Rich & Creamy Homemade Eggnog

Luxuriously rich, this Eggnog recipe creates a drink like nothing you’ve ever had before. Made completely from scratch, fresh eggs are mixed with hot milk and warm spices for a unique taste of the holiday season.

Adults will love this hard eggnog version to sip on or as a spiked eggnog latte (although it can be made without alcohol too).

Two glasses of eggnog served on ice with cinnamon sticks and sprinkled with cinnamon.

What is in Eggnog?

It’s hard to believe you can make something taste so amazing with everyday staples and a few common spices. Here’s the lineup:

    • Egg Yolks – This is the foundation ingredient, which is carefully cooked with hot milk to thicken. Eggbeaters are an option.
    • Milk/Cream – The best eggnog uses whole milk. Eggnog, after all, is one of those no-holds-barred treats! Cream adds some buttery richness.
    • Sweetener – Ordinary white sugar will do the trick. For a sugar-free version, use the sweetener of your choice. Stevia is one option.
    • Spices – Here’s where you can exercise some creativity and alter to your taste. Cinnamon, clove, vanilla, and nutmeg are commonly used. Pick and choose and alter the amounts according to your preference.
    • Holiday Cheer – Add some alcohol spirits according to your preference. Rum is the traditional spike for eggnog.

How to Make Homemade Eggnog

These are the basic steps for making delicious homemade eggnog. Get out your wire whisk, it’s easier than you think!

  1. Whisk egg yolks until pale in color.
  2. Heat milk and spices. Add a bit of the heated milk to the egg yolks to temper them (more on tempering below).

Eggnog in an ice bath.

  1. Heat mixture until thickened and move to an ice bath (I do this in my kitchen sink).
  2. Add flavors/spirits and refrigerate overnight.

Tip: Tempering Eggs

Tempering eggs is a way to add eggs to a hot mixture without having them scramble or get lumpy.

To temper eggs, whisk eggs until they become a pale yellow color. Add about 1/2 cup of hot liquid while whisking to slowly increase the temperature of the eggs.

Now add the egg mixture back into the remaining hot mixture and cook until thickened.

The Best Rum Alternatives

Other spirits will enhance your eggnog equally well. Bourbon, brandy or Southern Comfort are tasty alternatives.

Or, you could get really fancy and festive and add dollops of liquor, if your budget allows. B&B is scrumptious in eggnog, as is Amaretto, Bailey’s Irish Cream or nutty Frangelico. Try adding Irish Cream Liquor and making a spiked eggnog latte!

To Make This Alcohol Free Simply skip the rum or add in a bit of rum extract (1 teaspoon should do).

Glasses of eggnog with cinnamon sticks and nutmeg being served on a tray

How to Store Homemade Eggnog

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that homemade eggnog should not linger for hours at room temperature. If you’re serving it in a punchbowl, put it in an ice bath, or just return the pitcher to the fridge after an hour.

Every winter celebration will be complete when you serve eggnog. Now let’s raise a cup of eggnog, dear, for Auld Lang Syne!

Homemade Eggnog

A quick and easy holiday classic.

  • 10 egg yolks
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 cup rum
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  1. Prepare an ice bath big enough to put the bottom of your saucepan in (I use the kitchen sink).
  2. Whisk egg yolks until light in color and slightly foamy.
  3. Combine milk, sugar, cloves and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan. Whisk over medium heat until hot but not boiling.
  4. Scoop about 2 cups of the hot milk mixture into the eggs a little bit at a time whisking after each addition.
  5. Pour the warm egg mixture into the milk and whisk over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat, place in ice bath and whisk 2-3 minutes.
  7. Stir in rum and vanilla. Chill at least 24 hours.
  8. Serve over ice with a dash of nutmeg.

More Delicious Holiday Drinks

A glass of eggnog with a cinnamon stick and sprinkled with cinnamon.
Overview of two glasses of eggnog served on ice with cinnamon sticks and sprinkled with cinnamon.
Top image - a glass of eggnog with cinnamon sticks with cinnamon. Bottom Image - Overview of eggnog served on ice with cinnamon sticks and sprinkled with cinnamon.