Homemade Eggnog

4.97 from 31 votes

Savor the season with your own Homemade Eggnog! Crafting velvety eggnog at home allows you to customize it by adding your preferred spirit — whether it’s rum, brandy or whiskey — or nothing at all for a drink the whole family will love. This festive libation will level up your holiday gatherings and leave you craving more.

Two gold mugs filled with creamy eggnog topped with whipped cream with festive Christmas ornaments.

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Homemade Eggnog recipe

That first sip of eggnog marks the beginning of the holiday season. This year, try making it yourself instead of grabbing a carton at the grocery store. The taste alone is worth it.

Smooth, thick, and creamy, this recipe is a traditional eggnog made the old-fashioned way: with real eggs, whipped egg whites, cream and your favorite spirit.

You can use spiced rum, whiskey, or brandy — or skip the booze for a non-alcoholic delicacy.

More creamy cocktail recipes: White RussianNutty IrishmanBrandy Alexander

A cup of eggnog topped with cinnamon sticks and gold ornaments.

Why you’ll love this recipe

You’ll love this recipe for a few reasons:

  • Creamy and velvety, homemade eggnog has a rich and indulgent texture that’s better than the kind you can find in the store.
  • Spices like nutmeg and cinnamon create a sweet and slightly spiced beverage that’s a real festive treat.
  • It’s versatile: Sip it on its own, add it to baked goods or stir it into a cup of iced coffee.
  • Eggnog is the most festive cocktail, perfect for serving at a Christmas party or for sipping while decorating the Christmas tree. This recipe makes a big batch. 
A cup of eggnog in a gold cup, perfect for festive celebrations.

What is eggnog?

Eggnog is a traditional seasonal beverage that is usually enjoyed in celebration of winter holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s. It is typically made from milk or cream, sugar and beaten raw eggs. The drink is often flavored with nutmeg, vanilla, or other spices.

In its alcoholic form, eggnog may include the addition of spirits such as rum, brandy, whiskey, or bourbon. The result is a rich and creamy concoction served chilled and often garnished with a sprinkle of nutmeg. Eggnog is a festive and indulgent holiday tradition enjoyed during holiday parties, seasonal gatherings and celebrations.

History of eggnog

Eggnog, or egg nog, is a drink that dates back to medieval British monks who drank something called posset: a warm milk mixed with wine, ale or sherry. 

When the drink crossed the pond in the 1700s to colonial America — with cows and chickens aplenty on farms — the drink was enjoyed with rum. 

Eggnog is one of the many Christmas drinks around the world, though it goes by other names. Mexico adapted the drink and called it rompope. Puerto Rico enjoys coquito with coconut milk. 

A cup of eggnog in a gold cup.

Tools & glassware

To make homemade eggnog, you’ll need a mixer to help you whip the egg whites and mix the egg yolks in the cream mixture. A stand mixer or electric mixer will both work fine.

(Bonus: A mixer is also helpful for making homemade whipped cream to put on top!)

This recipe makes enough for eight drinks. You can halve it or double it. But if you do double it, you will probably want a punch bowl and ladle to serve it.

To serve this drink, rocks glasses or mugs will work well.

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The ingredients for eggnog are shown on a marble table.

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to grab at the grocery store to make this homemade recipe: 

  • whole eggs: Use pasteurized eggs for eggnog for the safest eggnog experience. You’ll separate them into whites and yolks. (I use an egg separator tool.)
  • sugar: Granulated sugar is best to keep that pumpkin orange color.
  • whole milk: A few cups milk is at the heart of this recipe. You can use 2% milk if needed, but skip the 1% and skim milk for the best texture.
  • heavy cream: This is also sometimes called whipping cream.
  • spirit of choice: Brandy, dark rum, whiskey and aged tequila will all work well here. Use your favorite, experiment or go with my favorite — bourbon!
  • whipped cream: A scoop of vanilla ice cream would also be lovely on top.
  • ground nutmeg: Grating nutmeg over top adds an extra spiced aroma as you sip. This is the classic garnish of this holiday drink. Ground cinnamon also works.
decorative icon of an egg.

Raw egg warning

Consuming raw or lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk for food-borne illness.

Two festive eggnog mugs with whipped cream.

Best alcohol for eggnog

Most eggnog recipes contain alcohol, though they don’t have to. In general, though, eggnog contains whiskey, brandy or rum. 

It could also be a mixture of different alcohols. In fact, President George Washington’s recipe contained all three — plus sherry as well! 

Whiskey: Homemade bourbon eggnog is my favorite, but you can use other types of whiskey. Rye whiskey offers more of a peppery, spiced flavor than bourbon whiskey, which has a sweet, oaky flavor. Use the best bourbon you can afford or go for something more top-shelf like a single barrel bourbon. Cinnamon whiskey is also a great addition in this Fireball eggnog.

Brandy: Brandy is another classic choice for eggnog. It offers sweeter, fruity notes.

Rum: Rum also works as a delicious addition, bringing its delicate, sweet caramel flavor. You can use spiced rum or dark rum. 

Tequila: An aged tequila brings its complex flavor of oak, vanilla bean and caramel. This is a fun, non-traditional addition that makes for a delicious homemade eggnog. 

Variations and substitutions

Mix things up by trying one of these variations on this pumpkin nog:

Non-alcoholic eggnog: If you want to make it alcohol-free, you can substitute a zero-proof spirit such as Ritual rum alternative.

Dairy-free eggnog: You can make dairy-free eggnog by substituting coconut cream (not cream of coconut) and your favorite non-dairy milk alternatives such as almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk or oat milk.

Vegan eggnog: You can try using the dairy-free instructions above, along with egg replacers. Aquafaba may be the best egg substitutes for egg whites to make the drink fluffy. However, I’ve not tried this, but let me know how it goes if you do.

Pumpkin eggnogThis fall version of the classic eggnog recipe is perfect for Thanksgiving. It uses spiced rum and a little pumpkin purée for an excellent drink for older adults. 

How to make Homemade Eggnog

Here’s how to make this delicious homemade version of boozy eggnog:

Eggnog in a glass measuring bowl.
A glass bowl with eggnog and a whisk in it.

In a large bowl, beat egg yolks with ¼ cup sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. You can do this in the bowl of a stand mixer or a mixing bowl with a hand mixer or a whisk.

A person pouring eggnog into a glass pan.
A bowl of eggnog with a blue spoon in it.

Stir in the milk, heavy cream and the spirit of your choice. (You can also add the spirit per glass if you prefer to keep some non-alcoholic.)

A glass bowl containing ingredients for creamy eggnog on a smooth marble counter.
Whipping eggnog in a glass bowl with a whisk.

In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with the remaining ¼ cup sugar until soft peaks form.

Eggnog mixture in a glass bowl with a green spatula.
A person pouring whiskey into a gold cup.

Combine milk mixture into the egg mixture and stir until smooth. Chill until ready to serve.

Serve in a punch bowl and ladle it into rocks glasses or mugs. If you didn’t add booze to the mixture, add a splash of alcohol to each glass and then top with eggnog and stir together.

A person pouring eggnog into a gold cup.
A golden mug filled with a delicious combination of whipped cream and eggnog.

Garnish each glass with a spoonful of whipped cream and a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg.

A person is grating nutmeg over eggnog in a gold cup.

How to store eggnog

You can serve eggnog immediately after making it, but it’s best chilled. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy within 2-3 days.

Tips & tricks

Here are some tips and tricks for making this festive drink recipe:

  • Use fresh eggs at room temperature. Old eggs and cold eggs will not whip as easily.
  • Ensure the bowl you use for whipping egg whites is clean and dry. If your egg whites don’t set up properly, you won’t have the same thick, creamy eggnog.
  • Eggnog is usually served chilled or at room temperature, but it can be enjoyed warm. To warm it, heat it on low to medium heat on the stove, but don’t let it simmer or boil.
Two gold mugs filled with eggnog, topped with whipped cream and adorned with Christmas ornaments.

Uses for eggnog

This traditional eggnog recipe is delicious on its own — it really gets you into the holiday spirit this time of year! But it has many other uses. 

You can use eggnog in cocktails. Try it in an Eggnog White Russian for a delicious wintry drink.

It can also be mixed into coffee. An Eggnog Latte is also a delicious drink for the holiday season!

You can also use eggnog in baking, but the homemade stuff is so precious to me that I’d rather use store-bought eggnog in desserts.

FAQ

Is eggnog served warm or cold?

Eggnog is usually served chilled or at room temperature, but it can be enjoyed warm. To warm it, heat it on low heat on the stove.

What alcohol goes best with eggnog?

Eggnog is usually made with alcohol. Whiskey adds a sweet, oaky flavor that complements creamy eggnog. Brandy provides a sweet, fruity flavor, and rum adds caramel-like notes.

What can I add to eggnog?

Try adding different types of alcohol, such as brandy, whiskey, rum or even spiced rum. Add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice. You can even stir in flavors like a teaspoon vanilla extract, a little pumpkin purée, cinnamon-flavored whiskey, more tablespoons of sugar or simple syrups to make new flavors. 

More holiday recipes

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Two festive eggnog mugs with whipped cream and cinnamon sticks.

Homemade Eggnog

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Elevate your holiday gatherings with a sip of tradition! Craft the perfect homemade eggnog that's creamy, rich and full of festive flavor.
4.97 from 31 votes
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ingredients

  • 4 eggs separated
  • ½ cup sugar divided
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 ½ cup alcohol such as whiskey, rum or brandy
  • whipped cream for garnish
  • freshly-ground nutmeg for garnish

instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks with ¼ cup sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Stir in the milk, heavy cream and alcohol. (If you wish to leave the recipe non-alcoholic for some drinkers, you can skip adding it here and add it to the glass, 1 ½ ounces each.)
  • In another bowl, whip the egg whites with the remaining ¼ cup sugar until soft peaks form.
  • Serve in a punch bowl and ladle it into rocks glasses.
  • Garnish each glass with whipped cream, freshly grated nutmeg and a cinnamon stick.

notes

Variations

Non-alcoholic eggnog: If you want to make it alcohol-free, you can skip the alcohol or substitute a zero-proof spirit. 
Dairy-free eggnog: You can make dairy-free eggnog by substituting coconut cream for the heavy cream and your favorite non-dairy milk alternatives such as almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk or oat milk.
Vegan eggnog: You can try using the dairy-free instructions above along with an egg substitute. Aquafaba might work best instead of the egg whites to make the drink fluffy. 

Tips & tricks 

  • Use new eggs at room temperature. Old eggs and cold eggs will not whip as easily.
  • Ensure the bowl you use for whipping egg whites is clean and dry. If your egg whites don’t set up properly, you won’t have the same thick, creamy eggnog.
  • Eggnog is usually served chilled or at room temperature, but it can be enjoyed warm. To warm it, heat it on low to medium heat on the stove, but don’t let it simmer or boil.

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nutrition information

Yield: 8 servings

amount per serving:

Serving: 8ounces Calories: 378kcal Carbohydrates: 20g Protein: 7g Fat: 19g Saturated Fat: 11g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0.01g Cholesterol: 138mg Sodium: 76mg Potassium: 219mg Sugar: 19g Vitamin A: 807IU Vitamin C: 0.2mg Calcium: 160mg Iron: 0.4mg
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