Old Fashioned Eggnog: The Classic Homemade Eggnog Recipe (2024)

written byKresha Faber last updated on

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It's easy to have a love affair with this creamy, classic homemade eggnog recipe – after all, it's delicious, it's nourishing, and it's truly, deeply joy-inducing.

My new book, The DIY Pantry, is due on bookshelves in just a few days, so this week I'm publishing a few recipes from the book here on the blog, merely because I can't contain my excitement! Today it's Old-Fashioned Eggnog's turn in the spotlight.

Eggnog is undeniably one of my favorite beverages during the Christmas season, particularly at New Year's. Eggnog is one of winter’s delights and since the Middle Ages has served as a toast to prosperity and good health.

I eagerly and lovingly whisk a double batch in a big bowl each year, just because it's like drinking ice cream that's silky and sensuous and everyone always wants seconds.

And I must admit that I can't bring myself to buy it anymore. Even though we could easily drink eggnog every day during the holiday season, ever since I discovered the long list of undesirable ingredients in most store-bought brands (and since I took my first creamy sip of classic, old-fashioned, homemade eggnog), I simply make a point to make this homemade version once or twice every year. On each occasion, we savor it heartily.

Plus, on the years when we can get them, it helps us drink more raw milk and eat more raw egg yolks – and that's always a good thing. (If you can't or don't want to consume raw egg yolks, fear not – there are directions for how to cook homemade eggnog below too.)

A Word About Raw Egg Yolks

I *must* do my due diligence and remind everyone that whenever you're eating raw egg yolks, it is imperative that they are as absolutely as fresh as possible and that they are from pastured hens. If you can't find absolutely fresh eggs, make the cooked eggnog recipe below. It's just as delicious.

This isn't just a nutritional thing, as we discuss regularly here, but this is for your safety. While raw egg yolks contain a gorgeous amount of potent vitamins and minerals, they can also contain salmonella. If the eggs are super-fresh, those pathogens typically haven't had sufficient time to grow into large enough quantities to make you ill, but the longer they sit – even refrigerated – the more the pathogens can grow.

Conventional supermarket eggs typically sit for several weeks before they find their way into your shopping basket, and even eggs at the farmers market might have been laid a week or two ago, so while they might be fine for your breakfast scramble, more often than not, they won't be fine for raw consumption.

“So how do I find fresh eggs?” you ask.

Well, start by searching on Craigslist for people who have chickens in their backyards or small farms in your area that sell direct to consumer.

Next, check at your local farmers' market. If you don't know where there is one in your area, find one via Local Harvest, Eat Wild, or Sustainable Table.

You can also check at your local health food store for local farm fresh eggs. If need be, call the farm and ask what their typical timeline is for getting eggs to the store and ask the store how long eggs typically sit in the back.

But after all that, just sit back and enjoy this scrumptious, delicious, absolutely delightful, old-fashioned eggnog.

Here's to a healthy, blessed new year!

Old Fashioned Eggnog: The Classic Homemade Eggnog Recipe (3)

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5 from 3 votes

Old-Fashioned Eggnog

A simple, decadent eggnog to celebrate the season

Prep Time10 minutes

Cook Time20 minutes

Inactive Time3 hours

Total Time3 hours 30 minutes

Servings: 5 cups

Author: Kresha Faber


  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 9 egg yolks, as fresh as possible
  • ¼ cup maple syrup, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • lots and lots of fresh ground nutmeg, (I typically grate in at least 1/2 teaspoon, usually more)


How to Make Traditional Homemade Eggnog

  • Place all ingredients in a blender or a large bowl. Blend or whisk until very smooth and a bit frothy.

  • Set in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and preferably overnight to chill thoroughly and allow flavors to blend.

  • Serve chilled. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

How to Make Cooked Homemade Eggnog

  • Whisk together the egg yolks and the milk (but not the cream) in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Clip a candy thermometer on the side of the pan if you have one.

  • Cook the mixture very gently over medium-low heat until it reaches a temperature of 160°F, stirring constantly so the eggs don’t curdle AND so the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. This is very important (and requires both patience and a strong arm). Remember: the eggs need to be cooked to 160°F to be safe, but they curdle at 170°F, so whisking is essential.

    If the eggs do curdle,

    it's not the end of the world: simply press the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve before chilling. It won't be silky-smooth, but it will be sufficiently close.

    If you don’t have a thermometer,

    you’ll be able to tell the mixture has come to temperature when the mixture thickly coats the back of metal spoon and retains its shape when you drag your finger through the mixture on the spoon without filling in the gap.

  • When the egg mixture has reached 160°F, remove from the heat and chill the mixture completely. Pour in the remaining ingredients and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving to allow flavors to mingle.

  • Serve chilled. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Conventional, store-bought eggs absolutely should not be consumed raw, especially if you are pregnant or dealing with illness. If you are going to consume raw eggs, be sure to use only very fresh eggs from chickens that were raised on pasture.

If you are uncomfortable eating raw egg yolks or don’t have access to farm fresh eggs, simply use the cooked version of the recipe.


Old Fashioned Eggnog: The Classic Homemade Eggnog Recipe (6)

Kresha Faber

Kresha is the mother of four super-cool kiddos, the wife of one handsome organic farmer, a former opera singer, and an avid researcher. She and her husband share a passion for living life thoughtfully and intentionally in response to God's grace in their lives and she loves to share good meals (and good wine) around a very large table.

