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Simple Eggnog Recipe

Eggnog, a classic holiday beverage, brings the heartwarming flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg together with rich, creamy milk and egg yolks. This simple recipe adds a dash of vanilla and a hint of bourbon to elevate the traditional taste. Perfect for festive gatherings or cozy nights in, it's a flavorful creation that will undoubtedly become a seasonal favorite.

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Most of the ingredients for this simple eggnog recipe are common household items such as milk, sugar, and eggs. However, you may need to check for cloves and nutmeg in your pantry. If not, they are readily available in any supermarket's spice aisle. The recipe also calls for bourbon, which is optional, but it does provide a warm undertone that complements the other flavors.

Ingredients for Simple Eggnog

Whole Milk: A fundamental ingredient, contributes to the creaminess of the eggnog.

Ground cloves: A spice that gives a warm and aromatic flavor.

Vanilla extract: Enhances the sweetness and complexity of the eggnog.

Ground cinnamon: Adds a sweet-spicy flavor that complements the richness of the milk and eggs.

Egg yolks: Used for their thickening properties and their ability to create a smooth, creamy texture.

Granulated sugar: Sweetens the eggnog, balancing out the richness of the other ingredients.

Bourbon: An optional addition that adds a warm, slightly smoky flavor. Can be omitted for a non-alcoholic version.

Half and half: Cream and milk mixture that enhances the creamy texture of the eggnog.

Ground nutmeg: Nutmeg gives eggnog its distinctive taste, a warm, nutty note that is synonymous with holiday flavors.

One reader, Boony Jankowski says:

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This simple eggnog recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are rich and the texture is so creamy. It's the perfect balance of sweetness and spice. Plus, it's easy to make and a hit at holiday gatherings. I highly recommend trying it out!

Boony Jankowski

Techniques Required for Making Eggnog

How to whisk constantly: When heating the milk, cloves, vanilla, and cinnamon in the saucepan, it's important to whisk constantly to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom and to ensure even heating.

How to mix eggs and sugar until light and fluffy: This step is crucial for incorporating air into the mixture, which helps to create a smooth and creamy texture in the eggnog.

How to strain the mixture: Straining the eggnog after combining the egg and milk mixtures helps to remove any lumps or bits of cooked egg, resulting in a smoother and silkier texture.

How to cool the eggnog: Allowing the eggnog to cool to room temperature before adding the bourbon, half and half, vanilla, and nutmeg is essential to prevent the alcohol from evaporating and to ensure the flavors meld together properly.

How to refrigerate overnight: Chilling the eggnog overnight allows the flavors to develop and meld, resulting in a rich and well-balanced beverage.

How To Make Simple Eggnog

Creamy, spiced, and tasty, enjoy a comforting cup of a classic holiday drink with this eggnog recipe that combines spices, milk, and egg yolks.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 8 hours
Total: 8 hours 20 minutes



  • 4cupswhole milk
  • ¼tspground cloves
  • 1tspvanilla extract
  • 1tspground cinnamon
  • 12egg yolks
  • cupsgranulated sugar
  • 1cupbourbon,optional
  • 4cupshalf and half
  • 1tbspvanilla extract
  • ½tspground nutmeg


  1. Add the milk, cloves, vanilla, and cinnamon into a saucepan over low heat and whisk constantly until it comes to a hint of a simmer.

  2. In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, add the eggs and sugar and mix for about 4 to 5 minutes. until they lighten in color and get fluffier and like ribbons.

  3. Slowly add the egg mixture into the milk mixture, whisking while adding it in, careful not to let it boil.

  4. Strain, cool, add bourbon, if using, half and half, vanilla and nutmeg, and refrigerate overnight.

  5. Serve and enjoy.


  • Calories: 519.79kcal
  • Fat: 23.30g
  • Saturated Fat: 12.91g
  • Trans Fat: 0.00g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 7.39g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.61g
  • Carbohydrates: 49.95g
  • Fiber: 0.22g
  • Sugar: 49.21g
  • Protein: 10.65g
  • Cholesterol: 276.14mg
  • Sodium: 112.57mg
  • Calcium: 295.50mg
  • Potassium: 347.12mg
  • Iron: 0.74mg
  • Vitamin A: 250.51µg
  • Vitamin C: 1.11mg

Technique Tip for Achieving the Perfect Eggnog Consistency

When incorporating the egg mixture into the milk mixture, it's crucial to do this slowly and while continuously whisking. This process, known as tempering, prevents the eggs from cooking and turning into scrambled eggs. If the eggs were to cook, it would result in a chunky eggnog rather than a smooth and creamy one. So, patience and constant whisking are key here.

