Nothing says Merry Christmas like homemade eggnog. It's even merrier with a little rum or bourbon, which it's traditionally made with. This eggnog will take you back in time to an era when people took pride in making their own yuletide beverage. It is so unbelievably flavorful you'll wonder where you've been all these years. There are some great store-bought nogs on the market, but for special occasions, such as your upcoming holiday party for instance, it's fun to make your own! Your guests will love it.
It was difficult to find an eggnog recipe that would taste how I wanted it to in my head. So I've pulled methods and ideas from a variety of sources to come up with my own. This recipe creates a nice frothy top, but if you prefer yours froth-free, simply leave out the egg whites. But who can resist a cold, creamy, and nutmeg infused drink spilling over with frothy goodness? I certainly cannot!
I've provided a cooked method for preparing the eggnog for those squeamish about consuming raw egg. I've tried both methods, and each gives equally tasty results, so choose the one appropriate for you (the uncooked version is much faster to prepare).
OLD FASHIONED EGGNOG:
4 large eggs, separated
½ cup sugar (plus 1 tbsp. set aside for egg whites)
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. ground nutmeg (freshly grated if you have it)
1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup spiced rum, bourbon, or brandy (optional)
In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer or by hand, beat egg yolks until they become pale yellow. Very slowly pour in the 1/2 cup sugar and continue beating until the eggs become fluffy and sugar has somewhat dissolved. Add the milk, cream, liquor, and nutmeg, and stir to combine.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the 1 tbsp. of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Whisk the egg whites into the mixture and chill. Garnish each mug of eggnog with a pinch of ground or freshly grated nutmeg and serve.
Place milk in a medium-sized saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until hot, but not boiling.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, using a mixer or by hand, beat egg yolks until pale yellow. Very slowly pour in the 1/2 cup sugar and continue beating until the eggs become fluffy and sugar is completely dissolved.
Temper the eggs by very slowly adding half of the hot milk mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly (being careful not to “scramble” the eggs). Pour this mixture back into the hot milk in the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly using a wooden spoon, until it's thickened and coats the back of the spoon (if using an instant-read or candy thermometer, cook until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F- do not allow to boil). Remove from heat and let cool slightly before placing in the refrigerator until completely chilled. Once cold, stir in vanilla extract, nutmeg, and liquor.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the 1 tbsp. of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Whisk the egg whites into the chilled mixture and serve, or return to the refrigerator until ready to use. Garnish each mug of eggnog with a pinch of ground or freshly grated nutmeg and serve.
Yield: About 1½ quarts
- Be sure to use good quality eggs for your eggnog, ones that come from vegetarian grain fed hens and are free of antibiotics, hormones, and other additives. I get my eggs at the farmer's market from Feather Ridge Farms. You can also use pasteurized eggs if you're worried about consuming raw egg.
- Feel free to leave out the liquor if you'll be serving the eggnog to the kiddies (don't worry, it still tastes great).