Where did adding nutmeg to eggnog come from?

I've tried nutmeg before and can't really taste anything other than nog.

So where did the idea of adding nutmeg come from?

  • 1
    Did you try pre-grated from a box or freshly grated?
    – Stephie
    May 20, 2015 at 3:59
  • I was new to cooking so it came from spice container at Walmart
    – Samee87
    May 20, 2015 at 4:13
  • Or have you always had it with nutmeg (possibly it came with it), so nutmeg just tastes like eggnog?
    – Cascabel
    May 20, 2015 at 4:13
  • Usually buy eggnog at holidays. Family tradition of sprinkling in nutmeg. But why nutmeg?
    – Samee87
    May 20, 2015 at 4:16
  • 1
    There's a reason that nutmeg is one of the few spices regularly bought whole... it loses all flavor in an extremely short time if pre-ground.
    – Catija
    May 20, 2015 at 4:43

2 Answers 2


Add it if you like!

As mentioned in the comments, eggnog usually already has nutmeg in it, so when you say you say you can't taste anything other than nog, in reality you're probably tasting eggnog including nutmeg!

If what you add is pre-ground, the flavor probably isn't terribly strong. And even with freshly grated nutmeg, you're probably only adding a tiny bit. So if you sprinkle a little on, it's really more for looks than taste. But if you want to be able to taste it, definitely try freshly grated.


Commercial eggnog virtually ALWAYS has nutmeg in it, so you are just adding to that. While it's easy to grab the stuff, it's worth making your own eggnog if you'd like to raise your 'nog experience several notches.

I can't imagine grinding nutmeg at home - that would take a heck of a grinder, and it would be hard to do less than a whole nutmeg at a time, which is a LOT of nutmeg. Of course, there's also the fact that there's an easier solution and I have it already - a nutmeg grater.

Rather than using any old grater (and having your "grated other things" taste like nutmeg, which can be persistent) you just get one of these little graters - it has a compartment in the top for the current nutmeg you are grating as needed to be stored in, and you only grate nutmeg on it, so it does not get on anything that you don't want nutmegged. You pop out the nutmeg, grate what you need, and pop it back in the storage part until the next use.

grater image from chickensintheroad.com - not affiliated, just looked for a nutmeg grater image.

  • 3
    I wrote "grated" and I'm sure that's what @Jefromi meant, but good idea to show a picture of the "thingy" which IMHO every spice cupboard needs. (And now I'm waiting for the kitchen purists' rants on single-use items...)
    – Stephie
    May 20, 2015 at 12:36
  • 1
    @Stephie Hmm... "Kitchen Purists" ranting - I suggest some freshly ground black pepper, from a pepper mill, blown in their faces. And I wonder how many of them have a coffee maker or teapot that doesn't get used for anything else...?
    – Ecnerwal
    May 20, 2015 at 12:51
  • ^_^ good to know you have my back!
    – Stephie
    May 20, 2015 at 12:52
  • 2
    Obligatory kitchen purist perspective: a Microplane grater works very well too. It's also good for other large whole spices (like cinnamon), works well for hard cheeses, and I also sometimes use it to grate garlic and ginger for marinades. It's stainless steel and easy to clean so it doesn't pick up other flavors. I'll take it over any single-use grating gadget.
    – logophobe
    May 20, 2015 at 13:39
  • Yup, unless you're using tons of nutmeg just get a microplane. Really good for grating zest too.
    – Cascabel
    May 20, 2015 at 15:00

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