Home Cocktails Homemade Eggnog (Easy Recipe)

Homemade Eggnog (Easy Recipe)

It’s not the holiday season without homemade eggnog! Featuring egg yolks, sugar, cream, nutmeg, and a splash of liquor, it’s perfection.

This creamy, sweet, cozy beverage is the quintessential Christmas cocktail everyone loves. Believe me, once you make it from scratch, you’ll never go back to store-bought.

Glass of homemade eggnog with grated nutmeg
Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.

What Is Eggnog?

Eggnog is a dairy- and egg-based beverage that’s very popular around the holidays. It symbolizes prosperity and is commonly prepared as a batch cocktail and served cold. 

Dating back to the 13th century, eggnog has evolved throughout the years. Typically, it’s made with dairy, sugar, spices, and is thickened with egg yolks. 

Most often, it’s spiked with dark liquor. You can also enjoy it as a non-alcoholic beverage. 

This recipe has a boozy twist with a glug of bourbon and rum. It’s perfect for celebrating the season with those you love!

Homemade eggnog in a saucepan.


You can make this homemade eggnog recipe with eight easy-to-find ingredients. Here’s a list of everything you need:

  • Egg yolks – I use large eggs for this recipe. Smaller egg yolks will vary slightly in flavor and consistency.
  • Sugar – Regular granulated sugar is best for sweetening. 
  • Milk – I recommend using whole milk. The higher the fat content, the creamier the beverage.
  • Nutmeg – Freshly grated nutmeg adds a warming touch. Use some in the mix and some to garnish.
  • Cream – For thickening the beverage and making it wonderfully rich. 
  • Bourbon – Bourbon is one of the best boozes for this hard eggnog. Choose any brand you like. I’m partial to Bulleit and Maker’s Mark, but any inexpensive option will do.
  • Rum – Because why not! Rum is another excellent liquor for spiking eggnog. I prefer dark rum for the richer flavor. But light rum works in a pinch.
  • Vanilla Extract – A splash of vanilla extract enhances the flavors for a decadent touch.

What Alcohol Is Best for Eggnog?

For spiking eggnog, I recommend using dark liquor like whiskey, bourbon, brandy, or aged rum. These hard alcohols add a complementary flavor to the eggy, creamy base. 

I prefer bourbon and rum, but use any combination you like. 

Just be sure to use a quality bottle. It doesn’t have to be top-shelf but avoid the bargain basement stuff. Nobody wants the taste of rubbing alcohol in their drink!

Here are a few brand recommendations:

  • Maker’s Mark
  • Bulleit
  • Woodford Reserve
  • Meyer’s Rum
  • Mount Gay Eclipse
  • Appleton
  • E & J Brandy
  • Korbel Brandy
Two glasses of eggnog with nutmeg

How to Make Eggnog

Homemade eggnog doesn’t take long to prepare. But it will need to chill for at least one hour. So, if you make it in advance, plan ahead. 

Here’s how to make homemade eggnog:

1. Beat the egg yolks and sugar. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk and sugar. Set it aside.

2. Heat the milk and nutmeg. Combine the milk and nutmeg over medium heat. Stir it occasionally until hot.

Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.

3. Combine the milk and egg mixture. Slowly whisk about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Gradually add the remaining milk mixture, whisking continuously.

4. Heat the eggnog. Pour the combined mixture back into the saucepan. Cook it over medium heat for about 3 minutes until the eggnog thickens. Stir it constantly.

5. Strain the eggnog. Strain the eggnog through a mesh strainer into a pitcher.

6. Add the remaining ingredients. Stir in the cream, bourbon, rum, and vanilla extract. Cover and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour.

7. Serve. Stir the eggnog and pour it into individual glasses. Garnish it with grated nutmeg, and enjoy!

Three glasses of homemade eggnog on a white marble table garnished with grated nutmeg.

Tips and Variations

Homemade eggnog is so much better than store-bought. That said, I have a few pointers to ensure it turns out top-notch!

So follow these tips and variations for the best eggnog:

  • Go dairy free. Need a dairy-free alternative? Just swap out the milk and cream for coconut cream. It’s rich, thick, tropical, and vegan-friendly.
  • Customize the creaminess. For thicker eggnog, use 2 cups cream and 1 cup milk. Keep in mind, it will thicken as it cools. For smoother, thinner eggnog, add another 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Bust out the candy thermometer. Heat the eggnog until the candy thermometer reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This helps ensure you fully cook the eggs.
  • Don’t scramble! When adding the hot milk to the eggs, you want to avoid scrambling. So temper the mix by slowly whisking.
  • Give it a Mexican makeover. Instead of rum and bourbon, add mezcal for a smoky Mexican twist! Also, garnish with cinnamon instead of nutmeg.
  • Try pumpkin spiced perfection. Are you a big lover of pumpkin spice? Add some pumpkin spice and pumpkin puree to the milk when heating.
  • Ditch the booze. Want a festive drink the whole family can enjoy? Just skip the alcohol and follow the rest of the recipe.

How to Store Eggnog

Are you making homemade eggnog for a holiday party? Great news: you can make this festive cocktail ahead of time! 

Leftover eggnog is just as easy to store, too. Here’s how to preserve it until serving:

To Store: Place the eggnog in an air-tight container or a jar with a lid. Refrigerate it for up to 7 days.

To Freeze: Pour the eggnog into an air-tight container or ice cube trays. Label it, then freeze it. Frozen eggnog will last for up to 3 months. 

Homemade Eggnog (Easy Recipe)




This homemade eggnog is a must for the holidays! Skip store-bought this year and make this creamy, sweet, delicious drink at home!


  • 6 large egg yolks

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 2 cups milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish

  • 1 cup cream

  • 1/2 cup bourbon

  • 1/4 cup rum

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is pale yellow in color. Set it aside.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and nutmeg. Stir it occasionally and cook until it’s hot but not boiling.
  • Slowly pour about a cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking continuously. This process tempers the eggs and prevents them from scrambling. Gradually add the remaining milk mixture, continuing to whisk.
  • Pour the combined mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat. Stir constantly until the eggnog thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes.
  • Remove it from the heat. Strain the eggnog through a mesh strainer into a pitcher or bowl.
  • Stir in the cream, bourbon, rum, and vanilla extract. Cover and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  • Stir it before serving, and pour it into individual glasses. Garnish it with a sprinkle of nutmeg on top.
  • Enjoy!


  • The eggnog will thicken as it cools. If you prefer a smoother, thinner eggnog, blend it with an additional 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk until you achieve your desired consistency.
  • Store eggnog for a week. And the longer it sits, the silkier and richer it becomes. Keep it in an air-tight container in the fridge and consume it within 7 days.
  • Use a candy thermometer. While it’s not a necessity, if you happen to have one, it’s pretty helpful. 
    Heat the eggnog mixture until it hits 160 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure the egg yolks are cooked.
    Keep a watchful eye on your mixture as it heats, letting it boil will cause it to curdle.
Homemade Eggnog

Did you like the recipe?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.


Share on social media:

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

Leave a Comment