The holiday season is no time for dieting. Granted, some winter sports enthusiasts might argue they burn off those excess calories on the slopes. But, for most of us, November and December are months of indulgence. Even the most well-intentioned wellness plan goes out the snow-frosted window when elaborate cheese trays and platters of festively frosted cookies come rolling in.
And then, of course, there’s eggnog: that heavy, heady concoction that is served but once a year. Historians trace its rich roots to 14th Century England, when medieval drinkers curdled hot milk in spiced ale. (Thirsty yet?) Named posset, the winter warmer was a nobleman’s drink, as few working joe’s could afford the high cost of milk. It went out of fashion until the colonization of the Americas, when small-scale farms with cows and chickens a ‘plenty gave everyday imbibers the chance to get their nog on.
Now, eggnog is an American holiday tradition on par with exchanging gifts, decorating trees and visiting estranged relatives. Recipe variations span regional, generational and even familial lines. Eggs or heavy cream? Brandy or rum? Nutmeg or cinnamon? Whatever your pleasure, the creamy cocktail is a crowd-pleaser.
It should come as no surprise, then, that other nations are hip to the nog. From Chile to Greater China, global variations on the sweet stuff abound. Click through our slideshow for 12 of the world’s tastiest takes on the holiday favorite. Bottoms up!