Old Fashioned Eggnog: The Classic Homemade Eggnog Recipe (2024)


What's the difference in classic and old fashioned eggnog? ›

Old-Fashioned Eggnog

Usually, compared to classic eggnog, this version is stronger and creamier in taste and texture. Top it off with freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon sticks.

What is the best alcohol to put in eggnog? ›

Choose The Right Spirit

While brandy is the most traditional alcohol to pair with eggnog, according to traditional recipes, you can also use a mixture of dark rum and Cognac. If you like your eggnog with more of a kick you can also add bourbon, but we recommend sticking to rum and Cognac to preserve the 'nog's flavors.

Why is my homemade eggnog so thick? ›

Heavy cream will make your eggnog thicker and creamier. Boozy eggnog will also continue to thicken in the fridge as it ages.

What are the ingredients in Old New England eggnog? ›

Made with Imported Brandy, smooth Blended Whiskey, Imported Rum, Kentucky Bourbon and crafted with the finest fresh dairy ingredients. Select spices and sweet pumpkin have been added for an unforgettable holiday flavor.

What was the original eggnog made of? ›

"While culinary historians debate its exact lineage, most agree eggnog originated from the early medieval" British drink called posset, which was made with hot milk that was curdled with wine or ale and flavored with spices.

What makes eggnog taste better? ›

Spiced Rum

Speaking of spice, this eggnog addition packs a punch. And one sip will be all the proof you need that rum isn't just for tiki drinks. With flavors like vanilla, cinnamon, and clove taking center stage and a full-bodied creamy texture, spiced rum is a natural BFF for eggnog.

How long does homemade eggnog last? ›

A fresh batch of eggnog can mature for months, or even years. And some say that's a good thing.

Does alcohol make eggnog last longer? ›

How Long Does Aged Eggnog Last? Once the milk and cream have been mixed with the egg base, the amount of alcohol won't keep it shelf stable. Simply store it in the refrigerator in the glass jar for up to a week. Trust me; it won't make it long because it tastes so good!

What type of rum is best for eggnog? ›

Avoid white rum because it's too light and transparent. Instead, choose a gold or aged rum. For a fun twist similar to rye whiskey, go with spiced rum. For the best of both classics, pour both brandy and rum, splitting them equally in the eggnog.

Why can't you drink a lot of eggnog? ›

Traditionally made with eggs, cream, milk, and sugar, no one would say that eggnog is a healthy drink. Even a small serving can pack significant amounts of calories, fat, saturated fat, and added sugars. And then there's the fact that homemade eggnog made with raw eggs can be a food-poisoning risk.

What makes eggnog unhealthy? ›

“While there are different eggnog recipes, most eggnog will typically contain high amounts of fat from cream and milk, and added sugar for sweetness,” said Cohn. The American Heart Association recommends that people consume no more than 5% to 6% of calories from saturated fat every day to support heart health.

How to make eggnog better? ›

Spices and seasonings: You'll need cinnamon, cloves, vanilla extract, and nutmeg. Egg yolks: Egg yolks thicken the mixture, creating a decadent texture. Sugar: Of course, you'll need white sugar for this dessert-like beverage. Rum: Spike your eggnog with light rum or leave it as-is for a non-alcoholic treat.

Why isn t eggnog sold year round? ›

Most plants keep producing eggnog through New Year's, and start dumping their unsold product in January. Although associated with the holidays, eggnog doesn't need to be seasonal. Dairy plants could produce small batches of eggnog off-season for hard-core nogheads, but they don't because it's not cost-effective.

What are the ingredients in farmland eggnog? ›

Milk, Nonfat Milk, Liquid Sucrose (Sugar, Water), Cream, Corn Syrup, Sugared Egg Yolks (Egg Yolks, Sugar), Contains 0.5% or Less of Natural and Artificial Flavors, Spice, Disodium Phosphate, Carrageenan, Salt, Annatto and Turmeric Colors. Shake well before using.

What is in Mr Boston eggnog? ›

United States- Mr. Boston Egg Nog is thick, creamy, and full of flavor. It is made with a blended whiskey, a nutmeg accent, and egg nog. Chill it and serve at your holiday parties for a bit more fun!

Why does store bought eggnog taste different? ›

Made with the typical ingredients (minus the alcohol), you'll also find thickeners and stabilizers, artificial colors and flavors; some are also sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.

What was the original eggnog called? ›

Where Did Eggnog Originate? It is believed that eggnog began in Europe. As early as the 13th century, medieval monks in Britain were known to drink "posset," a warm ale punch with eggs and figs. Over time, this likely merged with the various milk and wine punches often served at social gatherings.

What does traditional eggnog taste like? ›

Eggnog is very sweet and creamy, somewhat like a custard. Some have a little bit of sweet spice thanks to the cinnamon added to eggnog. You can also add vanilla to your drink for a special touch in your drink.

Is eggnog better aged? ›

The aged and the freshly made batches tasted strikingly different. The aged eggnog was rounder, smoother, and noticeably more complex, with a satisfying start-to-finish flavor that was as adult as its alcohol content.

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