Eggnog Recipe

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About: I've been posting Instructables since the site's inception, and now build other things at Autodesk. Follow me for food and more!
Eggnog is a delicious traditional holiday drink, best made fresh and served immediately!  This recipe makes a fabulously rich, tasty fresh eggnog you can whip up in minutes. 

Not an Eggnog fan?  Making it fresh will change your mind.   Commercial versions have almost ruined its reputation - they're all pasteurized (cooked), too sweet, and full of artificial thickening agents.  Yuck.  Do it right, and learn why people liked eggnog in the first place!  Here are testimonials from newly-reformed anti-eggnoggers:
"I thought eggnog was gross, but this stuff rocks!" - scoochmaroo
"Wow.  Can I have some more?" - rachel

This is eggnog in its pure form - fresh eggs, cream, and a bit of sugar and seasoning.  It's excellent as-is, but can be spiked with rum, brandy, or bourbon to ward off the winter chill.  I prefer the non-alcoholic version, as it allows the subtle flavors to really shine.

Notes:
  • Don't substitute low-fat dairy - this is a holiday extravagance, so live it up.  Serve in small glasses if you're  worried about the calories, and go for an extra jog. 
  • Yes, we're using raw eggs.  If you want to be paranoid, wash the shells before cracking the eggs; there's only a 1:20,000 chance of salmonella inside the egg.  But you probably still shouldn't drink raw eggnog if you're immunocompromised.  If you've ever eaten raw cookie dough, quit worrying and try the eggnog!

Step 1: Tools and Ingredients

6 eggs at room temperature, separated
3/4 cup sugar (for the yolks)
6 Tablespoons sugar (for the whites)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (use the good stuff, and/or make your own)
fresh grated nutmeg
3 cups whipping cream, chilled
2 cups whole milk
optional:
1 cup brandy or rum
1 1/3 cups bourbon

large bowl (~ gallon-sized)
wire whisk
Microplane grater/zester
mixer (hand or stand type - just so long as it's motorized!)

small punch cups, margarita glasses, teacups, wine glasses, or other fancy-looking festive vessels

For single-serving size (one egg), divide everything else by 6.  That means:
1 egg
2 Tablespoons sugar (for the yolk)
1 Tablespoon sugar (for the white)
a drop of vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup milk


Step 2: Separate Eggs

Separate the eggs. 

Put the yolks in your big bowl, the whites in the electric mixer bowl*. 

* Make sure the bowl is clean and dry, with no oil residue - grease of any sort can interfere with proper egg white whipping.

Step 3: Prep Yolks

Mix the yolks vigorously with the wire whisk for about a minute - they will turn much lighter yellow. 
Whisk in 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, whisking steadily.  Grate* in a bit of nutmeg** (gently - you can always add more later, and fresh nutmeg can be powerful), then add 3 cups cream and 2 cups milk (and the booze, if you're using it) and whisk a bit more.  Everything should be thoroughly incorporated.

* I grate nutmeg with a Microplane grater - it's excellent. 

** Use whole nutmeg, not the pre-ground.  This is the primary flavoring in your eggnog, so it should be the good stuff.  Whole nutmegs can be bought in the spice section at your local grocery, and they last far longer than ground nutmeg.

Step 4: Prep Egg Whites

Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks - this is exactly why we have robots in the kitchen.  (It will take ~3-5  minutes, even longer if you're crazy enough to try whisking it by hand.)

Add 6T sugar, one tablespoon at a time, as the mixer runs.  Continue beating until the mixture forms stiff peaks, but still looks moist (another 2-4 minutes).  See the last picture to see how stiff the mixture is as I scoop it out of the mixing bowl.

Step 5: Combine

Gently fold the egg whites into the yolk/cream mixture with a spatula. 

Scrape the egg whites out of the bowl with your rubber spatula, and use a gentle sweeping motion to incorporate the whites to save all the air you just beat into them.  (If you whisk them in all of that nice fluffiness will be lost.)  You should still have some small blobs of unincorporated eggwhite (see last picture), and if the mixture is allowed to sit it will separate. 

Step 6: Serve

Ladle out the eggnog into your fancy cups, and top with a bit more freshly grated nutmeg.

If the eggnog has separated, give it a quick (gentle!) stir before serving.  Don't let the eggnog sit out too long - even if it does have alcohol, refrigerate to avoid spoilage.  I've never had this problem:  we always drink it so fast there's nothing left to worry about!  Thankfully it's fast to make more, because you'll never be able to drink the commercial stuff again.

Happy Holidays, and enjoy your eggnog!

2 People Made This Project!

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210 Discussions

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WardW1

1 year ago

This is sweeter then the store bought stuff. Would Splenda be a good sugar substitute?

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canidaWardW1

Reply 12 months ago

It's more heavily sweetened to accommodate the vast quantities of alcohol. When not spiking it, I usually tone down the sugar about 1/3.

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zonkerharris

1 year ago

This is my annual "No, really, you should try this!" recipe to share with friends. It's what I bring to family feasts. Get a micro-grater and fresh nutmeg, it really is an important part of the recipe for both taste and fragrence!

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canidazonkerharris

Reply 12 months ago

That's awesome. Glad to hear you're making eggnog converts!

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BenH199

2 years ago

Tried t for the first time today and it was a HUGE hit at the party! Eggnog really IS best made fresh! Absolutely a phenomenal drink! (I use 1 or 2 less Tbsp of sugar in the egg whites, 4 cups of cream, and plenty of nutmeg!

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canidaBenH199

Reply 2 years ago

Fabulous, glad to hear it was a hit!

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TammiejoJ

2 years ago

Put your metal bowl and beaters in the freezer for ten minutes or so before whipping your eggs...it helps get them whipped up

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RenaeM2

3 years ago

much better than the store brand! ive made it thrice now and have made a few ammendments to suit my familys taste - 1tbsp less sugar to the whites, and 3 extra cups of milk (they werent fond of the delicious thickness of the original mix, shame because it was wonderful ) and substituted nutmeg for cinnamon. extra vanilla/cinnamon to taste due to being milked down, but still fantastic! thank you for this incredible recipe!! (:

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FrancesH1

3 years ago

Beats anything store bought. It's absolutely delicious.

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JTapp09

3 years ago

i made this last year and im making it again today it has kind of become a tradition

:)

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JTapp09

3 years ago

if you scroll down you can see my i made it comment from last year

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I used brown sugar instead of white, and it didn't come out clumpy. Is this because of the sugar, or because it's my first try?

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canidasmack.ego.zen

Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

The brown sugar. It has molasses in it, which changes up the chemistry a bit and makes it much harder to whip the whites. If using brown sugar, you could whip some of the cream too/instead.

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Looks similar to our old Family Recipe.. Except we whip the Cream also.. If you have any left overs - Freeze as it make an interesting Ice Cream

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Kershaw

3 years ago

This will be the 4th year I've used this recipe. Getting the whites to whip up is always the hard part. I've read it's best not to use a plastic bowle. I prefer mine with a little spice rum.

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canidaKershaw

Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

4th year? Wow, fantastic! So glad I could add to your holiday traditions.

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SanA4

3 years ago on Introduction

I think I used raw eggs smoothies for breakfast and I'm alive. I think I am. If not, who is writing this? I had a writer friend who had chickens who laid eggs and wow what a great thing it was to taste fresh egg, lightly scrambled. Yum.