On a recent episode of NBC’s Fear Factor, contestants braved a dark tunnel filled, by turn, with sewage, rats, tarantulas and two walls of fire. Where, I wonder, was the eggnog?
The holiday “treat” — eggs whipped with sugar and milk or cream (plus whatever abominable chemicals the commercial brands are laced with — what the jesus is disodium phosphate!?) — is surely the most vile drink on the planet, save whatever blood- or pus-based liquid Survivor 12 contestants are chugging back in some far-off corner of the world right now.
I am digging in my sparkly red heels this Christmas. I will drink eggnog no more. Polite hosts who offer it up, I thank for the gesture. But I would rather sit on a pinecone than let that syrupy slime slide down my throat once more in this lifetime.
This resolution originates at the crossroads of “Bah! Humbug!” and culinary enlightenment, but there’s a verbal angle too. Egg Nog. Nog. Nog. It’s a horrible little sound. Nog. It’s one of those words that produces too much saliva in your mouth (An antidote to combat the chilled-semen texture of the drink you’ve just ordered?) and it leaves your tongue lying at the back of your bottom teeth like a wounded slug.
The British — who are credited with the invention of eggnog — call it an egg flip. But I wouldn’t drink one of those either; exchanging “flip” for “nog” only solves one part of the problem. It’s still an egg-based liquid dessert. You might as well toss raw cookie dough in the blender — minus the flour — and huck it down your throat.
Even my friend Tara, who loves the stuff, describes it similarly. “Eggnog is like the deep-fried version of milk,” she says. “I just love the odd nutmeggy taste and the coating feeling, like my veins are actually turning yellow. I legitimately think it tastes good, like the cow was all, ‘I’ve got something special for you today.’”
Are commercial eggnogs and similar forms of refined sugar gloop going to be North America’s legacy to the world of drink? Other cultures get beverages so right. How can North Americans get them so wrong? Mango lassi, jackfruit juice, aqua fresca, real chai, Turkish coffee — there is a world of liquid deliciousness out there. Some sweet, true, but there’s nothing that compares to the jacked-up glucose levels in the tooth-aching slop North Americans will bequeath generations to come; “refreshments” like soda pop, Slush Puppies and eggnog’s brother-in-disgustingness, Yop.
Don’t even get me going on Tim Horton’s “cappuccinos” and Dunkin’ Donuts’ Caramel Swirl Latte. For the holiday season, Starbucks makes a Chai Tea Eggnog and an Eggnog Latte, appealing to society’s dual thirst for caffeine and sugar. These nog (shudder) drinks are carefully crafted to give the maximum possible amount of sugar without actually inducing a diabetic coma. After all, when you’re in a coma, you can’t shop for Barista Aroma Solo™ Tumblers and Holiday Bearista® Bears.
Any discussion of eggnog (or Christmas) wouldn’t be complete without talk of booze, of course. Some traditional eggnog recipes include rum, brandy, or another spirit in the mix. Even beer. And I think I know why: if there’s enough booze in there, you don’t even notice what you’re drinking after the first few gulps.
Want to nosh on nog? Email: email@example.com and quench your thirst.