Anyhow, what is the mysterious “nog?”
Well, the answer is debated. Eggnog probably dates back to the Elizabethan era. Over time, in England and America, there have been many incarnations of the drink, using alcohols like rum, brandy, whiskey, and bourbon. And it’s been flavored with everything from molasses to dried pumpkin.
Similar drinks have been called posset and egg flip.
One theory is that “nog” derives from the word “noggin,” which was a Middle English word for a type of mug that alcohol was served in.
Another theory claims that the name derived from a Colonial term for rum: egg-and-grog. This term was shortened to egg’n’grog, and then eventually eggnog.
What’s the moral here? Even the simplest pleasures can sometimes contain a mystery. Consider, if you will, the rich and surprising history of the X in “Xmas.”