The Truth About Eggnog

The truth about eggnog is it makes no sense without rum. No one wants to admit that, especially to someone who quit drinking but it’s a fact. My husband brought home some reduced fat eggnog a few weeks ago and it’s been sitting in the refrigerator unopened ever since. I know my husband was trying to do something nice, bringing me a tradition, a little season’s greetings, something he knew I loved but what it is now is just a reminder.

During the holidays when I would go to visit my husband’s family, eggnog was my drug of choice. Pour yourself an eggnog rocks, heavy on the rum, sprinkle a little nutmeg and you’ve got dessert and a cocktail all in one. It went down much the way White Russians did when I discovered them in high school –sweet and innocent but with a nice kick. You barely felt yourself getting drunk, but drunk you got.

My husband’s family was always big on the Connecticut Christmas and I just adored being a part of it. At Jon’s parents house where we stayed every year (in twin beds –even after we were married) there was a huge impeccably decorated tree (the kind with ornaments that had been passed down through generations), holiday music on the stereo, home cooked meals and most importantly, regular cocktail hour.

Regular cocktail hour is important here because as someone who didn’t come from the most stable family situation, the need to fit in created a bit of internal tension and alcohol was the most reliable way I knew to melt that feeling away.

The first few times I drank too much in Connecticut it probably seemed like a fluke. I mean, the drinks flowed steadily because we were in a festive mood without much cause to drive anywhere, it was understandable that we’d catch a little buzz, but I can’t imagine it made the best impression on anyone to have me babbling and slurring and then going off to bed by nine. I seemed to drink more and more on each subsequent trip.

The last time I was drunk at my in-laws, we’d traveled there with our almost two-year-old daughter. Yes, we’d traveled across the country with a toddler –there’s a good reason to drink right there and now we were trying to keep her entertained in a house with breakables twenty-four hours a day. I’d gotten an early start on the eggnog that afternoon and had decided to go to dinner with my sister-in-law and her good friend while my husband stayed at the house with his parents and our daughter. I’d already had quite a bit to drink before we left and drank so much at dinner I can’t tell you much of what happened because I only see it in bits and pieces. What I do know is that I stumbled back into the house and in an effort to check on my daughter who was asleep in her pack-n-play in the basement, I fell down the stairs. I don’t have any recollection of doing this. I had to be told about it later by my mortified husband.

It would be another six months before I admitted I had a problem and another year and a half before I did something about it. I haven’t had a drink now in nineteen months and for the most part I don’t miss it. Most things I can do just fine now without alcohol. Family, Christmas trees, even spending time with my in-laws, these things are just as good actually even better.
The only thing that will never work for me without alcohol now is eggnog.

Note: I wrote this for the website Drinking Diaries which is an excellent website to read about drinking: the good, the bad and the ugly.

If you want to talk to other moms trying to stay off the sauce go here.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on January 7, 2011 6:47 pmUncategorized17 comments  


  1. rebecca said,

    I’m not really big on eggnog. I do think it would be good to bake with but I don’t quite know what to do with t and am too lazy to look up recipes.
    rebecca´s last blog post ..The Leather Briefcase

    | January 7, 2011 @ 7:04 pm

  2. Denise said,

    i thought i was your friend, too…..

    | January 7, 2011 @ 7:25 pm

  3. Dana said,

    Hmm. I’m still a fan of eggnog but here’s what doesn’t seem right to me anymore: olives. Olives must have a side of martini. Without the martini, they’ve lost their magic.
    Dana´s last blog post ..Lights on

    | January 7, 2011 @ 7:49 pm

  4. Flucky Mom said,

    The holidays and drinking almost always seem to go hand-in-hand. Whether it’s to avoid the family tensions or get over the frustrations of life, or in your case, driving cross-country with a toddler.

    You got me thinking, what would family get togethers be without alcohol?

    Congrats on your sobriety.
    Flucky Mom´s last blog post ..2011 Resolution singular

    | January 7, 2011 @ 8:21 pm

  5. Lynn MacDonald (All Fooked Up) said,

    Well…that certainly puts a new spin on the holidays and holiday drinking. I hate eggnog but I really can’t imagine never drinking again…ever. I love, love, love your openness and honesty on this issue. Of course, I’m pretty sure I told you that in my “let’s be pen pals” speech.

    Hope all is well and I’m proud of you. Self realization is a hard and change is a bitch and yet, you’ve done both. Hugs!
    Lynn MacDonald (All Fooked Up)´s last blog post ..In which i need my mom

    | January 7, 2011 @ 9:03 pm

  6. Backpacking Dad said,

    That’s like me with tonic.
    Backpacking Dad´s last blog post ..Family Photo

    | January 7, 2011 @ 9:11 pm

  7. Zoeyjane said,

    That’s me an OJ or pineapple juice. Never dug the rum and eggnog combo, after my first occasion of alcohol poisoning being on Bacardi. Straight up ‘nog is amazing in mochas, as a creamer replacement. And cheesecake, as a replacer for milk. And chai tea lattes. And and and.
    Zoeyjane´s last blog post ..The waking up part of the story

    | January 8, 2011 @ 12:18 am

  8. Jen said,

    Eggnog is disgusting. Just say the word out loud. EGG-NOG. It’s gross. You however rock. OUT LOUD.
    Jen´s last blog post ..This is how I know well be together forever

    | January 8, 2011 @ 3:01 am

  9. Erin@MommyontheSpot said,

    Egg nog is gross! And rum? Not a big fan. Anytime I see or smell spiced rum I think nasty cough syrup

    Congratulations on your sobriety! Seriously that is awesome!

    | January 8, 2011 @ 3:30 am

  10. Amy said,

    Eggnog smells lovely but tastes like phlegm. And besides, it’s January and you can throw that carton of eggnog out now, right? Congrats on getting through the holidays without cocktails…that is impressive.
    Amy´s last blog post ..Tally

    | January 8, 2011 @ 3:15 pm

  11. Steph said,

    Yay for being sober!
    One day at a time, that’s all one can ask for.

    | January 8, 2011 @ 11:33 pm

  12. Goody said,

    “Reduced fat eggnog.” Well that’s really an abomination right there-no wonder no one will drink it. I was going to suggest making ice cream from it but eh, might as well dustbin it.

    Congratulations on your nineteen months sober.

    | January 10, 2011 @ 10:35 pm

  13. Sheila said,

    Agreed! First sober Christmas and totally — what’s the point of nog without the booze?

    I still did enjoy some nog ice cream.

    | January 11, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

  14. Jae said,

    Congrats on 19 months! 🙂 And uh, yeah, Eggnog with out the rum, is yuck!
    Jae´s last blog post ..New Years Resolutions I think Not!

    | January 12, 2011 @ 1:54 am

  15. mia said,

    this is how i feel about big fat green olives. like someone said above, what’s olives without a side of martini? i never really liked drinking eggnog. but you just had to go and mention the white russians. that was like liquid candy to me! unfortunately just one drink was always out of the question for moi. thank God we can take this journey just one day at a time.

    i love your blog. keep up the good work, stephanie!
    mia´s last blog post ..I Have To Remember to Let God Drive

    | January 13, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

  16. Kate said,

    Eggnog, although pointless on its own, is actually very good in coffee, instead of coffee cream.
    Love your blog.

    | January 16, 2011 @ 3:52 am

  17. Katherine said,

    I refuse to drink ANYTHING that is called EGG NOG. Rum or no rum… it just sounds… eggy!

    | January 19, 2011 @ 2:14 am

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