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Eggnog is a rich and creamy drink that has been a staple of Christmas celebrations for centuries. This classic Christmas cocktail blends egg yolks, cream, milk, sugar, spices like nutmeg and vanilla, and often alcohol like brandy, rum, or bourbon. The result is a luxuriously smooth, decadent beverage perfect for sipping on chilly December nights. 

Glass of eggnog with orange lights in background.

Recipe for the Perfect Eggnog

Serves 4-6
Course Drinks
Servings 4


  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  • Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a medium bowl until light and creamy. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the cream and milk. Stir often until mixture reaches a bare simmer. Remove from heat.
  • Slowly whisk the milk mixture into the bowl of creamy egg and sugar mixture little by little. DO NOT ADD IT ALL AT ONCE. Continue to whisk until all the milk is whisked in.
  • Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly  until the mixture thickens to your desired consistency .
  • Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and nutmeg.
  • Pour the mixture into an airtight container.
  • Chill the eggnog in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
  • Stir completely before serving.
  • Pour into glasses.
  • Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg, and fresh whipped cream, if desired.


*For a thinner and completely smooth eggnog,  pour into  a blender with 1-2 tablespoons of milk  and blend until smooth.
Glass mug of eggnog with cinnamon stick and sprinkled cinnamon.

Variations for Every Palate

  • Spiced Delight- Enhance your eggnog with a dash of cinnamon and a pinch of cloves for a spicier kick. Top with a cinnamon stick for added flair.
  • Maple Pecan Bliss- Replace the sugar with maple syrup and add a handful of chopped pecans for a decadent twist. Drizzle with extra maple syrup before serving.
  • Chocolate Lover’s Dream- Blend in 2 ounces of melted semi-sweet chocolate for a chocolate-infused version. Garnish with chocolate shavings or a dollop of whipped cream.
  • Orange Zest Surprise- Grate orange zest into your eggnog for a citrusy burst. This variation is refreshing and adds a new dimension to the traditional flavor.
  • Coconut Paradise- Swap out a portion of the dairy milk with coconut milk for a luscious and exotic twist. Garnish with toasted coconut flakes. 
  • Peppermint Wonderland- Stir in 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract for a festive and refreshing twist. Garnish with a candy cane or sprinkle crushed peppermint candies on top.
  • Salted Caramel Indulgence- Swirl in caramel sauce and a pinch of flaky sea salt for an irresistible combination of sweet and salty goodness.
Tall glass mugs with eggnog and cinnamon sprinkled on top.

Eggnog Cocktails -Alcoholic Versions 

Add some alcohol to your eggnog for a festive eggnog cocktail. You have the option to incorporate the alcohol into the entire batch or into your personal glass. Since there’s no specific quantity given, we recommend adding a small amount, tasting it, and then gradually adding more until it suits your preference. There’s no need to worry about making a mistake!The following options ensure your eggnog packs some extra holiday cheer:

  • Rum Royale- Add a generous splash of dark rum to your eggnog for a classic and well-loved alcoholic twist. Garnish with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.
  • Bourbon Bliss- Elevate your eggnog with the warm tones of bourbon. The depth of flavor from the bourbon complements the creamy richness of the eggnog.
  • Brandy Elegance- For a sophisticated touch, mix in a shot of brandy. This addition adds complexity and warmth to your holiday beverage.
  • Kailua Kiss- A generous splash of coffee liqueur adds a touch of sophistication and depth. Garnish with a sprinkle of cocoa powder.
  • Irish Cream Elegance- Infuse your eggnog with a generous pour of Irish cream. Garnish with a dusting of cocoa powder or a swirl of whipped cream for a touch of elegance in every sip.
Tall elegant glasses with eggnog wim rims trimmed in nutmeg.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make eggnog in advance?

Yes, you can prepare eggnog a day or two in advance. Keep it refrigerated, and give it a good stir before serving to maintain the creamy consistency.

Can I make a dairy-free version?

Absolutely! Substitute dairy with almond or coconut milk and use a non-dairy whipped topping for a vegan-friendly alternative.

 Can I freeze leftover eggnog?

Freezing may alter the texture, so it’s not recommended. However, you can use leftover eggnog in recipes like pancakes, French toast, or custards.

Can kids drink it? 

Absolutely, just leave out the hard liquor. Kids love sipping on the sweet, creamy, perfectly spiced non-alcoholic version.

How long does it last? 

Homemade eggnog will keep fresh in the fridge for 2-3 days. Don’t store it at room temperature or the eggs may spoil. The alcohol content also helps preserved store-bought and homemade varieties.

What’s the best glass to serve it in?

 For presentation, serve in glass punch cups, mugs or glasses with festive shaped rims. Shake in a cocktail shaker for extra froth before pouring.  

How to Store Your Eggnog Creations

To preserve the freshness and flavor of your homemade eggnog, follow these storage tips:

  • Refrigeration- Keep refrigerated at all times, stored in an airtight container. Consume within 2-3 days for the best taste and quality. Alcoholic versions will last longer, for 1-2 weeks.
  • Avoid Freezing- Freezing may cause separation and affect the texture, so it’s best to enjoy your eggnog fresh.
  • Sealed Containers- To prevent the absorption of odors from the fridge, use a sealed container or cover the eggnog with plastic wrap.
  • When in Doubt, Throw Out- Discard if you notice curdling, bubbling or off smells.

Eggnog, with its creamy texture and nostalgic flavors, is a Christmas tradition that brings people together. Whether enjoyed by the fireside or at a festive gathering, this timeless beverage is a reminder of the joy and warmth that the holiday season brings. So, as you sip your personalized cup of eggnog, savor the moment and cherish the memories being made. Happy holidays!

Martini glasses with eggnog.


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