Eggnog That Actually Tastes *AMAZING*

5 from 1 vote

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Eggnog is a classic holiday drink that is easier to make than you think! Made with milk, cream, half and half, egg yolks, sugar and spices, it comes together in a cinch. Whether you are enjoying it spiked or alcohol-free, this is an eggnog recipe that will turn you into a believer!

glass of eggnog with nutmeg

But First, What is Eggnog?

Eggnog is a holiday drink that dates back hundreds of years, usually enjoyed during the colder months. However, it’s not warm, like hot chocolate, instead this rich sweet beverage is served cold.

Eggnog gets its name from one of its main ingredients, eggs. Both egg whites and egg yolks are used in traditional eggnog recipes. My recipe only uses egg yolks, but I do have a section below that offers suggestions on how to make this more traditional.

An Eggnog Recipe that Actually Tastes Good. WHAT?

So, you think you hate eggnog? Think again! Those store bought versions ain’t got nothing on this homemade recipe. I don’t love the super strong smell or flavor that you get from a mass produced, store bought eggnog so I set out to create an Eggnog I could stand behind and drink the entire month of December.

My version is lightly sweet, lightly spiced and perfectly fine for everyone to enjoy (including kids and pregnant women). It’s not too eggy, not too noggy and overall a fabulously festive drink that I want to make and enjoy again. I promise you will love it.

While the traditional eggnog uses raw eggs through and through, I didn’t feel comfortable making my version like that. I do give an option below to fold in whipped egg whites and make it more traditional but the eggnog recipe as written is DELICIOUS as is.

whisking egg yolks and sugar

Main Ingredients Needed

Only a small list of needed ingredients here! Along with egg yolks, this eggnog recipe also requires the following items. Keep in mind that the increments and directions are found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  • Whole Milk – there’s a lot of dairy in this recipe! Whole milk (typically 3.5-4% milkfat) is used to start this recipe.
  • Egg Yolks – used to thicken the eggnog. Also, you can’t have eggnog without some eggs!
  • Granulated Sugar – this is used to sweeten. Do your best to completely dissolve the sugar to avoid any grainy pieces.
  • Nutmeg + Cinnamon – these two spice up this recipe for the holidays! Nutmeg is the more traditional flavor of eggnog, but is complimented so nicely by the cinnamon. I love pairing these two together.
  • Vanilla – a more subtle flavor that holds its own against the rest.
  • Rum Extract – I love using rum extract to make this kid- or pregnancy-friendly, however, if you want spiked eggnog then try adding rum, brandy, or cognac.
  • Half & Half + Heavy Cream – the perfect blend of creaminess. I use both to get the thickness just right.
pouring tempered egg yolks into hot milk

How to Make Eggnog

Now that you have all of those ingredients gathered up, let’s get to making eggnog from scratch! Don’t worry, it’s super simple with these step-by-steps and tastes a million times better than the store-bought stuff. For full details, including increments, see the recipe card down below.

  1. Pour milk, nutmeg and cinnamon into a pot and heat gently.
  2. While the milk is warming, in a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar together.
  3. Once the milk is hot but not simmering, reduce heat.
  4. Temper the egg yolks with the hot milk, then pour the tempered mixture into the pot with the rest of the hot milk.
  5. Cook very gently, stirring constantly, until thickened.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, rum extract (or chosen alcohol), half and half and heavy cream.
  7. Optional step: strain eggnog using a fine mesh strainer and cheesecloth. (This helps make your mixture smoother. It will be pretty smooth already, but this can make it even smoother. This is the cheesecloth I have and use.)
  8. Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate until completely chilled. Serve with extra nutmeg.
pouring heavy cream into eggnog mixture

For Traditional Eggnog

You may want a more classic recipe and because of that, I have this ‘how to make eggnog with egg whites’ section just for you!

Simply make the eggnog recipe as directed, then after it has chilled, fold in four whipped egg whites. Voila!

Common Eggnog FAQ’s

What alcohol goes in eggnog?

It depends on what you like! Traditionally you can spike this drink with bourbon, or rum. But you could also try brandy or cognac too! All are used interchangeably, depending on the recipe and your preference.

What does eggnog taste like?

Think of a sweet custard ice cream laced with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg! Plus a little bit of vanilla and rum flavoring. A lot of people thing they don’t like eggnog, but I tried to make mine mind, sweet and lightly spicy. Not too eggy, either!

Can you freeze eggnog?

YES! Whether you buy store-bought nog or make it from scratch, you can freeze it for up to 6 months. For best results, freeze in a container with half an inch of space at the top (to account for expansion).

Can pregnant women drink eggnog?

Because this eggnog recipe uses rum extract instead of alcohol and the egg yolks are cooked in the milk it is 100% safe for pregnant women to drink. If you decide to add in the whipped egg whites for frothiness, it is then unsafe. (Because the egg whites are not cooked.)

How long does eggnog last?

Homemade eggnog lasts 2-3 days stored in the fridge, so drink up! Then when you want more, just make another batch.

Can kids drink eggnog?

My recipe as written is absolutely 100% safe for kids because there is no alcohol and because the egg yolks are cooked. Of course if you add alcohol or you add the whipped egg whites (which aren’t cooked), this becomes unsafe for children.

glass of eggnog with nutmeg

More Holiday Drinks to Try!

Be sure to add eggnog to your homemade recipe repertoire and try it this coming holiday season!

The printable recipe card is below, happy holidays 🙂

5 from 1 vote

Eggnog That Actually Tastes *AMAZING*

Eggnog is a classic holiday drink that is easier to make than you think! Whether you are enjoying it spiked or kid-friendly, it's so good!
servings 4 servings
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 whole egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon rum extract or 1/4 cup rum, brandy or cognac (optional)
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  • Pour milk into a medium pot and heat gently over medium heat with cinnamon and nutmeg.
    hot milk, cinnamon and nutmeg in saucepan
  • While the milk is warming, prepare the egg yolks: in a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar together until thick and lighter in color. Once the milk is hot but not quite simmering, reduce heat to low.
    egg yolks and sugar
  • Temper the egg yolks by whisking about 3/4 cup hot milk into the egg yolks and sugar.
    tempering the egg yolks with hot milk
  • Pour the tempered egg mixture into the pot with the rest of the hot milk. Cook very gently, stirring constantly, until thickened. This should take about 5 minutes.
    pouring tempered egg yolks into hot milk
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, rum extract (or chosen alcohol), half and half and heavy cream.
    pouring heavy cream into egg nog mixture
  • Optional step: for a smoother eggnog, strain using a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth.
    egg nog in saucepan
  • Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate until completely chilled. Serve with extra nutmeg.
    glass of egg nog with nutmeg

For Traditional Egg Nog:

  • Whip the 4 egg whites (the ones you didn't use from the egg yolks above) until stiff peaks form. Fold into chilled egg nog and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 444kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 124mg | Sodium: 88mg | Potassium: 244mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 1251IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 206mg
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: eggnog

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