I have been gifted with several new Christmas Teas, from friends who know me well. I want to share some of them with you, just in case you are looking for something different and novel to try this holiday season.
Vienna Egg Nog Flavored Black Tea
I was intrigued by the name of the tea, but somewhat hesitant about this, Egg Nog, really… But it tasted really good. Don’t expect it to taste like a cup of “real” egg nog – if you’re looking for that, go to the milk aisle. It does however smell and tastes just like egg nog. If you like Egg Nog, then you will really like this tea.
I did enjoy it, though the rum flavor was more pronounced than what I prefer. This is very much a personal preference because I do enjoy the nutmeg and some vanilla notes that are inherent in eggnog, but with the rum contribution being more on the light side. This tea was very rich and indulgent, with a lot of different spicey notes and a creamy after-taste. It is a dessert tea for me, while cozying up in front of the Christmas tree, with lots of cookies!
Tiny bit of history about eggnog…
It began as posset during Britain’s early medieval years. Posset was a drink made of hot milk curdled with ale, wine, or the like, often sweetened and spiced. Later, it may have been monks who added in the whipped eggs. They are also said to have thrown figs into the mix. Usually however, posset was more popular in the upper classes due to the expensive price of milk, eggs and sherry at that time and because of its hefty price tag, it was often used in toasts to good health and prosperity.
It found a new following in the American colonies. Many American families had their own farms to supply them with the milk and eggs needed to whip up a nice batch eggnog. Sherry and Madeira were not easy to come by in the colonies; these liquors were replaced with less expensive and more widely available whiskys and eventually rum.
George Washington served an eggnog-like drink to visitors at Mount Vernon complete with sherry, rum and rye whiskey. By the 19th century eggnog was associated with the holiday season, a tradition that continues to this day.
Now this bit of history is really interesting…
Americans loved eggnog so much that it caused a riot in 1826. Prior to that year, cadets at West Point upheld an annual tradition of indulging in spiked eggnog during their Christmas festivities. The tradition was challenged when newly appointed superintendent Colonel Sylvanus Thayer forbade the consumption, purchase and storage of alcohol at West Point. Instead of adhering to Thayer’s new rules, cadets smuggled in alcohol from nearby taverns. Some even traveled across the Hudson River to be sure they had enough whiskey to get them through the night. Thayer had a feeling that the cadets might disobey his orders and sent two officers to look out for any unusual activity. The night took a rowdy turn, complete with broken windows, fights and more than a few hangovers. In the end 19 cadets were expelled and, perhaps not surprisingly, West Point no longer hosts a large holiday celebration. The raucous event will forever be known as the Eggnog Riot.