This version of homemade eggnog is a creamy and deliciously thick homemade cooked eggnog spiced up with nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. You can enjoy this drool-worthy and versatile holiday drink with or without booze. You’ll never buy store-bought eggnog again!
While this tasty drink is typically served around the holidays, I don’t see why you can’t have it any time of year. ‘Cause this classic holiday drink is truly a must-have, especially when the winter rolls in.
Homemade eggnog is an amazingly delicious drink that pairs well with Christmas cookies and other comforting baked treats! Oh, yesss! If you’re already on a cookie roll, you better keep a bottle of this eggnog handy in your fridge.
What Exactly is Eggnog?
Eggnog is a holiday beverage popular in the United States and Canada, basically eggs and milk. Usually, it is served from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.
Traditionally, homemade eggnog is made of milk or cream, sugar, raw eggs, alcohol, and spices like vanilla and nutmeg. Most of the commercial eggnog that you buy in stores today does not have raw eggs in it due to the risk of salmonella.
But I decided to go with the traditional route and use fresh egg yolks. Don’t worry; you won’t feel the raw eggy taste in this drink as I made sure to heat it on the stovetop to thicken the texture of this eggnog recipe.
What Does Eggnog Taste Like?
Eggnog is sweet, creamy, smooth, and spiced milky flavor. And the best part?? It’s just super easy to make; comes ready in less than 30 minutes. As they say, homemade eggnog recipes always taste far better. And I’m here to confirm that it is indeed true!
This homemade eggnog recipe contains a long list of ingredients compared to others, but I promise you it will all be worth it. And you won’t be needing alcohol to enjoy this drink fully!
- Large Egg Yolks are the ingredient that gave this drink its name. It thickens beautifully for a hearty, soul-satisfying drink that screams it’s holiday time.
- Granulated Sugar is a flavorless sweetener that adds sweetness without changing the flavor profile. The beautiful thing about this is being able to adjust the amount to your tastes.
- Heavy Whipping Cream gives homemade eggnog a creamy, rich texture that feels so good in your mouth. Okay, this is not a diet drink; this is for special occasions.
- Whole Milk adds quantity and quality. Let’s face it. As good as it sounds, pure cream would be hard to drink. If you have to use skimmed milk, I understand. But whole milk tastes so much better.
- Evaporated Milk intensifies the flavor without diluting the drink. If you omit the sugar, you could use condensed milk. However, I prefer my homemade version of evaporated milk because I know what’s in it, and it’s more versatile.
- Ground Nutmeg, Cinnamon, and Cloves make this dessert drink absolutely scrumptious. I like to save some time by using my homemade pumpkin pie spice.
- Vanilla Extract adds a creamy flavor that combines so well with the creamy texture of this drink. The only thing that makes it better is making your own vanilla extract. It’s so easy; I wouldn’t think of going back to store-bought.
- Additional Nutmeg or Cinnamon Stick for topping are beautiful decorations that you can skip if you like. I do like to sprinkle a little nutmeg on it before imbibing.
- Eggs – Want to make an eggless style of eggnog?? You will love this Puerto Rican version of eggnog – Coquito. It’s made with sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and coconut milk instead of eggs. Enjoy!
- Sugar – I understand; eggnog is sweet. If you want a healthier version, you can use coconut or date sugar. You can also reduce the sugar by half and still have an incredible drink.
- Cream and Milk – Dairy-free is easy enough. Just replace the milk and evaporated milk with whole-fat coconut milk and the heavy cream with coconut cream. It may not be quite as thick, but it will still be wonderful.
How To Make Eggnog
Prepare the Eggs
- Eggs and Sugar – Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until combined.
- Heat the Dairy and Spices – In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, whole milk, evaporated milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and sea salt. Continuously stir until the mixture starts to simmer.
Temper the Eggs and Add the Cream and Milk
- Add Milk to the Eggs – Add a generous amount of milk mixture to the eggs and sugar, making sure it’s combined before adding more. Repeat until all of the milk mixture is whisked in.
- Combine it All – Pour back into the saucepan and constantly whisk until the mixture has slightly thickened and immediately remove from heat.
