‘Tis the season. Skip the store-bought carton this year and instead make this rich and smooth spiked eggnog. It’s incredibly delicious and the perfect holiday drink.
I have wanted to create an eggnog recipe now for years – long before this eggnog panna cotta an eggnog crème brulee came along which are both great ways of using up any eggnog you may not be able to get through.
I didn’t grow up with eggnog but boy have I made up for lost time. This smooth, creamy and rich holiday drink is one I always have in the fridge at Christmas time now.
You’ll love how much richer this tastes than store-bought too. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still buy that too but this version is now firmly my favourite.
What is it made of?
Eggnog is made from milk, cream, eggs, sugar, spices and often alcohol. Also known as milk punch, it’s often served around Christmas time. While some use egg whites, this recipe does not.
The eggs must be heated beyond 71C / 160F to be safe to eat but once made, eggnog is most often drunk chilled. It can be warmed though, just like you’d drink a warm mug of cocoa.
How to make it – step by step
Making eggnog from scratch is actually very simple. Heat milk and sugar, beat egg yolks, then combine them until thickened.
- Heat milk and some sugar together until dissolved and steaming.
- Beat together the egg yolks and remaining sugar until pale and thick.
- Drizzle the hot milk in slowly, then return it to the saucepan and heat, with the spices, until the temperature reaches 73C / 165F.
- Strain it into a clean bowl, then add the cream and alcohol.
- Now let it chill completely before serving.
While most recipes add the egg whites as well, whipping them first for a lighter texture, I much prefer it without the whites.
Tips and tricks
- Don’t add the sugar to the eggs until you’re ready to beat them. Sugar and yolks will have a chemical reaction and the yolks will start to get hard lumpy bits so add it, then mix immediately.
- Don’t overheat the milk mixture, you just want it to be steaming when you start adding it to the egg yolks.
- Add the hot milk very slowly to the egg yolks. You should just dribble it in while constantly whisking. This is called tempering the eggs and allows you to add hot liquid without scrambling them.
- Use any alcohol you like – whisky, bourbon and rum are traditional. I really like Drambuie liqueur but that adds a little more sweetness than the others.
- Start with just 1/3 cup of alcohol, then taste. Add more if you like it.
- If you want to mellow the flavour out or thin it, add a little more milk. Cream will also mellow it out but won’t thin it quite so much.
Homemade eggnog will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge in a sealed jug.
If you’d like to keep it longer, you’ll need to increase the alcohol content to half the amount of both the cream and milk combined.If it’s too boozy for you, add a little more milk or cream on serving.
It won’t freeze due to the alcohol content.
More recipes you’ll love
- Boozy Eggnog Panna Cotta
- Eggnog Crème Brulee
- Homemade Chocolate Milk
- Homemade Strawberry Milk
- How to make Crème Anglais
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Spiked Homemade Eggnog
- 2 ½ cups whole (full cream) milk (625ml)
- ½ cup sugar (divided in 2 parts) (100g / 3.5oz)
- 4 egg yolks (from large eggs)
- 1 cup heavy cream (250ml)
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅓ – ½ cup alcohol (bourbon, rum, Drambuie) notes
- In a medium saucepan over low-medium heat, combine the milk and ¼ cup of sugar. Stir constantly while it heats to dissolve the sugar and until it's steaming. Don't boil.
- In a medium bowl, whisk (notes) together egg yolks and remaining ¼ cup of sugar until thick and pale.
- While beating on low, very slowly drizzle the milk in until it’s almost all combined.
- Tip the mixture back into the saucepan and add the nutmeg and cinnamon. Heat over low-medium heat, stirring constantly until a thermometer reaches 73C / 165F (notes). It will have thickened and will coat the back of a spoon
- Strain the mixture into a clean bowl, then pour in the cream, vanilla and alcohol. Stir well to combine.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill completely.
- Will keep for 3-4 days.
- Alcohol: Traditionally rum or bourbon are used. Brandy works nicely too but I particularly like Drambuie but this is a sweeter liqueur so may not be for everyone.
- Whisking: you can do this by hand with a manual whisk or using electric beaters or a stand mixer with whisk attachment.
It’s safer to have a thermometer since eggs that are not cooked over 71C / 160F are unsafe to eat.
- You can make it richer by adding another 1-2 egg yolks.
- The mixture can be thinned out or lightened up with more milk.
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