Homemade Eggnog is so amazingly delicious, that once you make it from scratch you will never buy that store-bought container again. Made with easy-to-find ingredients, this is your new holiday tradition.
Eggnog has been part of my family’s holiday traditions forever. Even though it is usually only my dad and I who enjoy it, I couldn’t imagine the holidays without it.
If you’ve never tried homemade eggnog, proceed with caution, because once you have this, you will never buy another carton. The great news is that it is easy to make, can be made ahead of time, and makes a great neighbor gift!
How to Make Eggnog
Here is a brief overview of how to make the best eggnog recipe. Since it needs to be refrigerated for at least eight hours before serving, this recipe is perfect to make the day before and bring out as guests arrive. For the full recipe and measurements, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Heat the milk. Combine the milk, cinnamon, and cloves over low heat. Increase the heat to medium-low and bring to a boil while stirring. Then remove it from the heat.
- Beat the eggs. Beat the room-temperature egg yolks and the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until they reach the consistency of cake batter.
- Temper the eggs. Pour a small amount of the hot milk into the egg and sugar mixture, whisking vigorously as you pour so the eggs do not begin to cook. Continue with the remainder of the hot milk mixture. See more on tempering eggs below.
- Heat the mixture. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and whisk consistently as the mixture cooks and thickens for three minutes.
- Strain and cool. Strain to remove the cloves and cool for one hour.
- Combine the rest of the ingredients. Stir in the half and half, nutmeg, and vanilla, and transfer to a sealable container. Refrigerate before serving.
Tempering eggs is an important cooking method used to create a stable base. Carefully combining room-temperature eggs with hot milk prevents the eggs from cooking. The hot milk is added slowly and whisked which changes the proteins in the eggs. This results in a smooth creamy texture with a natural thickening power that works beautifully in this homemade eggnog recipe.
What is Half and Half?
Half and half is essentially half whole milk and half heavy cream. If you live overseas, you will be looking for Half Cream. When combined with heavy cream, this has the perfect fat content, about 10%, for this recipe. It is neither too thick nor too thin.
An adults only spiked eggnog will be the hit of your holiday gathering. Add a shot of your preferred spirit to individual mugs of eggnog just prior to serving. There are quite a few liquors that go well with eggnog, most popular being brandy and rum. The best rum for eggnog would be dark rum due to its spiced flavor of it complimenting the creaminess and sweetness.
Variations and Suggestions
This beverage is delicious as is. Its creamy texture and sweet, spiced flavor are a true holiday delight. Here are a few ideas for how to spruce it up with a boozy or caffeinated twist!
- Add coffee to make an eggnog coffee or espresso for the best eggnog latte.
- Make spiked eggnog by adding brandy or dark rum.
- Enjoy both caffeine and a boozy kick with this delicious spiked eggnog latte!
- Use it to make French toast! It’s a great spin and makes a perfect holiday brunch! Just substitute the half and half with eggnog.
The most popular liquors are bourbon and dark rum. Vanilla vodka and Fireball whiskey would also work well, like in this fireball eggnog cocktail.
Usually cold as it is stored in the refrigerator. It can be heated up, especially when enjoyed with coffee or espresso.
This traditional eggnog recipe has not been tested with a dairy-free milk alternative, however, could be tried with almond milk, oat milk, or a soy based creamer. Keep in mind that it will change the thickness of the recipe.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Storing and Serving
Serve your traditional eggnog recipe in glasses or mugs. Add rum or bourbon if desired and top with ground cinnamon. Store your eggnog in the refrigerator for up to three days. Use your leftover eggnog by making White Chocolate Chip Eggnog Cookies or Eggnog Fudge. Always use your best discretion with leftovers.
Other Cocktail Recipes
These delicious cocktails are perfect for a cozy relaxing evening or for hosting. Made with simple ingredients but packed with flavor, you are sure to find the perfect cozy cocktail.
If you try this recipe or any of my others, please leave a comment and let me know what you think!
- 4 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 whole cloves
- 12 large egg yolks whisked
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups half and half (read about what half and half is here)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- In a saucepan over low heat, combine the milk, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir regularly for five minutes. Increase the heat to medium-low and bring to a boil while stirring. Once at a boil, remove it from the heat.4 cups milk, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 4 whole cloves
- Combine the egg yolks and the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium until it reaches the consistency of cake batter. (About 1 minute.) Alternatively, you can use a hand mixer.12 large egg yolks, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- Pour a small amount of the hot milk, about 1/4 cup, into the egg and sugar mixture, whisking vigorously as you pour so the eggs do not begin to cook. Continue with the remainder of the hot milk mixture, whisking while you pour until it is all added. It works very well to do this in the base of the stand mixer with the mixer on low.
- Pour back into the saucepan and put over medium heat. Whisk consistently as the mixture cooks and thickens for three minutes. (Resist the urge to keep it on the heat longer, it will thicken more even once you remove it from the heat.) Remove from the heat and strain to remove the cloves. Cool for one hour.
- Stir in the half and half, heavy cream, nutmeg, and vanilla, and transfer to a sealable container. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours before serving. Add rum or bourbon (optional) when serving, top with cinnamon and enjoy!2 cups heavy cream, 2 cups half and half, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg