Eggnog made with heavy cream, nutmeg, and bourbon is a creamy cocktail ready to be the encore to any holiday meal. Simple to make and alcohol-free variation included!
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
- 1 to 2 cups whole milk (240-480ml)
- 1 cup heavy cream (240ml)
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 cup bourbon (brandy and rum work as well) (240ml)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Cinnamon for serving
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk vigorously by hand or beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until the yolks are very thick, pale, and fluffy, about 1 minute. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, cream, and nutmeg. (Use less milk if you like a thicker eggnog.) Place over medium heat and cook stirring occasionally until steaming, about 3 minutes. Whisk ½ cup of hot milk into the egg yolk mixture, then slowly whisk the rest of the milk into the egg yolks. Return the mixture to the saucepan.
- Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture is thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon or your desired consistency, then remove it from the heat. (Do not boil. The mixture should reach at 160°F but for a thicker eggnog, cook to 190-200°F.)
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Whisk in the bourbon and vanilla. Chill for at least 3 hours or ready to serve. Serve with a sprinkling of cinnamon or freshly grated nutmeg. Eggnog can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
- For an alcohol-free version, replace the bourbon with the same amount of additional milk or half and half and add it to the saucepan to warm.
- Start by whisking in ½ cup of the hot milk to temper the eggs, then slowly add the remaining milk while whisking.
- You can make a non-cooked version of this recipe, but you will need to include the alcohol or use pasteurized eggs to serve the raw eggs safely. After beating the yolks and sugar, beat in the bourbon until well combined. Then immediately whisk in the milk, cream, nutmeg, and vanilla extract. Chill for 1 hour or until ready to serve.
- For the best eggnog that is smooth and creamy, pour the cooked mixture through a fine mesh strainer. For the easiest pouring, place the strainer over a large bowl or 8-cup glass measuring cup.
- Once the eggnog recipe is combined and chilled, beat the egg whites with 2 tablespoons of sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until soft peaks form. Use a whisk to fold the egg whites into the chilled eggnog. Serve immediately.
- 2 cups of milk will make a smooth and creamy eggnog, about the consistency of heavy cream. Less milk will make the eggnog recipe thicker and more custardy in texture. If you’re uncertain which you’d prefer, use less milk in the recipe, and add more milk or cream to thin out the batch or individual servings once chilled, if desired.
- Instead of reducing the amount of milk used, you can cook the eggnog longer, until it reaches 190-200°F for a thicker texture.
- Eggnog is delicious in baked goods.