What's New in December

Oloroso and Eggnog: An American tradition for over 200 years.

Last winter we were speaking with Carmen, the winery manager at Gutierrez Colosia, and she told us about a mixed drink that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and the rest of America's founding fathers apparently enjoyed. The story of this drink seemed very strange to her and she wasn't sure if it was real. She told us the drink is called eggnog and is made from a combination of milk, eggs, and oloroso sherry. Eggnog, we assured her, is in fact a real drink, but what was this about sherry? Could it be that George Washington really had the good taste to use oloroso in his eggnog? Intrigued and excited, enticed by the possibilities, we decided we had to find out more. So we went online to get a little history.

The drink originated in 18th century England and was usually drunk as a toast to health and prosperity. It was made from a combination of milk, whipped eggs and sherry or brandy, and was served hot. Due to the high cost of milk and eggs, it was only popular among the landed gentry of England until it crossed the Atlantic. Since the majority of the colonial population lived in rural areas, where eggs and milk were relatively cheap and easy to come by, eggnog started to catch on with the common people. The tradition of drinking eggnog to toast health and prosperity made it an ideal beverage for New Year’s celebrations, and its being served hot didn't hurt either in those days before central heating. England's high taxes on wine for the colonies eventually forced the colonists to swap out sherry for less expensive, locally produced rum or whiskey.

We decided to try the original eggnog recipe, and as you might have guessed, we loved it. So try it out for yourself with this simple recipe, and take part in a 200 year-old  American tradition.

2oz Sangre y Trabajadero Sherry
1tsp granulated sugar
1 whole egg
6oz milk

Blend egg, sugar and sherry in a heat-safe mug. Bring milk to a boil, add to mug and stir. Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg and enjoy.