Homemade Eggnog

I always know it’s eggnog season when Brian volunteers to go grocery shopping for me (which he never does during normal times of the year). It’s the only way store bought eggnog makes it into our house. I loathe the stuff. But I swear Brian’s veins run with eggnog from about November 1 to January 15. And of course, the boys, seeing their big, strong daddy chugging eggnog have jumped right on board. Apparently because eggnog-buying season overlaps with wrestling season, they have somehow made the association that drinking eggnog ensures faster take downs, better whizzers, swifter double legs and tighter gut wrenchers.

I seriously have no idea what I just said.

Anyway, I decided to try my hand at homemade eggnog, wondering if I would like it better than store bought. A few disclaimers: I knew right off I wasn’t going to make it with raw eggs. I wanted a version that I could serve to my little kids and also to my favorite 80-year old Yugoslavian friend without any of them having to sign a waiver about the risk of salmonella. I also knew I was going to make a non-alcoholic version since quite simply, I don’t drink alcohol and neither do my kids. I wanted this to be a family event. The Making and Drinking of The Eggnog.

So if either of those things have you crying “unauthentic” then we probably need to part ways for this post (but please come back tomorrow!). After several tries and variations, in the end, I loved this. Really loved it. It is thick and creamy with a rich flavor from the egg yolks and a delicious fragrant taste of nutmeg.

Homemade Eggnog

Because nutmeg is the only spice used here, I implore you to grate your own. The difference between already ground nutmeg and freshly ground is pretty amazing. I use my rasp grater (the same thing I zest my lemons and limes with); small spice jars of whole nutmeg are fairly easy to find in a well-stocked grocery store.

You are probably wondering what the boys’ verdict is on this homemade version. Of course the kids gulped it down – I mean, it’s sweet and creamy, what’s not to love? Brian, the eggnog connoisseur, liked it but said it was missing the classic taste he’s grown accustomed/addicted to (uh, honey, that’s the artificial pencil shavings and paint extract they added to your store bought stuff to make it last longer). Either way, this is much more my style. It tastes clean and fresh and so very, very creamy, plus the nutmeg flavor really shines and it makes me nerdily happy to have a homemade version that all of us can enjoy together.

I think when Brian’s not looking, I’m going to pour this into his empty eggnog carton and see if he really can tell a difference. The dead giveaway will probably be when he catches me guzzling it from the carton since that’s never happened in the history of ever (chocolate milk? yes. eggnog? no way).

So now I’m curious: are you an eggnog lover or hater?

Homemade Eggnog

One Year Ago: The Best Shrimp Cocktail
Two Years Ago: Queso Blanco Dip
Three Years Ago: Rocky Mountain Cookies

Homemade Eggnog

Yield: Makes about 3 1/2 cups of eggnog

Homemade Eggnog

I use 1% milk when making this - you could probably get away with anything from skim to whole milk. I happen to really love nutmeg - if you think the full 1 1/2 teaspoons might be a bit overwhelming, knock it down to 1 teaspoon to start and add more after tasting, if needed.

Ingredients

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon rum extract (optional)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until light and creamy.
  2. In a saucepan, bring the cream, milk, nutmeg and salt to a bare simmer, stirring often. Slowly ladle in 1/2 cup or so of the hot milk to the egg mixture, whisking vigorously to avoid little bits of cooked egg. This will temper the eggs so they don't scramble when cooked on the stovetop. Ladle in another 1/2 cup, whisking vigorously the entire time. Do this until all the hot milk has been added to the eggs and the mixture is well combined.
  3. Pour the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan of milk on the stove, whisking quickly, and cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it reaches 160 degrees F on a thermometer.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and rum extract (if using).
  5. Pour the eggnog into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/homemade-eggnog/

Recipe Source: adapted from various sources until I liked the result (including Alton Brown’s recipe and one from Cuisine at Home)

60 Responses to Homemade Eggnog {Are you a lover or hater?}

  1. Emilee says:

    Growing up I was an eggnog lover–the only one of six kids who liked it. And then, I developed an egg allergy. No more eggnog for me. I’ve tried soy nog. It’s not as thick as eggnog, but I like it. My husband does not. Of course he was comparing it to the real eggnog and it’s been over ten years since I had the real stuff, so that’s probably helped the experience with the fake stuff.