Time-Saving Tips for This Eggnog Recipe

Plan ahead: Prepare a shopping list and gather all the ingredients and equipment before starting the recipe to save time and minimize interruptions.

Multi-task: While the eggnog is cooling, use that time to clean up the kitchen and prepare other dishes to maximize efficiency.

Organize: Set up your workspace with all the necessary utensils and ingredients within reach to avoid wasting time searching for items.

Prep in advance: Pre-measure and prepare ingredients like spices and eggs beforehand to streamline the cooking process.

Follow the recipe: Stick to the instructions to avoid mistakes that could lead to time-consuming corrections.

Use quality tools: Invest in good quality kitchen tools and appliances to make the cooking process more efficient and enjoyable.

Clean as you go: Wash and put away utensils and dishes as you cook to prevent clutter and save time on cleanup later.

Stay focused: Minimize distractions and stay focused on the recipe to work efficiently and avoid errors that could waste time.

Substitute Ingredients For Simple Eggnog Recipe

  • whole milk - Substitute with coconut milk: Coconut milk can provide a creamy texture and a hint of coconut flavor, which can complement the other flavors in the eggnog.

  • ground cloves - Substitute with allspice: Allspice can provide a similar warm and aromatic flavor profile to cloves, adding depth to the eggnog.

  • vanilla extract - Substitute with maple extract: Maple extract can add a rich and sweet flavor, enhancing the overall taste of the eggnog.

  • ground cinnamon - Substitute with pumpkin pie spice: Pumpkin pie spice contains cinnamon along with other warm spices like nutmeg and cloves, adding complexity to the eggnog's flavor.

  • egg yolks - Substitute with silken tofu: Silken tofu can provide a creamy texture and act as a binder, similar to egg yolks, making it a suitable vegan alternative.

  • granulated sugar - Substitute with agave nectar: Agave nectar can sweeten the eggnog while also adding a subtle, natural sweetness and flavor.

  • bourbon - Substitute with dark rum: Dark rum can provide a similar depth of flavor and richness, complementing the other ingredients in the eggnog.

  • half and half - Substitute with coconut cream: Coconut cream can add richness and a hint of coconut flavor, enhancing the overall creaminess of the eggnog.

  • vanilla extract - Substitute with almond extract: Almond extract can add a nutty and sweet flavor, complementing the other ingredients in the eggnog.

  • ground nutmeg - Substitute with pumpkin pie spice: Pumpkin pie spice can provide a blend of warm spices, including nutmeg, to enhance the flavor profile of the eggnog.

Best Way to Present This Festive Eggnog

  1. Elevate the glassware: Choose elegant and sophisticated glassware to serve the eggnog, such as crystal goblets or vintage coupe glasses, to add a touch of luxury to the presentation.

  2. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg: Sprinkle a delicate dusting of freshly grated nutmeg on top of the eggnog just before serving to enhance the aroma and add a pop of visual appeal.

  3. Incorporate edible gold leaf: For an extravagant touch, consider adding a delicate, edible gold leaf to the surface of the eggnog to create a stunning and opulent presentation.

  4. Use a cinnamon stick as a stirrer: Place a cinnamon stick in each glass to serve as a decorative and aromatic stirrer, adding a hint of warmth and spice to the presentation.

  5. Serve on a silver tray: Present the eggnog on a polished silver tray to exude elegance and sophistication, elevating the overall visual impact of the dish.

  6. Accent with a sprig of fresh mint: Add a touch of vibrant green to the presentation by garnishing each glass with a small, carefully placed sprig of fresh mint, creating a visually appealing contrast.

  7. Dust with edible gold powder: For a luxurious finishing touch, lightly dust the eggnog with a sprinkle of edible gold powder to create a shimmering and decadent appearance.

  8. Use vintage serving utensils: Opt for ornate and antique serving utensils to add a sense of history and grandeur to the presentation, enhancing the overall visual impact.

