Homemade Eggnog


In just two steps, you'll have a festive drink made ahead. Be sure to chill it thoroughly before serving, and give it a final whisk, too, to make sure everything is blended.

Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
8 hrs 35 mins
10 servings

Commercial eggnog is easy to come by during the holiday season; for many, the first spotting of a bottle or carton in the dairy aisle is an exciting marker of the merry days to come. And while there's certainly nothing wrong with purchasing that carton and spiking it yourself at home, we're here to tell you that if you've never had the pleasure of homemade eggnog, you are definitely missing out.

Eggnog is essentially a custard in beverage form. Save for the booze, the ingredients are the same as what's in a high-quality French-style ice cream. While store-bought varieties tend to rely on fewer eggs, leaner dairy, and the addition of stabilizers to achieve the drink's signature rich, creamy texture, homemade eggnog leans solely on whole eggs, milk, and heavy cream. Indulgent, yes. But 'tis the season!

Instead of making anyone choose between bourbon, rum, or brandy, this eggnog recipe generously calls for all three, resulting in a festive, complexly flavored drink that tastes deceptively innocent. To make it, you'll need a makeshift double boiler (in this case, a bowl and a saucepan) and a whisk.


  • 6 large eggs, separated

  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided

  • 3 cups milk

  • 1/4 cup bourbon

  • 2 tablespoons dark rum

  • 2 tablespoons brandy

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


  1. Put the egg yolks in a medium bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Add 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the sugar and whisk over low heat until pale yellow and thick, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the milk, bourbon, rum, and brandy and transfer to a large bowl.

  2. In another large bowl, whisk the egg whites with the remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar until very soft peaks form. Stir the whites into the yolk mixture. In a medium bowl, beat the heavy cream until lightly thickened. Fold the whipped cream and nutmeg into the eggnog and chill thoroughly. Whisk to reblend before serving.

glasses of homemade eggnog
Photo by Adam Friedlander / Food Styling by Pearl Jones

Make ahead

The eggnog can be refrigerated overnight. Stir before serving.

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