  2. Teresa says:

    Oh Mel, I was just thinking yesterday…I wish she had a homemade eggnog recipe. Others I’ve seen have vanilla pudding in them, which I wanted to avoid. I can’t wait to try your version!!!

  3. I’ve been wanting to make homemade eggnog. Thanks for the inspiration and an easy recipe. Yum! I’ll get right on that. :)

  4. bluebaker says:

    Hi Mel- I guess I’m in the ambivalent category. I don’t actually hate, its just something
    our family never served much or emphasized. I’ve tried the store stuff and thought it was very icky sweet and fake tasting. I have never tried fresh nutmeg. now,after your descriptions, I think trying that might be my next experiment.

  5. Jane says:

    Okay, it’s official. I love you (and still want to be you when I grow up, never mind that I AM grown up!). You are me, only way better! Although, I will say that I don’t let my kids drink alcohol, either. :) Anywho, like bluebaker, I am ambivalent about eggnog. My husband and daughter do enjoy it enough, however, that I will try your version – I really like that you cooked it, thanks!

  6. Laurie says:

    I am wondering in step 2, instead of tempering the yolks, can you just mix them into the other wet ingredients BEFORE you heat them? Seems like it might be easier?

  7. Jan says:

    Oh I remember eggnog from the days my father would fix it for our New Year’s toast. A family of 7 children we all learned what a delightful beverage it was that night. My brother in later years would make a single glass every morning for his weight lifting years. That’s when I really learned to like it. Now I’m too sensitive to eggs but do remember the wonderful flavors of vanilla and nutmeg. Thanks for the walk down that lane.

  8. Missy says:

    I want to love eggnog. I really do. I am a big fan of all things creamy and I love nutmeg, but each year that I try eggnog my mouth revolts against it. Maybe it’s an acquired taste or maybe since I’ve only ever been served the preservative-laden kind, I have no idea what I’m missing with the homemade stuff. I should make this and cross my fingers that this time I will like it. Is it just me or is it CRAZY that Christmas is next week? Where did the month go? I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

  9. Honestly…I have mixed feelings about egg nog. I want to love it, but I kind of don’t. I think it’s the perfumey smell. Or maybe the resemblance to my mortal enemy, MILK. But I do love egg nog flavored things.

    I could do an egg nog milkshake. Can we make that happen?

  10. Shelli says:

    “uh, honey, that’s the artificial pencil shavings and paint extract they added to your store bought stuff to make it last longer”

    I am laughing out loud at 6:13 AM!! Thank you for putting a smile on my face so early in the morning. : )

  11. Carlie says:

    HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE eggnog. I don’t understand my husband’s love of it.

  12. Heather K Miller says:

    My husband served me my first glass of egg nog, during our first Christmas season together almost ten years ago and I have LOVED and craved it every year since! Until this year. And now I can’t stand the stuff but I can’t decide if its really the egg nog or maybe just a pregnancy aversion. So I will try again next year. But with how unhealthy the stuff is, I won’t be sad if I still hate it next year!

  13. Barbara says:

    I like it, Hubs won’t touch it, so I won’t make or buy it. Besides I have to lose more weight, so no sweets for me. Insurance companies are dinging anybody who’s overweight now, charging a MUCH higher premium.

  14. Tara says:

    I am not usually a fan of eggnog, but my husband loves it, so maybe I will give your recipe a try this year! His family always had eggnog milkshakes on Christmas Eve, maybe I’ll actually be able to stomach it this year if we use homemade eggnog…

  15. Shannon says:

    I am pretty much the only one in my house that doesn’t like it. Maybe it’s a psychological thing. I can’t bring myself to drink it when I know it has “pencil shavings and paint extract” :) in it. It is just too sweet. Oh, and have you heard of people adding Sprite to it?! I don’t get it. Rarely do I like to drink my calories unless it’s in smoothie form. But I’ve never been a milk lover/chugger. Ever. So will I try your version? If my husband doesn’t make it to the grocery store first!

  16. David says:

    The only egg nog (and chocolate milk) I drink is Broguiere’s. It’s amazing. I highly recommend it if you can find it. I know Whold Foods carries it but it’s way expensive. The glass jar makes a nice momento though. I’m fortunate enough to live a few miles from the dairy so I go straight to the cow to bypass the mark up price.

