How To Make Homemade Eggnog
MAKES 6 cups
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 to 1 1/2 cups bourbon, rum, cognac, or a mix, optional
- Freshly grated nutmeg, for serving
- Mixing bowls
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- Microplane or nutmeg grater
- Separate the eggs. Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in a medium bowl and the whites in a large bowl (I recommend the 3-Bowl Method for this step). Cover the whites and refrigerate until needed, or freeze if aging the eggnog for longer than a day.
- Whisk the yolks with the sugar. Add the sugar to the yolks and whisk by hand or with a mixer until the mixture is smooth, creamy, and lightened to a lemon-yellow color.
- Whisk in the milk, cream, and liquor (if using). Add the milk, cream, and liquor and whisk until combined.
- Cover and refrigerate. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. The more liquor you add, the longer it will keep — non-alcoholic eggnog should be consumed within 1 day; eggnog with 1/2 to 1 cup of liquor will keep for several days; and eggnog with 1 1/2 cups of liquor will keep for several weeks and continue aging and thickening quite nicely. (If aging for longer than a few days, transfer the eggnog to a sealed glass container or a mason jar.)
- Whisk the egg whites. Just before serving, whisk the reserved egg whites in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer at high speed until the whites form stiff peaks.
- Fold the egg whites into the eggnog. Transfer the beaten egg whites to the bowl with the eggnog and gently fold or stir the whites into the base — this gives the eggnog a frothy, extra-creamy texture. Some of the egg whites will also float to the top, like cappuccino foam.
- Serve the eggnog. Transfer the eggnog to a pitcher or punch bowl. Serve in individual glasses with a grating of nutmeg over top.
Raw eggs: This recipe contains raw eggs. Use very fresh, organic eggs if at all possible. Be aware that consuming raw or undercooked eggs can increase your risk for certain food-borne illnesses, especially if you have a medical condition.
Cooked eggnog: If you’d prefer to cook your eggnog, follow these instructions. Warm the milk and cream in a saucepan over medium heat until just starting to bubble around the edges. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks together in a separate bowl. Slowly whisk the warm milk into the eggs, then return the mixture to medium heat and continue to cook, stirring gently, until thickened to your eggnog-y liking. Serve immediately or chill for up to 3 days before serving. For extra thickness, whip up 1 cup of heavy cream and fold into the eggnog before serving.
Even richer eggnog: Feel free to play with the proportions of whole milk to cream, keeping 3 cups total dairy. Heavy cream will make your eggnog thicker and creamier. Boozy eggnog will also continue to thicken in the fridge as it ages.