Is Eggnog Always Alcoholic?

Michele Tantussi/Getty Images News/Getty Images

This Christmas, I'm just... well, a bit more pregnant than I've ever been before. Of course, with the holidays just around the corner, I've noticed a weird craving for eggnog — but, considering the literal baby growing inside of me, it's important to know if all eggnog is alcoholic before I go ahead and have some. If it is, there's no winning in my situation — and my craving will need to wait until next year to be properly quenched.

Besides the ladies who are facing the same situation as I, it's generally good to know if there are alcohol-free nogs out there. Not only is it a popular drink served at Christmas parties, but when you're in a situation where you're not truly in control of the ingredients or the quantity, it's good to know what you're drinking beforehand. Yes, the holidays can be a time to get rowdy, but it's always a smart move to only drink what you can successfully handle.

As it turns out, there is alcohol in standard eggnog, but most of the stuff you'll find in the carton at grocery stores is alcohol-free. Not all nogs are created equal. In fact, many households have their own special recipe, so you'll always have to ask before partaking in a glass or five.

Eggnog is said to date back to the late 18th century. Even George Washington was a huge fan, although his recipe is rumored to have included a ton of alcohol — rye whiskey, sherry, and rum, to be exact. His recipe also included cream, milk, sugar, and a ton of eggs, so it sounds pretty rich and delicious.

That said, a lot of people aren't fans of the stuff.

Part of the reason is due to the fact that some recipes call for unpasteurized eggs. And obviously, those eggs you're drinking in homemade eggnog aren't cooked. So, for a few people, that's reason enough to stick to wine. And, it's another reason for pregnant women to question before they drink. (That said, the grocery store eggnog is a bit safer if the mood truly strikes.)

If your party requests a homemade batch, and you're clueless as to what alcohol to use, most nog experts believe that sticking with the brown spirits is definitely the way to go. One, two, or even three kinds are often used to add a bit of punch to the beverage. Cognac and bourbon are especially popular these days.

So in short, yes — many eggnogs contain alcohol, but many do not. It's always good to ask before you sip. But, if you're pulling it out of the fridge in a commercial package, there's a great chance that you'll be drinking something that's alcohol-free. Just make sure to double check the label beforehand.

Images: Michele Tantussi/Getty Images; Giphy (3)