[Sca-cooks] Egg nog was New here Hello All!!

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Wed Nov 7 20:27:09 PST 2007

Johnna Holloway wrote: Welcome.
> Can you provide the website and source for your egg nog recipe?
> You indicate that it's circa 1579. That's much earlier than normally
> asserted for a named egg nog recipe..
> The OED has this to say about egg nogs--
> *egg-nog (nog- strong ale. ] A drink in which the white and yolk of
> eggs are stirred up with hot beer, cider, wine, or spirits.
> The first quote they give is:
> *1825* /Bro. Jonathan/ I. 256 The egg-nog..had gone about rather  
> freely.

Whether egg nog is out of period, depends upon whether you are  
talking about the use of the name of the drink as "egg nog" or  
whether you are speaking of the drink itself. Your above use of the  
OED really only covers the use of the name.

This does however, give a useful definition for what is in, or what  
an egg nog is. Egg nog may still be out-of-period if you use a strict  
definition of the ingredients as given above, but that is still to be  

There are a number of period drinks that are similar to egg nog.  
Possets, Caudles and Syllabubs for some.

What are these or how do they differ from each other, and egg nog?  
Here is some info from the first few messages in the caudls-posets- 
msg Florilegium file mentioned by Selene earlier. (Thanks, Selene!)

pos.set \'pa:s-*t\ n [ME poshet, possot] : a hot drink of sweetened and
    spiced milk curdled with ale or wine

cau.dle \'ko.d-*l\ n [ME caudel, fr. ONF, fr. caut warm, fr. L calidus -
    more at] CALDRON : a drink (as for invalids) usu. of warm ale or  
wine mixed
    with bread or gruel, eggs, sugar, and spices
Someone was looking for information on period syllabubs. Here is some
info that may prove useful. This is on p73 of the _Hypocras, Caudels
and Possets_ chapter, written by Moria Buxton in _Liquid Nourishment_
in the Food and Society series edited by C. Anne Wilson:

Rich Possets were first cousins to the early syllabubs,
though syllabubs were always cold and possets should never
be chilled. In the sixteenth century early syllabubs were
simply made from milk or cream squirted with force into a
bowl of wine; later they developed into whipped syllabubs
where cream and wine and flavoring were beaten together,
and the froth taken off in spoonfuls and left to drain in its
pot (rather like an uncurded posset); and later still developed
into set syllabubs which bore more resemblance to our final
drink, the caudel.
"Martha Washington's Book of Cookery" has a excellent
sack posset.  Essentially it is a cooked eggnog forerunner.  With
ingredients consisting of 14 egg yolks, 7 egg whites,  a pint of heavy
cream, 1/2 pound of sugar, a cup of sherry and a nutmeg it will  
harden your
arteries just sniffing it.
A caudle is a warm drink, spiced and sugared.  The "Cawdelle Ferry"  
recipe in
Vol. 1 of "Take a Thousand Eggs..." is made of wine, egg yolks, sugar,
saffron, salt, mace, cloves, galingale, and cinnamon, and served with  
powder" strewn on top.  Effectively, a thickened spiced wine, I  
guess, but
probably more custardy in consistency.

Notice that this last one doesn't include milk, which makes it much  
closer, if not the same as, egg nog.

Other than the one previously mentioned there is also this file in  
the BEVERAGES section of the Florilegium:
caudles-art       (12K) 11/21/97    A medieval drink of warm wine or  
                                        thickened with eggs by Tibor.

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas           
StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list