Essential Tools for Making Eggnog

  • Saucepan: A deep cooking pan with a handle and often a lid, used for boiling, stewing, or making sauces.
  • Whisk: A kitchen utensil used for whipping and mixing ingredients such as eggs and sauces.
  • Stand mixer: A kitchen appliance used for mixing, beating, and whipping ingredients, often with various attachments for different tasks.
  • Hand mixer: A handheld kitchen appliance used for mixing, beating, and whipping ingredients.
  • Strainer: A mesh or perforated utensil used for separating liquid from solid ingredients or for sifting dry ingredients.
  • Refrigerator: An appliance used for storing food at low temperatures to preserve its freshness.

How To Store and Freeze Homemade Eggnog

  • To store the eggnog, pour it into an airtight container or a sealed glass jar. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • If you want to freeze the eggnog, pour it into a freezer-safe container, leaving some space at the top for expansion. It can be frozen for up to 2 months.
  • When ready to serve the frozen eggnog, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Give it a good stir before serving, as the ingredients may have separated during the freezing process.
  • For an extra creamy texture, you can blend the thawed eggnog in a blender or food processor before serving.
  • If you've added bourbon or any other alcohol to the eggnog, it may not freeze solid due to the alcohol content. However, it will still become slushy and can be enjoyed as a frozen treat.
  • To enhance the flavor of the eggnog after freezing, you can add a fresh sprinkle of ground nutmeg or cinnamon on top before serving.

How To Reheat Leftover Eggnog

  • The best way to reheat leftover eggnog is to pour it into a saucepan and heat it gently over low heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching or curdling. Be sure to use a thermometer to ensure the temperature does not exceed 160°F (71°C), as this can cause the eggs to cook and the mixture to curdle.

  • Alternatively, you can reheat the eggnog in the microwave using short intervals and stirring frequently. Place the desired amount of eggnog in a microwave-safe container and heat it in 30-second increments, stirring well between each interval until it reaches the desired temperature.

  • If the reheated eggnog appears to have separated or curdled slightly, you can try blending it using an immersion blender or regular blender to restore its smooth consistency. This will help to re-emulsify the mixture and improve its texture.

  • To enhance the flavor of reheated eggnog, consider adding a fresh sprinkle of ground nutmeg or cinnamon on top just before serving. This will help to revive the aroma and taste of the spices that may have diminished during storage.

  • If you find that the reheated eggnog has thickened too much, you can thin it out by whisking in a small amount of milk or half and half until it reaches your desired consistency. Be careful not to add too much liquid, as this can dilute the flavor of the eggnog.

Random Fact about Eggnog:

The eggnog recipe is a traditional holiday drink that has been enjoyed for centuries, with its origins dating back to medieval Europe. It was initially made with milk, eggs, and spices, and was often used as a toast for good health and prosperity. Over time, the addition of spirits such as bourbon or rum became popular, adding a festive kick to the drink. Eggnog is often associated with Christmas and New Year's celebrations and is enjoyed by many during the holiday season.

Is Homemade Eggnog Economical for Home Cooking?

This eggnog recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The ingredients are commonly found in most kitchens, and the recipe yields a large batch. The use of eggs and milk provides a good source of protein and essential nutrients. The addition of bourbon is optional, allowing for flexibility based on budget and preference. Overall, I rate this recipe an 8/10 for cost-effectiveness. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $15-$20, making it a budget-friendly option for a festive treat.

Is This Eggnog Recipe Healthy or Unhealthy?

The simple eggnog recipe is quite indulgent and not particularly healthy. Here's why:

  • The recipe uses whole milk and half-and-half, which are high in saturated fats and calories.
  • It contains a significant amount of sugar (1½ cups), contributing to excessive calorie intake and potential health issues like obesity and diabetes.
  • The recipe includes bourbon, which is an alcoholic beverage. While moderate alcohol consumption may have some health benefits, excessive intake can lead to various health problems.
  • Egg yolks are high in cholesterol, and consuming 12 of them in this recipe could be a concern for those with high cholesterol levels or heart disease risk.

On the positive side, the recipe does include some beneficial spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. However, these are used in small quantities and may not significantly offset the overall unhealthy aspects of the recipe.

