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If you’re looking for a delicious and traditional Homemade Eggnog recipe, this rich and creamy drink tastes the best and is easy to make! This non-alcoholic holiday drink, most often consumed during the Christmas season, can easily be spiked based on preference and occasion.
Reasons why this recipe is best:
You’ll find a lot of eggnog recipe variations out there, however I’m confident you’re going to love this version.
- Real vanilla bean is infused into the milk and cream, creating a strong vanilla flavor.
- This traditional recipe uses whole eggs. The yolks are combined and heated with the milk and sugar mixture creating a custard like base. The whites are whipped and folded into the base, creating a light and silky texture.
- This eggnog recipe is made non-alcoholic, but can easily be spiked with your favorite booze.
- This is a small batch recipe, however it can easily be increased to serve at a holiday party.
What is Eggnog?
Eggnog is a custard based drink that combines eggs (hence the name) with cream, milk, sugar, and nutmeg. The eggs are separated in order to create the silk smooth, creamy, and frothy texture.
The ingredients are basically the same as homemade ice cream.
The drink originated in the United Kingdom. Spiked eggnog was originally mixed with sherry, brandy, or wine. But when it was brought overseas and passed through the Caribbean, rum became a more cost effective alternative. As eggnog became more widely consumed in the United States, bourbon whiskey became a favorite eggnog mixer.
- Whole eggs: For this recipe, you will want to use very high quality fresh eggs. I happen to raise my own chickens, so my eggs are extremely fresh. If buying eggs, I prefer to find organic pasture raised eggs. Many people prefer to use pasteurized eggs when making eggnog (see raw egg information under recipe below).
- Whole milk: As a matter of preference, I do not recommend using lowfat or nonfat milk for this recipe, but you can and it will still work.
- Heavy cream: This is sold in the US as heavy whipping cream. I buy half gallons at Costco so I always have it on hand for recipes like this.
- Granulated sugar: Any kind will due, however I use organic sugar which is why it is not super white.
- Vanilla bean: You can use a tablespoon of pure vanilla extract in place of the vanilla bean, but using the whole bean, split, will give you the best flavor.
- Nutmeg: You can use dried pre-ground nutmeg, but grating whole nutmeg will create the most amazing earthy, sweet, spice that will perfectly flavor the eggnog.
How to make Homemade Eggnog:
Before you begin, you will need to separate the eggs. Do this by gently cracking the eggs and allowing the egg whites to go into one bowl and the yolks in another.
- Whisk egg yolks and sugar: The mixture will at first be thick, but the more you whisk, the lighter and smoother the texture will become.
- Temper the egg: You will heat the milk, cream, and vanilla bean on the stove. The mixture needs to be very hot but not boiling. This will infuse the vanilla bean flavor into the milk. Using a ladle, slowly add the hot milk mixture to the egg yolks and constantly whisk while combining. This will slowly heat the egg without scrambling it.
- Heat the mixture: Once enough of the hot milk has been added to the egg to warm it, the egg yolk mixture is added to the milk mixture in the pot. It is then gently warmed on the stove to fully dissolve the sugar.
- Add the nutmeg: Freshly grate nutmeg into the eggnog base. Allow mixture to cool.
- Whip the egg whites: Using a mixer, whisk the egg whites with additional sugar. You want soft silky ribbons to form. Do not whip them to the point of stiff peaks.
- Combine the whipped egg whites: Gently fold the egg whites into the eggnog base. You want to stir it enough so that it is mixed while maintaining the frothy texture. Refrigerate for a couple hours before serving and shake well to combine as well.
If you prefer your eggnog spiked, you can serve this non-alcoholic eggnog along side a variety of alcohol including any variation of brandy, cognac, bourbon, whiskey, sherry, or rum.
Any amount can be added to a glass or a punch bowl and simply stirred well to combine.
Serving and storage:
Serving suggestions: Eggnog is most often served cold but can also be served warm.
- If serving warm, be sure to heat slowly and gently.
- If serving cold, keep jar or punch bowl on ice so that it remains chilled.
Storage: Eggnog should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It is best consumed within a couple days but should last at least a week if you used fresh, high quality ingredients. Adding alcohol to the eggnog will help preserve it and will extend the amount of time it remains fresh.
Recipes that use eggnog:
If you’re an eggnog lover or happen to have leftover eggnog and want to use it in other recipes, be sure to try these favorites:
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- In a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, and pinch of salt together until light in color and smooth.
- In a large saucepan heat the milk, heavy cream, and vanilla bean over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it starts to bubble around the edges. You want to scaled the milk but not boil it.
- Use a ladle to slowly pour some of the scalded milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking continuously as you pour. Continue with a second ladle of the hot milk mixture.
- Pour the warmed egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining warm milk. Heat, over medium low heat, until the mixture reaches 160℉, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring continuously. If you don't have a thermometer, this temperature is hot but you can still touch it without getting burned. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool. Add the freshly grated nutmeg.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or using a handheld mixer, beat the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and the egg whites until a ribbon-like texture begins to form. Do not allow the mixture to become stiff and forms peaks.
- Gently pour the egg whites into the saucepan and fold into the mixture.
- Place the eggnog in the refrigerator to chill and thicken for at least a couple of hours. Prior to serving, remove vanilla bean and scrape out as many of the seeds as possible. Stir or shake well before serving. I prefer to store in a mason jar with a lid so I can easily shake.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Raw egg consumption:
Although the egg yolks in this recipe are slightly cooked, raw egg whites are whipped and incorporated into this recipe.
I’m not in love with the idea of eating raw eggs, but our family has been doing it consistently for years without issue. I make my own homemade mayonnaise which contains raw eggs.
That being said, CDC Food Safety recommends that you “make sure that foods that contain raw or lightly cooked eggs, such as hollandaise sauce, Caesar salad dressing, and tiramisu, are made only with pasteurized eggs.”