Posts Tagged ‘grog’

Eiergrog – Magic Bullet for Frosty Days

Monday, December 18th, 2017

In the early days, there was no Eiergrog (egg grog). There was only grog, a mixture of hot rum and water. Over the years, the simple hot brew underwent many refinements and eventually became a popular drink among the Frisians, a Germanic ethnic group that is indigenous to the coastal islands on the edge of the North Sea. The people of the island of Helgoland went the extra mile and transformed the once simple grog into their potent signature drink, the Eiergrog, made from (you guessed it) egg yolk, rum, water and sugar.

A mug of steaming Eiergrog - hmmmm so good! Photo © J. Elke Ertle, 2017. www.walled-in-berlin.com

A mug of steaming Eiergrog – hmmmm so good! Photo © J. Elke Ertle, 2017. www.walled-in-berlin.com

History of Eiergrog

To prevent scurvy among the members of his seafaring crew, the 18th-century British admiral Edward Vernon provided his men with daily pints of dark rum. The only consequence was that they got drunk regularly. Hence Vernon – nicknamed Old Grog for the silk and wool cloaks he wore – issued Captain’s Order Number 349: From now on, all rum must be mixed with water, a little brown sugar and lime. None too pleased with the watered-down brew, the sailors named the drink after the admiral.

My Eiergrog Experience

On a recent trip to the Wadden Sea, which is the 4,000 square mile coastal intertidal belt that stretches along the coast line of the North Sea, http://www.walled-in-berlin.com/j-elke-ertle/allure-of-the-wadden-sea/ I was introduced to Eiergrog. On a horse-drawn carriage ride to the tiny island of Neuwerk, we nearly froze off our noses. http://www.walled-in-berlin.com/j-elke/ertle/wattwagenfahrt-endless-discovery/ Icy winds penetrated our jackets, hats and gloves. By the time we reached Neuwerk http://www.walled-in-berlin.com/j-elke-ertle/neuwerk-worth-a-staycation/ we craved something – anything – hot. That’s when someone mentioned Eiergrog. I have to say that, when you are freezing cold, Eiergrog does the job. Sip by sip it warms , is simply delicious and knocks off your socks  in the process. At least, the air did not seem the least bit icy on the way back to the mainland.

How to make an irresistible Eiergrog in 3 minutes

Needed per mug of Eiergrog:

1 egg yolk, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/3 to 1/2 cup mild Rum (already warmed), and enough hot water to fill the mug. Important detail: Use room-temperature eggs to keep them from curdling when the hot liquid is added.

Preparing one mug at a time:

Separate an egg and place the yolk into the warm mug. (Save the egg white for another use.) Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and whisk vigorously until foamy. Slowly whisk in the warmed rum. Do this one spoon at a time to keep the egg from curdling. Top off with hot water and voilà, you just created an Eiergrog. All that is left to do is to raise your mug and say PROST! It’s definitely the magic bullet for frosty and festive days.

For a sneak peek at the first 20+ pages of my memoir, Walled-In: A West Berlin Girl’s Journey to Freedom, click “Download a free excerpt” on the home page of http://www.walled-in-berlin.com Walled-In is my story of growing up in Berlin during the Cold War.