York magazine, the author indulged in descriptions that approach the kind of religious devotion I feel toward egg nog. Here are some of the descriptions from the reviews:

[name] seasonal nog is superb: like French vanilla ice cream in a cup. Just the right thickness, with flecks of nutmeg. Very sweet, but not artificial-tasting.

There are thicker brands out there, but for the most part Axelrod gets the consistency right. Somewhat milky, extremely sweet, with caramel and butterscotch accents. Like drinking liquid candy — but tasty nonetheless.

The hands-down champ: extremely thick and frothy, just-right off-white coloration, flavor that’s sweet but not too. All-natural, and it indeed tastes absolutely farm fresh. Only available for two months of the year, but sold everywhere during that period. More expensive than the other brands ($7.99 at Balducci’s!), but worth it.

This is poetry.

We buy a large bottle of egg nog and set it in the refrigerator. The plan is for this bottle to be consumed in small glasses after meals, as a treat for the entire family. Then Denise goes to the refrigerator.

“What happened to the egg nog?”

Silly woman. Some questions are simply beyond the mind of limited human beings. There are mysteries at the heart of the universe. The unknown is always with us.

Of course, that’s not the case here. I just drank it all.

Denise imagines that egg nog is meant to be “cut” with milk. She is unable to comprehend the ingestion of pure egg nog as a beverage. Like a teetotaler suggesting the bourbon be diluted with lesser substances, she simply doesn’t understand that in the higher levels of addiction, it is blasphemy to dilute sin with any amount of righteousness. Let us have our sin straight. In a tall glass. Oh just give me the bottle.

Back in the day, we used to have a dairy called “Velvet Milk.” The Velvet Milkman would bring these big glass gallon jugs of milk to your door, take your empties, and come back as often as you asked. Included in this service, during the holidays, were big glass gallon jugs of egg nog, brought to your door every day.

Now this would be a reasonable service for a family like ours. It is true that we have little money these days, and Christmas will be modest. There are few presents under the tree and we are planning on being apologetic for the gifts we’ve purchased for others. Still, if the milkman would bring a gallon- or several- of egg nog to the house every day I believe we could make a sacrifice or two. Heat. Electricity. Cable. Phone. Shoes.

I should bring this post to a conclusion. God only knows what Phil and Frank will do with this. I’m close to waxing eloquent on visions of falling into a vat of egg nog or being hooked to an egg nog drip during the night.

A man should know his own soul. I admit that I could become the Dr. Faustus of egg nog. I would appreciate your prayers.

Now, if you will excuse me, I hear something in the refrigerator calling my name.


  1. I share this affection for RAL egg nog, but the local dairies only produce sad imitations so home made is the only option.

    Best quote:

    Like a teetotaler suggesting the bourbon be diluted with lesser substances, she simply doesn’t understand that in the higher levels of addiction, it is blasphemy to dilute sin with any amount of righteousness. Let us have our sin straight. In a tall glass. Oh just give me the bottle.

    Ah, YES! No sharing!!

  2. For me, egg nog will only ever be a delivery system for various aged liquors. 😉

  3. I like eggnog, but it makes me feel full pretty quick. If I drink too much, it makes me feel a little sick to my stomach. Not much chance of addiction with this for me, though I like it’s flavor.

  4. God only knows what Phil and Frank will do with this.

    I wonder what they were like back in 2006. Maybe tolerable? Charitable? I don’t know.

    Grace unto them.

    Eggnog milkshakes are pretty good.

  5. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    I’m sensitive to egg albumin (stomach lining irritation), so I have no experience with eggnog.

    However, my old D&D Dungeonmaster does — part of his weird reactions to alcohol. As he told me years ago, he was a fan of non-alcoholic eggnog and at one Christmas get-together in his teens picked up a glass of alcoholic eggnog by mistake. Next thing he knew it was two days later and the top of his head was coming apart.

  6. Eggnog is good. Eggnog is kind. Eggnog is right. It is our friend. I am partial to rum though. A little nutmeg and cinnamon. Thank you eggnog.

