Traditional recipes

Eggnog Recipe: How to Make an Old-Fashioned Eggnog

Eggnog Recipe: How to Make an Old-Fashioned Eggnog

Separate the eggs, reserving the whites in a sealable storage container that you immediately throw in the freezer, and keep there until the night before your party. If you’re only allowing yourself 24 hours, the whites should be fine in the fridge overnight. Place the yolks in the bowl of your stand mixer (a hand beater works fine, too).

With the whisk attachment, beat the yolks until they start to change color. With good eggs, the yolks will start out a dark orange-yellow, and turn a lighter yellow as you beat them.

With the mixer going, gradually add 2 cups of sugar until creamy. Add the milk, nutmeg, and all the booze, and stir to combine.

Place the mixture in a tightly sealed jar, drop in the vanilla bean, and let it sit in your fridge at least overnight, and up to a week. The flavors will meld and deepen with some time getting to know each other. The longer you let it sit, the better it will taste. All the alcohol acts as preservative, so you don’t have to worry about it going sour.

The night before your party, pull the egg whites out of the freezer, and let them thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, pull them out of the fridge about an hour before you’re planning to serve the eggnog, allowing them to come up to room temperature.

In your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat your egg whites with a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons of sugar until they form stiff peaks. Remove the meringue to your punch bowl.

In the same mixing bowl — no need to wash it out — beat the heavy cream until it holds stiff peaks, then add it to the punch bowl.

Get your alcohol and egg mixture from the fridge — it will have separated some, which is fine — remove the vanilla bean, and stir it to recombine. Pour it into the punch bowl, and with a large whisk and a gentle touch, whisk the mixture together with the whipped cream and meringue until just combined. You want to be very careful not to be too aggressive with your whisking, or you run the risk of deflating the whole thing.

Grate some more nutmeg over the top, and serve immediately. If you think it’s going to sit around for a while (which it probably won’t given how amazing it is), you’ll want to keep it cold. A tightly sealed mason jar filled with ice and set inside the bowl should do the trick.

To whip the egg whites you can use a mixer or whip by hand with a wire whisk. To use a whisk, make sure you first start with a clean bowl. Any grease in your bowl will keep the egg whites from thickening up correctly. Also, letting the egg whites reach room temperature will help in the whisking process.

For added flavor, you can add one teaspoon of vanilla or rum extract after adding the heavy cream to the egg yolk mixture.

Step One

Separate eggs carefully and put egg yolks and egg whites into two separate mixing bowls.

Step Two

Beat the egg yolks and sugar together with a whisk well until fluffy.

Step Three

Add the milk and then the cream to the egg yolk mixture (not the egg whites). Mix in any additional extracts and then set the bowl in the refrigerator to chill.

Step Four

Use your mixer or a whisk to beat the egg whites into soft peaks. Try to ensure that you do not overwhip the egg whites. They will still be usable but will not incorporate as nicely with the rest.

Step Five

Pour your egg yolk and milk mixture into your serving bowl. Carefully add the whipped egg whites to the top and then fold in.

Step Six

Spoon into individual mugs carefully. Sprinkle nutmeg on the top and serve. Enjoy!

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How to make homemade eggnog

When it comes to making eggnog from scratch nowadays, there are a few different options.

First of all, you can spike it with alcohol or not. I don’t spike ours when I first make it because our two-year-old drinks it too, but my husband and I have been known to add rum when pouring into our own glasses)

Second, when it comes to making eggnog, my preferred way is to use raw eggs and cold milk and cream. I love the flavour and I love that it can be made fresh and enjoyed right away. The only caveat to making eggnog “cold” with raw eggs is the risk (albeit low) of salmonella poisoning.

It’s true that raw eggs can harbour the salmonella bacteria that make us very sick, but truth be told, it’s much more rare than many people think and the risk is even less when using fresh eggs from free range chickens from organic farms (which I always recommend using, whether you raise your own laying hens or purchase eggs from a local farm).