To make this eggnog recipe healthier, consider the following modifications:

  • Replace whole milk and half-and-half with lower-fat alternatives like skim milk or almond milk, which will reduce the saturated fat and calorie content.
  • Reduce the amount of sugar used, or opt for a natural sweetener like stevia or monk fruit extract to minimize the calorie and sugar intake.
  • Decrease the number of egg yolks used, or replace some of them with egg whites to lower the cholesterol content.
  • Omit the bourbon or use a smaller amount to reduce the alcohol content. Alternatively, you can use bourbon extract for flavor without the alcohol.
  • Increase the amount of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves to boost the nutritional value and flavor profile of the eggnog.

Editor's Thoughts on This Classic Eggnog Recipe

This eggnog recipe is a classic and indulgent treat, perfect for the holiday season. The combination of warm spices, rich egg yolks, and a hint of bourbon creates a creamy and flavorful drink. The method of slowly heating the milk and incorporating the egg mixture ensures a smooth and velvety texture. The addition of nutmeg and vanilla enhances the festive flavors. Overall, this recipe is a delightful and comforting beverage that will surely be a hit at any holiday gathering.

Enhance Your Simple Eggnog Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Mashed Potatoes: Creamy garlic mashed potatoes with a hint of parmesan cheese, perfect for pairing with the rich and creamy eggnog.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Crispy roasted Brussels sprouts with a balsamic glaze, adding a savory and tangy contrast to the sweet eggnog.
Bacon-wrapped Dates: Savory bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with creamy goat cheese, providing a delightful combination of flavors to complement the indulgent eggnog.
Fruit Salad: A refreshing fruit salad with a honey-lime dressing, offering a light and tangy contrast to the decadent eggnog.
Pumpkin Pie: A classic pumpkin pie with a buttery crust and warm spices, serving as a traditional and comforting dessert alongside the creamy eggnog.

Other Festive Drink Recipes Similar to Eggnog

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup: This creamy tomato basil soup is a comforting and flavorful dish that is perfect for a cozy night in. The combination of ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and creamy texture will leave you wanting more.
Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken: Grilled lemon herb chicken is a delicious and healthy option for a summer barbecue. The zesty lemon and aromatic herbs create a flavorful marinade that will make your taste buds sing.
Mixed Berry Crisp: This mixed berry crisp is a delightful dessert that showcases the sweetness of fresh berries. The crispy oat topping paired with the juicy berries makes for a perfect combination of textures and flavors.

Suggested Appetizers and Main Courses to Complement Eggnog

Stuffed Mushrooms: Delight your guests with these savory and indulgent stuffed mushrooms. Filled with a rich and creamy mixture, these bite-sized appetizers are sure to impress.
Bruschetta: Elevate your appetizer game with these flavorful bruschetta bites. Topped with a variety of fresh and vibrant ingredients, these small bites pack a big punch of flavor.
Main Courses:
Beef Stroganoff: Tender strips of beef cooked in a rich and creamy sauce, served over a bed of buttery egg noodles. This classic dish is sure to impress your dinner guests with its comforting flavors and hearty texture.
Chicken Parmesan: Crispy breaded chicken smothered in marinara sauce and melted mozzarella cheese, served over a bed of al dente spaghetti. This Italian favorite is a crowd-pleaser and perfect for a cozy family dinner.

Why trust this Simple Eggnog Recipe:

This recipe is a trusted classic, crafted with care and expertise. The use of whole milk, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon ensures a rich and comforting flavor profile. The addition of bourbon adds a delightful depth, while the egg yolks and granulated sugar create a lusciously creamy texture. With a touch of ground nutmeg for a warm, aromatic finish, this recipe promises a decadent and satisfying eggnog experience.

Share your thoughts on this simple eggnog recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum and let us know how it turned out for you!
How long does it take to make this eggnog recipe?
It takes about 30 minutes to prepare the eggnog, but it's best to refrigerate it overnight before serving to let the flavors meld together.
Can I make this eggnog recipe without alcohol?
Absolutely! You can omit the bourbon if you prefer a non-alcoholic version. The eggnog will still be delicious and creamy.
Is it safe to consume raw eggs in this eggnog recipe?
The eggs in this recipe are not cooked, so if you have concerns about consuming raw eggs, you can use pasteurized eggs to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.
Can I use a different type of alcohol in this eggnog recipe?
Yes, you can customize the flavor by using rum, brandy, or whiskey instead of bourbon, depending on your preference.
How long can I store this eggnog in the refrigerator?
This eggnog can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Just make sure to give it a good stir before serving, as the ingredients may separate over time.

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