  17. Renee Wheeler says:

    My son-in-law has just discovered it and yes, he puts the booze in his. My daughter calls it “fat juice” which makes me laugh!

  18. Cheryl P says:

    I very much love my homemade eggnog.
    I’ve never cooked my egg yolks and I’ve served it to young and old without any qualms or any problems (of course, I don’t use regular factory farmed eggs either). I use more spices and flavorings in addition to the ones in this recipe: whole clove, whole cinnamon, and vanilla. (tip: studies have shown clove and cinnamon are effective antibacterials in food)
    Sometime try heating several whole cloves, whole cinnamon stick and a tsp or so of vanilla extract with the milk, and adding 1/2 tsp vanilla, rum flavoring, and fresh nutmeg after taking it off the heat and cooling down. Chill with the whole spices, and add more nutmeg when serving. :) I always get *raves* from lovers and haters alike.

  19. Sally says:

    I love eggnog, but I’ve never made it. I’m going to try this. I’ll have to make more macaroons with the leftover egg whites. What a shame! :-)

  20. Shelley says:

    Did you read the Cook’s Illustrated article about aging egg nog, with raw eggs and booze, in the fridge for weeks and the booze kills all the egg bacteria? Weirdness!

  21. I love it but then I typically have it delivered from a local dairy and the product is amazing. I’ve also made it but most recipes call for raw eggs and don’t temper them so I haven’t bothered lately. Truth is I made a pie this weekend with raw eggs and I’m not dead but most folks cringe at the idea so I’m trying this and not having them faint when I share ingredients. :)

  22. What do you mean your kids don’t drink alcohol? Kidding!

    I’m kinda on the fence about eggnog. I steam it and add it to my coffee (also booze-free). I bet I would love a homemade verison, though!

  23. Valerie A. H. says:

    I LOVE eggnog!!! Thanks! Merry Christmas Mel!

  24. Charlotte Moore says:

    I do not like the store bought eggnog. I do however love to make boil custard and add rum extract and fresh grated nutmeg. I use the whole eggs in mine. I put milk and sugar in a double boiler and when it has reached a very hot smoking stage I add the eggs tat I have whipped in the blender. I cook a while longer add vanilla and put through the blender a little at a time to get any lumps out. Let cool for a good while and then refrigerate. As it is served I add the rum flavor to who ever likes it. Top with cool whip or whipped cream and add fresh nutmeg. Oh my this is wonderful.

  25. Darlene Epps says:

    Mel you out did yourself this time. We too love eggnog the alcohol free kind. I will try to make this myself. I was worried about salmonella as well, Thanks for this cooked version.

  26. Erin says:

    I enjoy eggnog occasionally, but usually always end up with some still in the carton come February. What I DO tend to drink a good amount of around this time of year is coquito, AKA “Puerto Rican eggnog”. The recipe I use doesn’t have eggs in it; just a cream of coconut and condensed and evaporated milk and a TON of rum. :)

  27. Jeri Lynn says:

    I’ve never been an eggnog fan, but my husband loves it. I finally realized that store bought stuff has an aftertaste that I hate. There is a local diary that makes an eggnog I can tolerate, but I still don’t really like it. I’ll have to try this version! :-D

    As a funny, even when I don’t like drinking store bought eggnog, I love all eggnogs in this white chocolate eggnog fudge It has fresh ground nutmeg on the top! It’s lovely stuff. It’s even better with eggnog that I actually don’t hate.

    Also, if people are having a hard time finding whole nutmeg, check out Penzeys.com. They are a wonderful spice company with good mailing program and customer service. Until they had stores out on my coast, I always mail ordered from them without problems. (on the flip side, if you have a store near you, go! They have jars of all their spices that you can go around smelling. I LOVE their stores!)

  28. ava says:

    sludgy thick eggnog from a carton is my favourite and my son craves it too. my husband and daughter think it is the most disgusting thing ever. is there another drink that is so polarizing? i would make your version but i think i would miss the pencil shavings too much!

  29. We are big eggnog lovers in this house! The only store bought brand we like is Promise Land (seriously the best store bought). But this year my guy and brother-in-law asked for homemade. I tried a recipe recently and it was just alright. So I am excited to give your version a try!

  30. Brenna Kimber says:

    I always HATED eggnog growing up. But just a few years ago I found Winder Dairy brand eggnog and it rocks! It may be Utah only, not sure, but it is delicious! I might try the homemade someday too.