Store-bought eggs carry a higher risk of salmonella because they typically come from factory-farmed chickens that were raised in unsanitary conditions.

So if making your eggnog with raw eggs, I advise you to only use fresh eggs from healthy chickens and a source you trust.

We don’t have our own chickens (yet), but we get our eggs from friends who have a small flock of free range laying hens. So I can vouch for the fact that I make my eggnog with raw eggs and no one in our family has gotten sick.

If you’re still feeling iffy about using raw eggs or you’re using store-bought eggs, I recommend heating your eggnog slowly on the stovetop until it reaches 160ºF (the minimum temperature needed to kill salmonella bacteria).

I’ve made it both ways and both are good, but when I cooked my eggnog, it got a little bit lumpy (like custard) despite my best efforts to heat it slowly and whisk constantly to avoid this.

I also had to wait a few hours for it to cool down in the fridge before serving, so that was another downside. But when it was cool enough to serve, I simply ran it through a blender to smooth out the lumps and it tasted great in the end!

The choice is yours. I recommend going raw if you can, but it’s just a couple extra steps to heat it up and then cool it down if you would rather cook it first.

Don’t forget to mix in some nutmeg to give your nog that signature holiday taste. Mix with rum, brandy or whisky if adding alcohol and garnish with extra nutmeg (fresh grated is always best!) and a cinnamon stick.

There you have it! Homemade eggnog with all-natural ingredients and no additives whatsoever. And it takes less time to whip up than it takes to run to the grocery store for a carton.

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Old-fashioned Eggnog

Eggnog is one of my favorite holiday drinks, so I decided to make a hundred-year-old eggnog recipe to see how it compared with the modern version. The old recipe made a lovely eggnog that had a hint of vanilla and nutmeg. It was less sweet and thinner than the typical modern eggnog – but, in my opinion, that was a good thing.

Eggnog is considered very festive today, so I was surprised to find the old recipe for it in a 1920 home economics textbook, in a chapter titled “Illness in the Home.” Back then it was common for cookbooks and textbooks to include a chapter on cooking for invalids – and eggnog was considered a nutritious, easy to eat and digest food for someone who was sick.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: Household Arts for Home and School (Vol. II) (1920) by Anna M. Cooley & Wilhelmina H. Spohr

This recipe makes one fairly small serving. A hundred years ago, it was probably served in an 8-ounce (1 cup) glass.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:


  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 5 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy

1 egg (I used a pasteurized egg.)

dash of ground nutmeg (or grate a small amount of whole nutmeg) (optional)

Put egg in a small mixing bowl beat until smooth. Add sugar, salt, and vanilla then gradually add the milk while continuing to beat. Strain, and pour into a glass. If desired, sprinkle or grate a little nutmeg on top. Serve at once.

Stacy Lyn Harris logotype_2

Christmastime wouldn’t be complete without a nice cup of old-fashioned homemade eggnog, now would it? This eggnog recipe will leave you with the perfect holiday treat: light, velvety, smooth, and delicious! This holiday season, don’t ask yourself where you can buy eggnog. Skip the grocery store lines and make it yourself!

Growing up, I couldn’t stand eggnog. I loved milk products, but around Christmas my step-dad would come home from the grocery store just beaming. I knew it was because he had in those brown bags his favorite drink of all time, the infamous Barber’s Eggnog. It was thick, like a milkshake, or even worse, a melted milkshake. I couldn’t understand the obsession.

As an adult making pretty much everything from scratch, eggnog is now one of my all-time favorite drinks as well. If you are in my kitchen when I am preparing it, you will see me beam too. This version is light, airy, flavorful, and, well, just exceptional.

By incorporating air into the egg whites and whipped cream and folding them into the rich egg yolk mixture, you end up with a texture that is velvety and super light. It is not overladen with cloves – I don’t even add that to my recipe. I sprinkle nutmeg very lightly into the mixture and over the final product. It gives just the perfect amount of flavor.

Often, people shy away from homemade eggnog because of the raw eggs. If you use the freshest of eggs (or eggs from your own chickens), you most likely will never have a problem. Don’t let this concern stop you from making your own! You can temper the eggs and cook them just enough that food-borne illness will never be a problem.

Making Spiked Eggnog

For spiked eggnog, add 3 ounces of bourbon, cognac, rum, or all three! If you add liquor, your eggnog will be thicker. The more liquor you use, the longer it will keep in the refrigerator. If you don’t use liquor, consume the beverage within one day. Adding alcohol will allow this recipe to keep longer in the fridge while sterilizing your eggs (and therefore killing any harmful bacteria)!


  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish
  • ⅓ cup bourbon, brandy, cognac, or rum, or to taste (optional)

Beat the egg yolks until thick and pale yellow in a medium-size bowl with a mixer set to high speed. Gradually add ⅓ cup sugar and continue beating until the sugar dissolves.

Stir together the milk, 1 cup cream, and ½ teaspoon nutmeg in a small saucepan. Bring just to a simmer over medium heat. Whisking constantly, add the warm milk mixture to egg yolk mixture in a slow, steady stream. Pour into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a heat-proof spatula until the mixture thickens slightly and reaches 160°F. Pour into a bowl. Stir in the liquor, if using. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

Just before serving, beat the egg whites to soft peaks in a medium-size bowl with a mixer set to high speed. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and beat to firm peaks. Fold into the chilled base mixture.

Beat the remaining 1 cup cream to stiff peaks, and then fold into eggnog. (Alternatively, fold half the whipped cream into the chilled base and spoon the rest on top as garnish.)

Mount Vernon Eggnog Recipe

We do have another homemade eggnog recipe kindly shared by Mount Vernon, as eggnog was indeed a popular drink in the latter half of the 18th century.

We’ve slightly adapted this recipe to make the ingredient amounts clear. We recommend preparing the mixture a day in advance so it’s well chilled. It’s well worth it! The grocery store stuff isn’t even the same animal.


  • 12 eggs (pasteurized if possible), room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • One-fifth bourbon (750ml bottle)*
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 quart whipping cream
  • Optional: 1 cup milk
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons nutmeg, freshly grated (not ground)

*Note: You can adjust the amount of alcohol in this recipe or omit it altogether. Or, use a different alchohol on hand common choices include brandy, rum, bourbon, or whisky. One eggnog recipe we enjoy (from the 1950s) uses “1 cup bourbon and 1 cup Cognac” in place of the one-fifth bourbon.

  1. Start by separating your eggs — put your yolks in a medium bowl and the egg whites in a large bowl. Cover the whites and refrigerate until needed.
  2. Add the sugar to the yolks and whisk until the mixture is smooth and creamy. It should be a light yellow color.
  3. Next, add in your in the milk, cream, and spiced rum with a whisk until completely mixed.
  4. Cover the mixture and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  5. Now, in your other bowl, whisk the egg whites in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer at high speed until the whites form stiff peaks.
  6. Fold the egg whites into the eggnog. Transfer the beaten egg whites to the bowl with the eggnog and gently fold or stir the whites into the base. It should be frothy and creamy.
  7. Pour into a punch bowl, pitcher, or glass. If you’re letting the eggnog age for more than a couple of days, it should go into a sealed glass container or mason jar.

Recipe Summary

  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 cups heavy cream, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup bourbon, preferably Maker's Mark
  • 1/4 cup dark rum, preferably Mount Gay
  • 1/4 cup Cognac, preferably Remy Martin Grand Cru
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, for sprinkling

Beat yolks in a very large bowl until thick and pale. Slowly beat in sugar. Whisk in milk and 2 cups cream. Mix in bourbon, rum, and Cognac. Cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Just before serving, beat whites until stiff peaks form. Fold whites into eggnog. Whisk remaining 1 cup cream until stiff peaks form, and fold into eggnog. (Alternatively, you can fold half the whipped cream into eggnog, and top with remaining half.) Sprinkle with nutmeg.

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