- Note: keeping the mixture on the heat for longer than necessary will cause it to clump together.
- Add vanilla – Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Serve – To serve, pour the eggnog into a pitcher and garnish it with nutmeg and cinnamon sticks.
- To Store – Store eggnog in the fridge for up to one week.
How to Temper Eggs
So to make sure you are not drinking raw eggs in this recipe, I started with heating up a milk mixture. Then slowly added it to the sugar and egg mixture in a bowl, mixing it before pouring in more.
Once all the milk and eggs have thoroughly combined, pour everything back into the saucepan and heat while constantly stirring to avoid any lumps as it thickens.
To keep your eggnog drink fresh for a longer time, you should keep it away from the light.
Store your homemade eggnog in the coldest, darkest part of the refrigerator rather than the door. This will prevent it from spoiling as quickly from the fluctuation of the temperature due to frequent opening.
Ages ago, eggnog was made with two parts eggnog and one part alcohol, then aged for weeks. Don’t worry; alcohol is antibacterial and preserves it just fine. So, if you want to keep it around for more than a few days, spike it well.
Tips & Tricks
Want to spike your coffee? Replace your regular creamer with this fantastic homemade eggnog and sigh gratefully.
If you want to beat the chill with a hot drink, this is a perfect choice. I adore hot eggnog with a dash of spice rum. Yum!
Don’t waste the egg whites! I actually look for an opportunity to have extra egg whites so that I can make coconut macaroons.
Just as with any food with raw eggs, that depends on the care taken during preparation. Good hygiene is essential. I reduce that risk by cooking my version. If you really want to use raw eggs, organic or free-range are your best bet.
If you would like to add alcohol to your eggnog, I recommend choosing one with a high alcohol content to help cut through the sweetness of the eggnog.
You can add brandy, rum, bourbon, cognac, or whiskey. But which is the best of the best? Well, it really depends on your personal taste. There is no right or wrong answer to this question; it is a matter of personal preference.
Alcohol can theoretically curdle milk. That’s why it’s important to add alcohol to the drink and not vice versa. In this way, the alcohol won’t reduce the acidity enough to curdle the milk.
How Long Does it Last?
Homemade eggnog can last almost a week when stored properly. As for freezing, I haven’t tried it because freezing destabilizes the structure and alters the consistency of the drink.
Mixing the alcohol with the eggnog and aging it in the fridge for a day or two makes an excellent drink. It thickens it up a little more and intensifies the flavor.
What Goes with Eggnog?
I like to serve it with something savory since eggnog is so sweet (of course, you can adjust the sweetness). But here are some good pairing suggestions:
More Holiday Drinks You’ll Love
Watch How To Make It
- 8 large egg yolk
- ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (119g) heavy whipping cream
- 1 ½ cup (360ml) whole milk
- 12 ounce (340g) evaporated milk
- ½ teaspoon (1g) ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon (0.65g) cinnamon
- 4 whole cloves
- ⅓ teaspoon (1.67g) sea salt
- 1 teaspoon (4.2g) pure vanilla extract
- additional nutmeg or cinnamon stick for topping, optional
- Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until combined.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, whole milk, evaporated milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and sea salt. Continuously stir until the mixture starts to simmer.
- Add a generous amount of milk mixture to the eggs and sugar, making sure it’s combined before adding more. Repeat until all of the milk mixture is whisked together.
- Pour back into the saucepan and whisk constantly until mixture has slightly thickened and immediately remove from heat. Note: keeping mixture on the heat for longer than necessary will cause it to clump together.
- Stir in the vanilla extract.
- To serve, pour the eggnog into a pitcher and garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon sticks.
- Store eggnog in the fridge for up to one week.
Tips & Notes:
- Want to spike your coffee? Replace your regular creamer with this fantastic homemade eggnog and sigh gratefully.
- If you want to beat the chill with a hot drink, this is a perfect choice. I adore hot eggnog with a dash of spice rum. Yum!
- Don’t waste the egg whites! I actually look for an opportunity to have extra egg whites so that I can make coconut macaroons.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used in the recipe.