Christmas Eggnog

Adapted from

This recipe cooks the eggs for safety and a luxurious texture. The liquor is left out, to be added individually when served. If you know everyone wants booze, it can be added in and allowed to mellow in the eggnog for several hours or overnight.

4 cups whole milk

5 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

½ tsp vanilla extract

12 eggs separated

1 ½ cups sugar

4 cups half and half

2 tsp vanilla extract

Ground cinnamon and nutmeg for garnish

  1. Combine the milk, cloves, cinnamon stick, ½ tsp vanilla in a heavy bottom sauce pan and bring to a gentle simmer.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the 12 egg yolks and sugar. Whisk until well blended and fluffy.  
  3. Slowly add about a third of the hot milk to the eggs to temper them. Add the milk – egg mixture back to the remaining milk and cook until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Do NOT boil.
  4. Strain the mixture into a clean bowl and allow to cool.
  5. Stir in the half and half, 2 tsp vanilla, (the liquor if you want), and chill overnight.


To Serve

  1. Whip about half of the egg whites in a stand mixer until they form soft peaks.  Add 1 Tbsp sugar and whip to stiff peaks. Fold into the eggnog.
  2. Garnish with a few shakes of ground cinnamon.
  3. If there is no liquor in the nog, put out a bottle of bourbon, rum, or brandy (or all three) for self-service.
  4. Have a shaker of cinnamon and a fresh nutmeg grater on hand to garnish each cup.

Ingredients for eggnog