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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, this Eggnog Recipe comes together in a cinch. It’s not too eggy, not too noggy and overall a fabulously festive drink that you’ll want to make and enjoy again. Whether you are enjoying it spiked or alcohol-free, this is an eggnog recipe that will turn you into a believer! Serve with some Gingerbread Cookies or Shortbread Cookies for a festive treat!
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). 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.
How to Make Eggnog
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 ingredients and measurements, see the printable recipe card down below. Here is what you can expect from this recipe, step by step:
Gently Heat Milk + Spices on the Stove
Pour milk, nutmeg and cinnamon into a pot and heat gently. Once the milk is hot, but not simmering, reduce the heat.
Whisk Egg Yolks + Sugar Together
While the milk is warming, in a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar together.
Temper Egg Yolks with Hot Milk Mixture
Temper the egg yolks by whisking about 3/4 cup hot milk mixture into the egg yolks and sugar mixture. 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.
Add in Vanilla, Rum Extract, Half & Half + Heavy Cream
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, rum extract (or chosen alcohol), half and half and heavy cream.
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.)
Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate until completely chilled. Serve with extra nutmeg.
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
Here are some frequently asked questions I have been getting from readers. I thought I would add them here for everyone to see.
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 sweet and lightly spicy. Not too eggy, either!
What alcohol goes in eggnog?
It depends on what you like! Traditionally you can spike this drink with rum or bourbon. But you could also try brandy or cognac too! All are used interchangeably, depending on the recipe and your preference.
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.)
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.
Homemade eggnog lasts 2-3 days stored in the fridge, so drink up! Then when you want more, just make another batch.
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).
More Holiday Drinks to Try!
Be sure to add eggnog to your homemade recipe repertoire and try it this coming holiday season! If you made this Eggnog recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give it a star review!
The printable recipe card is below, happy holidays. 🙂
- 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
- Pour milk into a medium pot and heat gently over medium heat with cinnamon and nutmeg.
- 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.
- Temper the egg yolks by whisking about 3/4 cup hot milk into the egg yolks and sugar.
- 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.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, rum extract (or chosen alcohol), half and half and heavy cream.
- Optional step: for a smoother eggnog, strain using a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth.
- Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate until completely chilled. Serve with extra 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.
Lol… I found it. You said this is good for 2-3 days. Thank you. Merry Christmas!
My family did a blind taste test between this eggnog and store-bought. Lauren’s recipe won hands down!
My grandson likes egg nog so i will attempt to make this for him . Wish me luck !
This recipe is absolutely fantastic! I made this last Christmas and received so many wonderful compliments. Thank you so much for the recipe. I have a question you probably posted it but I didn’t see it. How long in advance can I make this?