Decadent Old-Fashioned Homemade Eggnog is incredibly easy to make and so dang tasty! Wonderfully thick, creamy and spiced, this recipe is gonna give that store-bought option a run for its money!
It’s eggnog season and I couldn’t resist throwing my own recipe into the ring! All year, I look forward to drinking eggnog during the holidays. This luscious milk-based, nutmeg-infused drink is one of the best parts of Christmas. To me, having a glass of warm, spiced eggnog is just as traditional as decorating a tree or watching the first snowfall.
Eggnog is one of those things where either you absolutely love it or you can’t stand it. And y’all, I get it. But if you’ve ever had real, homemade eggnog, you’re guaranteed to be a fan. This version is unapologetically rich and boozy in the most celebratory of ways.
It’s time to turn up the Charlie Brown Christmas Album (my favorite), zip up the footie PJs and enjoy a cup (or two) of indulgently smooth Homemade Eggnog. You’re welcome.
Perks and Highlights of the Best Eggnog Recipe
Cuisine Inspiration: Holiday Comfort
Primary Cooking Method: Whisk & Chill
Dietary Info: Contains Dairy and Eggs
Key Flavor: Creamy with a hint of spice and everything nice
Skill Level: So easy a reindeer could do it!
- Comfort in a Cup: This isn’t just eggnog; it’s a hug in a mug. The creamy richness, paired with a wisp of nutmeg, is holiday comfort at its finest.
- Versatility is the Name: Enjoy it as is, or go wild! Add a splash of rum, bourbon, or cognac for an adults-only twist. It’s a recipe that’s happy to adapt.
- Make Ahead Magic: This treat gets better with age (well, a few days, at least). Make it ahead, and the flavors meld and bloom – perfect for planners and last-minute Lucy’s alike.
- Dress it Up: Serve in your fanciest glass, or garnish with a cinnamon stick or whipped cream. This eggnog is just waiting for its close-up!
- Tradition with a Twist: Respect the centuries-old tradition of eggnog while bringing it into the 21st century. This recipe’s got the classic taste locked down but is open to modern, creative flair.
History of Eggnog
Who thought chugging a spiced and spiked egg-yolk-and-milk mixture was a good idea? While culinary historians debate its exact origins, most agree eggnog originated from the early medieval British “posset”, a hot, milky ale-like drink. Milk, eggs and sherry were foods of the wealthy, so eggnog was used to toast to prosperity and good health.
Once eggnog crossed the pond, in the 1700’s, it became associated with the holidays. Since then, various versions of this thick, creamy cocktail have popped up all around the world! From Mexico’s “rompope” to Puerto Rico’s “coquito”, this deliciously decadent drink has found its way into countless holiday traditions.
Homemade Egg is surprisingly easy-to-make! No oven to preheat, no excessive amount of ingredients and no mess. Does it get any better? Let me answer that: no.
Here’s how we’re mixing up holiday magic:
- Eggs– for those of you who are worried about consuming raw eggs, history and science has proven that with enough booze, bacteria will not be an issue. But, because I got your back, I also chose to slightly cook the eggnog to cast a wider safety net.
- Granulated Sugar– everyone has a preference when it comes to the sweetness of their eggnog. Feel free to adjust the measurement according to your own personal tastes.
Milk- to achieve a super smooth texture, I suggest using a high-quality whole milk.
- Heavy Cream- this is definitely not a dairy-free friendly recipe. So, pop a lactaid and enjoy yourself a tall glass of this heavy cream laden cocktail. Again, be sure to use a high-quality option.
- Vanilla- just a splash adds the necessary rustic, floral aroma.
- Ground Nutmeg- if possible, I encourage you to freshly grind the nutmeg for a warmer, more pungent result.
- Salt- seems a bit strange, I know. Salt just helps to balance out the sugars and makes the other flavors POP.
- Optional: Bourbon- this recipe can also work with whiskey or a dark rum, it’s all about personal preference. Liquor just adds that extra layer of oaky, full-bodied warmth.
How to Make Eggnog
- Yolks, Please!: Start with the heart of the nog; the eggs. You’ll need to separate those babies because for this recipe, it’s yolks only. Grab six of them and whisk away with sugar in a medium-sized bowl until you’ve got a fluffy, buttery yellow dream.