  31. Beth says:

    My 8 year old just asked if we could make egg not at home to keep the joy going throughout the year. I told him I’d never found a homemade version I liked. Now we have something to try! I like the light eggnog diluted with milk (not watching calories, just prefer the milder taste). Also, I have yet to find an eggnog in the US (Utah, Massachusetts, California, or Hawaii) that I like. The Canadian stuff seems more milk-y, less corn syrupy. Maybe that’s just my patriotism talking. I’m eager to try this out– maybe at Easter as my son pointed out that if there was any holiday about eggs it was that one.

  32. Kim G says:

    I grew up drinking my mom’s homemade eggnog. I love it. I’m too lazy to make my own so I started buying the store brand (Bordens isn’t too bad!). I am not one to put alcohol in my eggnog, but my sister made me try a little touch of Godiva’s white chocolate liqueur. It sounds horrible, but it really makes the eggnog taste better. Now I can’t drink it without the white chocolate liqueur (I’m an eggnog snob!). I am definitely going to try your recipe, that way I can make eggnog whenever I want and don’t have to wait for the stores to carry it during the holidays. :-)

  33. Emily says:

    Definitely a lover….although after reading what you said about pencil shavings and paint extract I’m a little worried. I think I’m happier not knowing these things. :)

  34. Kim in MD says:

    Mel- I love that you are always giving us homemade, natural versions of our store bought chemical laden favorites! I’ve never been a fan of store bought eggnog, but I will give your recipe a try…it looks yummy!

  35. Teresa says:

    Well, after commenting earlier, I just had to make this today, and wow was it amazing. I used whole milk, which I just happened to have in my fridge from a dessert recipe. I have to say it was fabulous with the whole milk as we only drink skim. The only thing I changed was I just added a few shavings of fresh nutmeg, because we are not big nutmeg fans, but I thought it was the perfect amount for us. It didn’t get as thick as I thought it would, even with the whole milk, but it was actually better that way. So superior to store bought–which I do like. So I have to disagree with your husband there!!! Thanks for a wonderful holiday winner.

  36. Auntiepatch says:

    Can’t stand it!

  37. Lindsey R says:

    Not to brag or anything, but I was so disappointed you didn’t have an eggnog recipe that I pulled up my sleeves, tested things out, until I came to what I love. But I kept wondering, what would Mel make (and why is she not making it already!) So whats to brag about? My recipe is the same as yours except I use whole eggs. Yep. I am almost as awesome as Mel in the kitchen.

  38. Jenn in AZ says:

    Love it! Only my oldest son is a hater but maybe he would like homemade- he pretty much hates on anything processed except oreos, which I find strange because I don’t like them. He is making your oreo truffles to give to family and teachers this year. We’ll try the eggnog this weekend. Thanks as always for the recipe.

  39. Jen T says:

    Love it! Will be trying this next week! Thanks!

  40. Chantel F says:

    Growing up where my Arab father was the most influential with cooking (and, ahem, everything), I didn’t even learn about eggnog until I was married and it was christmas!! I was 21… Lol. SO, I think I was past the age gap where you can learn to like it. My husband LOVES it like your husband does, I loathe it. Bleh. I have honestly tried like 5 brands, but cannot stand it. I would actually love to try this though, bc I can relate to you!! You make me want to try this lol. I hope I can get to this in the next week!!

  41. Michelle Garringer says:

    Mel- thanks for your recipe- i like eggnog- even the processed grocery store kind- couple years back i went organic and discovered Whole Foods stocks two kinds of organic eggnog – both are equally SO good – esp with cognac and a little nutmeg- lets just say i went through two cartons of it over Thanksgiving and the week after it and am now regretting i didn’t add another carton for Christmas. :) oh- minus the cup i made the eggnog cranberry scones ( yummy) with.
    Thanks for the post!

  42. Lesli Dustin says:

    Hey Mel, we drank homemade eggnog every Christmas, with raw eggs and I lived to tell. Don’t you eat cookie dough? What’s the dif? Live on the edge. I don’t have my mom’s recipe because hubby hates it but she put ginger ale in it, and somehow it wasn’t runny. Ginger ale and nutmeg and creaminess make the perfect combo. I have bought the stuff until recent years when I got off dairy, and I do miss it.

