Real, Homemade Egg Nog

Rich, creamy, and unapologetically boozy, this is an egg nog whose virtues are sung by poets. Probably. Once they've had a few. 
Real, Homemade Egg Nog

LTRs (long-term readers) of this site may remember this homemade egg nog recipe from a few years back, but we’ve updated the recipe and pictures so it’s like a whole new article! (It’s mostly the same old article.) Casual droppers-by (CDBs) won’t know any better, so for you, here’s our Christmas present to you: egg nog made proper.

What do you mean, you don’t like egg nog?

If you’ve never had real, homemade egg nog, I can understand why you might be wrinkling your nose and shaking your head right now. Most mass-produced versions are pretty horrible. In fact, the only store-bought version that doesn’t make me gag is from Ronnybrook Farm, which while delicious, also costs a friggin’ fortune. You’d need to take out a bank loan if you wanted enough for a party.

Surprisingly, real egg nog is actually very easy to make and it’s a shame that so few people do it. Fortunately for me, my mom makes a killer egg nog so I know how good it can be. This version is unapologetically rich and boozy in the most wonderful way. In fact, Matt and I had a little tree-trimming party the other night and just about everyone who claimed not to like egg nog ended up slurping up several cups full. Needless to say, a lot of fun was had.

Real, Homemade Egg Nog
Creamy, boozy and rich. Now THAT’S a party!

For those of you who are worried about consuming raw eggs, history and science have proven that with enough booze, bacteria will not be an issue. Science says so! Of course, use good eggs. Fortunately, we have almost a constant supply of fresh eggs from our resident chickens.

An egg carton containing eggs of many brown hues

Your eyes are not deceiving you. Our chickens laid a beigebow of eggs. Now that’s talent. As opposed to certain other members of our household menagerie, who can’t even hold a pose wearing reindeer antlers without blepping.

Arya Antlers 2013
Arya, the best rescue pup in the world, doing her best Grinch’s dog impression.

How to make it

Here’s the process. This makes what seems like a lot (it’s a gallon) of nog, but believe us, you’ll always wish you’d made more. And you can make this a while in advance, provided that you refrigerate it (and use enough alcohol). Some people claim that you can make egg nog a year in advance, but we’re perfectly happy with the results after a month. Also, we don’t have the fridge space to spare.

You’ll definitely find that the flavors in the eggnog will mellow as it sits, taming the bite of the alcohol. While it’s delicious after just a few hours, we like it best between 1 to 3 weeks.

Real, Homemade Egg Nog
So fancy!

The process is simple: separate your yolks into a mixer bowl (we like to put the whites in ice cube trays and freeze for storage) and beat them until they thicken a little and turn a lovely pale yellow. While continuing to beat, stream in the sugar slowly, whisking until it gets even thicker (you’ll see a ribbon like in the middle photo above, when you lift the beaters out). At this point we also add our vanilla seeds (not traditional in nog but oh so delicious) and nutmeg. Next, add the milk and booze, whisking on low speed so you don’t end up wearing the mixture.

Note: If you plan to age your nog longer than overnight, don’t skimp on the alcohol. It’s needed to keep the mixture from going off.

The next step is to whip the cream to soft peaks, with a little more sugar. We transfer the egg mixture to a large bowl so we can use the same bowl to whip the cream. The the lightly whipped cream gets folded into the egg/milk/booze mixture and you’re done.  Pour it into an airtight storage container and keep it chilled until you’re ready to serve it. The cream tends to rise to the top so it will need to be stirred before you portion it out.

The hardest part is not drinking it all before it has a chance to mellow in the refrigerator.

Real, Homemade Egg Nog
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5 from 3 votes

Real, Homemade Egg Nog

Rich, creamy, and unapologetically boozy, this is an egg nog whose virtues are sung by poets. Probably. Once they've had a few. 
Prep Time25 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Drink, Holiday, Party food
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 servings
Author: Emily Clifton, Nerds with Knives


  • 12 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 scraped vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups bourbon or more, up to 2 cups
  • 2 cups dark rum or more, up to 4 cups
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg plus more for garnish
  • 1 quart heavy cream cold


  • In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment (or use a hand-held mixer), beat egg yolks on medium-high speed until they start to thicken and turn pale yellow, about 2 to 3 minutes. While beating, slowly stream in 1 cup sugar, until fully combined and the mixture forms a ribbon when beaters are raised. Beat in vanilla bean or extract until combined.
  • Turn mixer to low and add milk, a little at a time until blended. Mix in bourbon, rum and nutmeg. Remove to a large bowl.
  • Separately (you can use the same mixing bowl), beat heavy cream one high speed, with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar until medium-soft peaks appear. Fold the whipped cream into the egg mixture. Transfer to an air-tight storage container and let stand in refrigerator for at least several hours or up to a month (eggnog will mellow as it ages)
  • When ready to use, give it a stir, pour into serving glasses, sprinkle with nutmeg and enjoy.
Tried this recipe?Mention @NerdsWithKnives or tag #nerdswithknives!

16 thoughts on “Real, Homemade Egg Nog”

  1. I hope you gave that dog some egg nog. Because her face clearly says… um where’s my egg nog? In fact… my face currently looks like that. I’d better go make this recipe right away. Also- This is my favorite blog in the whole wide world, and I thank you for it. Merry Christmas!

    • Awwww, my heart just grew three sizes! You know, we had a little nog leftover but..ahem…it seems to be missing now. Odd. You and Larry were very much missed on Saturday. It was a gathering chock full of jolly chicken peeps! Let’s get together soon! Oh, and that sneaky pup licked mountains of cream off of unattended cups. Mountains.

  2. I found myself talking about this eggnog A LOT over the holidays! So glad to see the recipe in print!! No wonder it tastes good with 12 eggs and the rest of those yummy ingredients!!!

    • Hi Katrina, without the alcohol to cut it, the eggnog will be quite rich. You could increase the milk to make up for the alcohol liquid volume (not the cream) and lower the sugar by a tablespoon or two. I haven’t made it that way, so I’m estimating. Good luck!

  3. 5 stars
    We had a lot of eggs from our chickens and this seemed the best way to use them. After 1 day in the fridge, this is already yummy. I didn’t have rum, so I used 2 cups of a Colorado whiskey and 2 cups of Slow and Low, a Pennsylvania whiskey with some dried orange and bitters in it. So tasty.

  4. 5 stars
    This recipe is the best so far. The only thing on mine is that I use Heavy Cream instead of milk
    And I do 1-pint Whiskey 1-pint Rum
    Which is 2 cups of each liquor.
    It turns out great!

5 from 3 votes

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