12 Things You Didn't Know About Eggnog

Along with fruitcake, candy canes, Christmas cookies, and hot buttered rum, eggnog is one of those treats that, for many, no Christmas is complete without. But whether you drink yours straight from the carton or have a classic recipe that you whip up every Christmas Eve, we bet there's a lot you didn't know about this famed creamy cocktail.

12 Things You Didn't Know About Eggnog (Slideshow)

The basic formula for eggnog is pretty simple, but there are plenty of variations out there. They all start with eggs, sugar, milk and/or cream, and nutmeg; it can also be spiked (for the adults, at least) with bourbon, rum, or brandy. The resulting concoction is creamy, sweet, frothy, boozy, and (let's be serious) one of the most delicious things on earth. Some cook their eggs or use pasteurized ones (which is unnecessary, as you'll see), and some buy their eggnog pre-made from a carton (usually loaded with thickeners and stabilizers), but the end result is always a tasty, boozy treat.

In lieu of buying the pre-made grocery store stuff this year, we suggest you make your own. We're partial to Alton Brown's recipe, in which he creams sugar into egg yolks before adding milk, cream, bourbon, nutmeg, and whipped egg whites (if you're concerned about the raw eggs, an alternate recipe is also provided). Yes, egg nog is unhealthy, but if you're going to drink it, you might as well drink the good stuff — and, hey, it's Christmas!