Pierce Egan: The Eggnog Man

can I pour you a cuppa?

can I pour you a noggin?

Here at Blog of Funny Names, we’re feeling festive and look forward to the delicious holiday season rushing toward us. In that spirit, I’ll pour you a glass of eggnog and invite you to sit back and read on as we explore the origins of this milk-based alcoholic punch.

What we know of as eggnog is a spin on various milk and wine punches concocted long ago in the Old World. Once on American soil, the punch’s wine was replaced by rum. And because rum was commonly called “grog,” the word “eggnog” is likely a shrinking of the name “egg-and-grog.” Though others claim that the “nog” in eggnog comes from the word “noggin”—a small, wooden, carved mug used in taverns. The truth might be a blend of the two: Perhaps eggnog was originally known as “egg and grog in a noggin.” Can totally see why it was shortened to “eggnog.”

I see puzzled looks among you readers. Are you thinking that while “eggnog” is indeed a funny word, this here is not the Blog of Funny Words. (Though BoFW could be the BoFN spin-off we’ve all been waiting for. Dave?) We’re at Blog of Funny Names, you’re thinking, so where’s the funny name? Well, I’ll tell you. He’s right here: meet Pierce Egan.

do you suppose he had the ladies of the early 1800s swooning over him?

do you suppose he had the ladies of the early 1800s swooning?

Mr. Egan was an author circa 1820. To promote his not so succinctly titled book, Life of London: or Days and Nights of Jerry Hawthorne and His Elegant Friend Corinthina Tom, he cleverly crafted a twist on eggnog by adding brandy to the basic recipe of milk, rum, eggs, and sugar. The extra brandy fortified it considerably, making the Tom & Jerry even more popular than its predecessor.

serve your Tom & Jerry in style

serve your Tom & Jerry in style

While my funny-names quotient has maxed out (sorry!), it’s worth noting that George Washington, first president of the United States, was quite a fan of this potent milk punch and created his own recipe that included rye whiskey, rum, and sherry.

My favorite eggnog tale crosses this classic holiday beverage with Dave’s favorite Russian band. The Eggnog Riot, also known as the Grog Mutiny, happened at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York in 1826. As with many riots, it was caused by a drunken Christmas Day party. Two days before said party, much whiskey was smuggled into the academy to make eggnog for party guests. The Eggnog Riot—of course named for that whiskey delivery and the subsequent eggnog making—involved more than one-third of the cadets by the time it finally played out on Christmas morning. An investigation by Academy officials implicated 70 cadets, court-martialing 20 of them along with one enlisted soldier. Now that was a holiday party to remember.

does it tie in? not really. but how cute is this?

does it tie in? not really. but how cute is this?

Here’s hoping your holiday parties do not end in a similar fashion and that you are able to raise a glass of Pierce Egan’s brandy-spiked eggnog (though even the virgin version will do) and virtually clink mugs with your fellow readers here and elsewhere. A here-come-the-holidays cheers to all!

Seal_LLC (2)

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About Liz

Owner of deLizious Food Communications. Projects include recipe development, editing, and formatting; food writing and editing; nutrition analysis; public speaking and cooking instruction. Past and present clients: General Mills, Green Giant Fresh, Hormel, Minnesota Beef Council, Minnesota Soybean, Minnesota Pork Producers, Norwood Promotional Products, Pillsbury, Tad Ware, and Weight Watchers Publishing. Mother of two young girls.
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22 Responses to Pierce Egan: The Eggnog Man

  1. wdydfae says:

    Trust Liz to cover what is probably my favorite drink. (Sadly, I am able to get it only very rarely.)

    No blurb! I can only bow in reverence.

    • Liz says:

      I’m honored, diddy. High praise indeed! You know you can make this drink with only eggs, sugar, and milk (possibly cream), don’t you? A bit of nutmeg perhaps. And booze if desired. Thinking you should check out tomorrow’s food for fun post 😉

  2. kerbey says:

    I would swoon at him.

  3. Liz-truly lovely. You have crafted a post with food, authors, and riotous spirits. What a way to start a Tuesday. I feel so festive.

  4. Arto says:

    I will offer a festive swoon toward the eggnog. Mmmm, eggnog. Grog, nog, and noggins. What else can you ask for on a chilly December morning at the BofN. Not much.

    • Liz says:

      Thanks, Arto. Festivity, swooning, and eggnog. Just another day in the life here @ BoFN. I wouldn’t think to ask for anything more either 😉 Especially since I have my Hanky Book for my sniffly nose as well as to wipe up the peanut butter that the Carlson brothers keep spilling.

  5. ksbeth says:

    great post liz though i’m still worried about humpty dumpty who broke his egg noggin.

  6. I’m ready fer the BoFW and I here-by nominate Pulchritude as it’s inaugural word.

  7. wdydfae says:

    Another thing about Pierce Egan:

    He is the eggnog man, we are the eggnog men.
    He is the walrus, goo goo g’joob.

    I just thought I should share that.

    • Liz says:

      you go, diddy…goo goo g’joob indeed. Always happy when you share. Well, usually mostly happy when you share but that’s pretty much the same thing 😉

  8. Dave says:

    “Egg and grog in a noggin” is the best phrase I’ve read this week! That plus a Pussy Riot reference is enough to make me swoon!

    • Liz says:

      Did you dys’s comment above, Dave? The world might just be ready for BoFW! Was glad to get a Pussy Riot reference in. They might just like a round of eggnog, don’t you think?

      Perhaps an egg and grog in a noggin would work as well as an ambien? no, probably not.

  9. amb says:

    Liz !!! I’m so sorry I’m late to the party – I hope there’s eggnog left 😀 I love the eggnog lattes at Starbucks, but I’ve never tried making the real thing from scratch before. Have you? (I’m hoping this question will be answered at food for fun tomorrow 🙂 ) Love that cartoon, too. So cute! And now the dancing pickle has some company 😉

    • Liz says:

      You survived your Terrible Tuesday, amb! Ready for whatever we said Wednesday was? Will have to check the paperwork 😉 Glad to have you here and of course there’s eggnog left. (if there wasn’t, I’d make you a new batch, so no worries) Eggnog was one of the recipes on my recent 007 cocktail mission, so I have indeed made my own. I’m going to try another version for this week’s food for fun, though, so BEWARE. Er, I mean, get ready to be delighted 🙂

      Thought you might like the cartoon. It has a certain Mr. Bill-like quality. OHH NOOO!

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