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Eggnog, the rich, egg and cream–based beverage that flows from a carton like lava, has become as much a holiday tradition as Yule logs and ugly Santa sweaters.

Where did it come from? “Most culinary anthropologists believe modern eggnog descended from a thick, boozy, late-medieval concoction called posset that was composed of hot milk and hooch enhanced with whatever spice the lord of the castle had on hand,” the celebrity chef Alton Brown explains on the website mental_floss. “Egg-based drinks found new popularity in the American colonies, where nearly everyone had access to cows, chickens, and rum.”

These days, you don’t need a barnyard full of animals to enjoy eggnog. And you don’t have to settle for the store-bought brands, says David Tomov-Strock (CAS’03, MET’13), who teaches Metropolitan College’s Cooking Up Culture Program for children. Instead, you can whip up your own batch. Tomov-Strock’s recipe calls for eggs, sugar, milk, and heavy cream, along with rye whiskey, cognac, and orange liqueur. (The alcohol is optional.) The cocktail is finished off with a dusting of fresh nutmeg.

“So much better than what you can find at the supermarket,” he says.

Download the recipe here.