  43. Kelly says:

    You should try (or get your husband to try) Trader Joe’s Eggnog ice cream…it is amazing. And I’m going to try this as a surprise for my eggnog loving husband too. Thanks!

  44. Honestly? I don’t think I’ve ever had it! Your recipe is tempting me though. It looks so creamy and delicious with those warm winter spices!

  45. Cait says:

    I enjoy it in small amounts at Christmas, but I won’t drink the storebought stuff anymore because of the ingredients. Usually HFCS and thickeners, at best…blech! I made it from scratch once and LOVED it. It was cooked and nonalcoholic like yours, but I’m sure I’ll try your recipe next time :)

  46. Viktoriya says:

    Do you NEED a thermometer for this? If so then what kind?:)

    • Mel says:

      Victoriya – yes, you do need a thermometer if you want to specifically reach that 160 degree F mark. Any instant read thermometer should work just fine (they are fairly inexpensive at the store).

  47. Pops says:

    Brian learn to love eggnog from his father! Sorry if that has caused tensions in your family.

  48. You are preaching to the choir regarding that fresh grated nutmeg. I was astounded the first time I used it and the flavor difference. I love it on many things now. I don’t like store bought and just finished making homemade also. The recipe was given to me by a client and has both rum and bourbon. I think it’s a little strong so I’m going to be adding more cream. Tis the season. Merry Christmas.

  49. Julie says:

    I just tripled this recipe and made it for a family party and it was so easy and was a HUGE hit. Everyone loved it. I used some of it to make eggnog cookies too. Definitely making again. Thanks for all your fantastic recipes. I love all of them. :)

  50. Jeanine says:

    I LOVE homemade eggnog! (The store bought stuff is nasty!) We grew up with two different versions… my mom’s (which was cooked) and my dad’s (which was raw). We always loved my dad’s because it was quick and we didn’t have to stir it forever the way we did with mom’s. But now, I just can’t think about drinking the raw stuff… too gross!

  51. Megan Parr says:

    I love homemade eggnog- but have never served with raw eggs! The only recipe I’ve ever used is from Betty Crocker and basically it’s a soft custard mixed with whipped cream and sprinkled with nutmeg. DELISH!

  52. Cinda Atherton says:

    I would not be taking time out from Christmas Eve celebrations to write this if your eggnog recipe had not been such a hit! It is amazing–my husband loves eggnog and after tasting this I’m sure he’ll never want store bought again. So easy to make, too!

  53. Laurie says:

    Nobody answered my question, so I sidestepped the entire issue by buying pasteurized eggs to make my eggnog. They are hard to find in these parts, usually only one store here or there will have them, and only during the holidays. Triple batch made, and even my picky husband loves it.

  54. Tami says:

    On this Christmas day my son and I are enjoying the double batch I made yesterday. Delicious! So far we’re the only family members who know about it. As soon as we tell everyone else that it’s in the fridge, it will be gone within minutes. Thanks much for a fun Christmas treat with safe eggs! We are BIG fans of eggnog. Merry Christmas, Mel!

  55. Melanie says:

    Hi Mel

    great recipe!
    I only added some cinnamon and more milk and it tasted great!

    Best regards
    Mel :-)

  56. Michelle says:

    I made this for Christmas (my first time ever attempting egg nog), and it was absolutely, without a doubt delicious!! The recipe wasn’t hard at all, and it turned out so delightful. It was a huge hit, and I only wish I had made more! This is definitely a recipe I’ll be making again! Thanks!

  57. Laurel says:

    I made the eggnog this morning. It is fantastic. My husband will love it. Thanks so much for posting!

  58. Lien says:

    Have you tried your eggnog over oatmeal?! Delicious with dried cranberries and toasted walnuts, or banana slices with walnuts! I’m going to try an eggnog tres leches cake too!

  59. Rhonda says:

    We all love eggnog! I made a double batch yesterday, because I have such great faith in your recipes and it. was. truly. amazing. I did change a few things, I used all whole milk instead of cream and milk, then since we like it thick, like from the store I kept back 1/2 cup of milk added 1 Tab of cornstarch to that, and mixed it in after the yolks were added. So Delish way better then any thing from the store, probably from that wonderful goats milk it was made with = ) Thanks for all the wonderful recipes!!

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