How To Make Traditional Eggnog

Traditional Eggnog

No drink heralds in holidays more than eggnog. Eggnog is an egg and milk based beverage that is usually served from Thanksgiving through New YearÆs Day. Eggnog is typically made with milk, cream, sugar, eggs, and brandy, rum, or whiskey. Additional spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla may be added. The drink is so popular that it is made in both alcoholic and non-alcholic.

References to eggnog date back to the 1800Æs when, just as today, it was served as refreshment during holidays. Eggnog of the 19th century consisted simply of sugar, milk, eggs, brandy, and rum. The beverage was prepared and consumed cold, was not as sweet as its modern counterparts, and was typically much higher in alcohol content.

The name ôeggnogö may have come from the wooden mugs called “noggins”, which were often used to drink ale and other alcoholic beverages. Another possible origin of the name comes from an abbreviation of the phrase ôegg nÆ grogö referring to a drink made with egg and grog. Grog is a term used to describe any alcoholic beverage made with rum.

Traditional eggnog typically consists of milk, sugar, raw eggs, and spices, usually nutmeg. According to individual tastes, cream may be included to make a richer and thicker drink. If you want an alcoholic version add a spirit, áa rum, whisky or a brandy. áThe quantity of áalcohol will vary depending on how strong or light you want it to be.


6 large eggs, plus 2 yolks

1/2 cup, plus 2 Tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 cups whole milk

1/2 cup brandy, bourbon, or dark rum

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 12 to 16 servings


Combine eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a heavy 3- or 4-quart pan, whisking until well-combined. Continue whisking while pouring milk in a slow, steady stream until completely incorporated. Turn on burner to lowest possible heat setting. Place pan on burner and stir mixture continuously until an instant-read thermometer reaches 160 degrees F. and the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Be patient. This should take about 25 to 30 minutes.

Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a large bowl to remove any accidental small cooked bits of egg. Add brandy, bourbon, or dark rum, plus vanilla extract and nutmeg. Stir to combine. Pour into a glass pitcher, decanter, or container and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Refrigerate this egg custard mixture to chill at least 4 hours or up to 3 days before finishing.

When ready to serve, pour heavy cream into a bowl and whip until it forms soft peaks. Fold whipped cream into cold custard mixture until combined.

Recipe courtesy of Sheraton Kampala Hotel


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