Last year, I made mulled wine. That was a first for me, and this year I thought I’d write about an old Christmas favorite.

Item Quantity
Eggs, seperated 12
Cream 8 cups (1900 ml)
Liquor 3 cups (700 ml)
Sugar 0.75 lb (1.75 cups, 340 g, 400 ml)
Vanilla Extract 2 tsp (10 ml)
Salt 0.5 tsp (2.5 ml)
Nutmeg as a garnish

The liquor can be brandy, whiskey, rum, or any combination. Be creative, but stick to 80-proof liquor (the full amount 151 Rum will ruin the recipe).


Step 1
Beat yolks with a hand mixer until light in color
keep beating and slowly add:

  • 0.75 lb sugar
  • 3 cups liquor

let sit for one hour

Step 2
while beating the yolk-sugar-liquor, slowly add:

  • 8 cups cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

refrigerate for three hours

Step 3
Add 0.5 tsp salt to egg whites beat until “almost stiff” – soft peaks
fold into the rest of the mixture

Step 4
pour into cups and sprinkle freshly grated nutmeg

Variation – Cooked eggs

Use this variation to minimize the risk of food poisoning from salmonella in the eggs.

Substitute 4 cups of milk for 4 cups of cream. Discard the egg whites.

In step one:

  • Beat the eggs and sugar, but not the liquor
  • Gradually bring the milk to a boil
  • Slowly add it to the sugar-yolk mixture, beating constantly
  • Heat in a double broiler for 3 minutes or until thick – stir constantly, do not let it boil
  • let sit for one hour

Step two is the same, except that you add all the liquor and the salt

Skip step three. Step four is the same.

Variation – Egg products

Another way to make a safer eggnog using processed eggs, sold as a liquid, instead of raw eggs.

  • Substitute an equivalent amount of egg product for the eggs.
  • Step one is the same, except that you use egg product instead of eggs.
  • Step two is the same, except that you add the salt
  • Skip step three. Step four is the same.

Commercial eggnog

It would be a lot easier if someone else did all the whipping, folding and so forth, wouldn’t it? That’s one reason to buy a carton of ready made eggnog. If you can’t or don’t want to spend time in the kitchen, you can buy one, bring it home, and just add booz! I don’t know how this compares to homemade concoctions, but it’s a simple matter to find out. If you’re going to make it from scratch, buy a commercial product too. Add the same liquor, in the same proportions and see for yourself. Don’t forget to come back and let the rest of us know what you find out.

Raw egg safety

Another reason to buy a commercial product is the slight risk of food poisoning from salmonella in raw eggs. The eggnog you buy in the store is safe because it’s either made without eggs (yeah, well they have sugar-free “caramel” too!) or because it’s been made safe by cooking, pasteurizing, or some other process. In the US, you might find pasteurized or irradiated eggs for sale that are safe. These are still raw and should be stored and treated that way. They are also rare. For the most part, consuming raw eggs (even really fresh and/or organic eggs) carries the risk of food poisoning.

What to do if you want to make eggnog? You can use the store bought concoctions. If you can find them, you can try the irradiated or pasteurized eggs. The liquid or powdered “egg products” are an option. You can cook the eggs as you make the eggnog, or you can just use raw eggs and take the risk. I haven’t decided exactly what I’ll do yet, but I probably wont go with raw and uncooked.

Further Reading

The Joy of Cooking has a great eggnog recipe, but the one in my edition (1975) was a little too strong.

I borrowed from this recipe, at allrecipes, in adapting mine to use cooked eggs.

I also like the recipe in the New York Times Cookbook. I have the 1961 edition by Craig Claiborne. His is a little more “eggy” and less sweet than mine.

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3 thoughts on “Eggnog!

  1. John Hance

    Kudos, Erroll! I have been thinking about making my own eggnog for a couple of years now but I never seem to get enough time to do it. Perhaps when I do make it I’ll use your recipe. If I do, I’ll let you know how it turns out!

  2. Brendan

    I love me some eggnog. Here in the states I found eggs pasteurized in the shell. They’re not irradiated though, but are done with a warm water treatment of some kind with out cooking them. They’re really good and I use them all the time now.

  3. mmmhealthyfoodie

    Its rare to see someone point out the alternative methods to make eggnog, while highlighting that there could be potential problems with using raw eggs. I think this is a great article, and great recipe. I have been using pasteurized shelled eggs to make my eggnog for the past three holiday season, especially now with more salmonella outbreaks and egg recalls. You never can be too sure. But thanks for recommending that and giving us a nice recipe to follow.

    Happy Holidays

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