Hot Vs. Cold Eggnog: Which Is Better?

Eggnog is something of a quintessential holiday drink, almost like hot chocolate. Though eggnog is quite an indulgent holiday treat, it also tends to be somewhat divisive for those who are not acquainted with the flavor (via Just One Cookbook). But, for those who love it, there are tons of recipes out there to choose from, as well as brands at the grocery stores — even with some alternative eggnogs (like almond nog) being vegan-friendly, too. Once you have your eggnog drink though, there's another question you have to ask yourself: Should it be served hot or cold?

Just like the drink itself, the answer to whether or not hot or cold eggnog is better is just as polarizing. On two separate forum boards, Serious Eats and Well Trained Mind, people tended to favor drinking eggnog cold. Of the 138 people who responded to the poll on Well Trained Mind, a whopping 110 of the voters said they preferred drinking their eggnog cool or cold. 

But there is one major factor to consider when it comes to which temperature of eggnog is better. It seems the weather outside while you are drinking eggnog has a lot to do with what people prefer. Those in warmer climates appear to produce recipes that are suggested to be served cold. Others in cold climates look to make hot eggnog that warms from within, along with the help of some booze (via The Spruce Eats).

Hot eggnog might be the more traditional of the two

Though it seems most people prefer cold eggnog, hot eggnog might actually be the more traditional of the two options. According to Wine Enthusiast, the recipe for hot eggnog is astonishingly close to medieval recipes for a similar cocktail, posset. Posset was a warm milk punch that was popularized in Britain during the early Middle Ages.

Wine or ale was typically added to the hot milk, which then curdled. After the milk punch had curdled, sugar and other spices and flavorings were added. During the Middle Ages, common people typically couldn't afford things like milk or eggs, so this quickly became a luxury that was popular with British aristocrats. The drink was even said to help cure those who ailed from everything such as insomnia to the common cold, according to Wine Enthusiast.

Today, even food resources like Just One Cookbook (which states they usually drink eggnog cold), Food52, and Food Network have recipes for warm or hot eggnog. While there is no right or wrong answer here, keep in mind that hot eggnog could have the same warming, cozy effect that hot chocolate does while cold eggnog might cool you off next to a blazing fire. So, try the drink both ways and enjoy.