  7. I like egg nog well enough, but as I get older I am less and less tolerant of milk products unless they have been cooked (yogurt, pudding, cheese). The soy-based nogs are okay – not the same, but okay – but what I really crave on a cold winter night is hot buttered rum 🙂


    • It’s almost as if milk is bad for the adult human body except in different processed forms…hmm…lol

      Been reading a lot about health, diet, lifestyle, etc. Starting to be convinced I need to cut as much milk from my diet as possible. Yet I live on half and half with my coffee…

      • Give almond milk a try. Available sweetened or not. If not that, try cashew milk.Soy isn’t good for humans either or animals for that matter. I’ll bet that going dairy free makes a difference for you if you can pull it off. If you can’t, go with goat.

      • Once you learn to drink strong black unsweetened coffee, you’ll never go back. Give it time.

        As Charles says, avoid soy; many, many people don’t tolerate it well. So much for the miracle food.

      • Stuart,

        Less milk is a good idea for adults, but don’t cut it out entirely. Yogurt is actually very good for you if you can tolerate it – get it plain and add your flavoring to it so you can control the amount of sugar etc.. As for the rest of the milk products, moderation: “white” cheese is better nutrition-wise than other colors; butter is better than margarine; full cream is better than half-and-half – the fat is not as problematic as the milk sugar in the latter, and full fat yogurt is better than non- or reduced-fat for the same reason. For coffee I use soy creamer or full cream (sorry Robert!), but instead of milk on cereal I prefer unsweetened vanilla almond milk. I’ve had to learn about these things since being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a few years ago… I eat tofu in soup once a day most days during Orthodox fasting seasons because it takes flavor from what it’s mixed with, and I need the big protein numbers; even though peanut butter has a spectacular amount of protein, I get tired of it 🙂


        • Soy is fine for those who can tolerate it, but many can’t. If you experience bloating and stomach disturbance after its consumption, likely you have an intolerance. It’s pretty common. You can count yourself blessed, Dana, that you are not intolerant of the miracle food.

          I never get tired of peanut butter. I eat peanut it on a daily basis, and have since childhood. Too much of it, really, as high as it is in fat content. No doubt it’s one of the reasons that I weigh more than I ever have before in my life each time I visit the doctor in recent years.

          • Robert,

            I am glad I can eat soy in moderation. Moderation is the key to all foods, including fats. I suspect it’s not the fat in the peanut butter that is making it difficult for you (and me – I’m right there with you) to lose weight, but rather the carbohydrates. I have a really hard time cutting back on those because they are what I crave, and they are easy. Veg would be so much better for me, but preparation takes so much time – can’t stand to eat them raw except salad. May God help both of us steward our bodies.


    • This is the first year I made buttered rum. I gotta say, it was everything I hoped it would be and more. It will most certainly be an annual, winter-long tradition for me now. I love that it is much spicier than Eggnog.

  8. Of course, eggnog, like fruitcake, is an acquired taste, with or without alcohol content. I acquired the taste for both only in adulthood (non-alcoholic, thank you).

  9. I love eggnog in my coffee. A blasphemer, I.

    When I’m doing taxes, I have my coffee with Harvey’s Bristol Cream sherry, which is about the same as eggnog, plus some alcohol. It cuts the pain.

    • I love eggnog, but I tried that and it didn’t really work for me. Perhaps I’ll give it a second shot. I’ll include the nutmeg this time.

  10. I live for eggnog this time of year, but I simply cannot drink it without the “nog” anymore.

    Most grocery store eggnogs are just WAY too thick, syrupy, and sugary. Here is my solution to make them palatable: I water it down with whole milk (raw, if you can) about 15%. It makes a big difference. I usually mix in a shot or two of Christian Brothers brandy (though I’m open to using rum or bourbon), and ONLY use fresh ground nutmeg. And not a pinch, either. When looking down at the top of your glass, if you can see yellow through the brown flakes, you have not put enough nutmeg yet. Here I stand, this is most certainly true. 😛

    As far as brands go, this year I discovered Southern Comfort’s contribution. I do enjoy it, but not enough to drink it without a little milk.