- Heat Things Up: Now, take your milk and heavy cream to a cozy simmer in a pot over medium heat. You’re not boiling a brew here; you just need it hot enough to mingle with the yolks.
- Temper, Temper: Here’s where you need to be swift! Take a tablespoon of your hot milk mixture and stir it into your yolks to temper them. Repeat this quick-fire process twice more. This step makes sure your eggs get used to the heat slowly and don’t scramble!
- Mixology Time: Now, whisk your tempered egg mixture into the pot of milk. This is the moment of transformation, where it all starts coming together. Stir in the bourbon (hello, happy holidays!), vanilla, and a pinch of salt.
- Peaks and Valleys: In a clean, separate bowl, beat your leftover egg whites with a dash of sugar until you see stiff peaks forming. This is your cloud-like meringue, a heavenly topper for your nog.
- Serve with Flair: Pour your crafted eggnog into glasses with the enthusiasm of Santa on Christmas Eve. Crown each one with a generous spoonful of meringue, and a final dash of nutmeg.
- Cheers and Enjoy: Raise your glass! You’ve just created a masterpiece. Sip, savor, and let the holiday spirit wash over you.
I’m aware that there are eggnog purists who might not be down for this but, y’all, it’s time to take a little chance. Whether you’re looking to update an old recipe or remix the leftovers, this peppermint twist is refreshingly delicious!
What do you say we mix things up a bit?
- Eggnog- ideally, this variation is paired with the eggnog recipe above. But, if you’re looking to cut a few corners, store-bought eggnog will work as well. Just try to use something that isn’t too sweet, we are adding ice cream after all.
- Peppermint Ice Cream- I prefer to keep the original coloration of eggnog by using a dye-free peppermint ice cream. Minty, refreshing and creamy, peppermint ice cream makes for an iconic Winter treat! Peppermint Chip will work too!
- Club Soda- ice cream floats in the Winter? I say yes. Club soda lightens the drink and makes for an easier sip.
Crushed Peppermint- it’s the holidays y’all! We want razzle, dazzle and all things red and white. Totally optional though.
Homemade eggnog typically lasts 2-3 days if stored under 40 degrees or less. Before you refrigerate it, make sure it has properly cooled. Then pour the leftovers into an airtight container or mason jar, seal tightly, and place it in the fridge. It’s best to place the container in the back corner of the fridge where the temperature is relatively stable.
How do I tell if Eggnog is bad? Rely on your senses! Open the container and give the liquid a good whiff. If it starts smelling somewhat sour, it’s past its prime and should be thrown out. Also check for discoloration or a lumpy texture. Better safe than sorry.
Best Eggnog Recipes
‘Tis the season y’all! With the holidays fast approaching, I’m taking some time to fine tune my eggnog skills just so I can share them with you!
Take advantage of this short-lived season by trying out a few of my FAVORITE eggnog recipes:
- Eggnog Iced Butter Cookies
- Peppermint Eggnog White Hot Cocoa
- Eggnog French Toast
- Buttered Rum Eggnog Cake
- 6 large eggs divided
- 1 cup granulated sugar divided (plus 2 teaspoons)
- 1 1/3 cup milk chilled
- 1 cup heavy cream chilled
- 1/2 cup bourbon Optional: (or replace with another ½ cup of heavy cream for nonalcoholic)
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Fresh or ground nutmeg for serving
- Divide eggs and add 6 egg yolks to a medium sized bowl. Whisk in sugar until light and fluffy and buttery yellow.
- Add milk and heavy cream to a medium sized pot over medium heat and allow to warm until just about to boil. Remove from heat.
- Quickly stir a tablespoon of milk into egg mixture to temper. Once again add another tablespoon stirring quickly then one last time repeat process. Once eggs are at temperature, whisk egg mixture into pot of milk and combine.
- Stir in bourbon (if using), vanilla and salt then serve.
- In a separate bowl, add remaining egg whites and ½ tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks. Pour eggnog into glasses and spoon with meringue then top with nutmeg and serve.
- Eggnog above
- ½ gallon peppermint ice cream, softened
- 1 liter club soda, cold
- Crushed peppermint