I like eggnog, but I’m not a big fan of most store-bought eggnogs, even “organic” ‘nogs from natural foods stores. I find that many of them have an overly strong nutmeg flavor, and others are so thick that they verge on being pudding. I like eggnog to be light and refreshing, with flavor from all the ingredients in it. Eggnog is made from milk and eggs. It is lightly sweetened and flavored with (usually) vanilla and nutmeg. You can drink it plain or make it boozy and warming by adding in some brandy.
My favorite eggnog is an uncooked eggnog, which can be made with pasteurized eggs – not eggs from a carton, but eggs pasteurized in-shell – or regular eggs. It’s quick, easy and has the flavor I’m looking for. But to avoid any salmonella risk, or to make a big batch in advance for a party, I also make a cooked eggnog. This ‘nog is the same recipe, but I put it on the stovetop and bring the temperature up to 160F, which is just high enough to kill off any bacteria that might be in there. I chill it for several hours before serving.
I like to use low fat milk for eggnog because I like the consistency that the eggnog has when it is finished, a good balance of light and creamy. You can use nonfat or whole milk in this recipe if you prefer. Freshly grated nutmeg will give you the best results in this recipe. If you need to use preground, you may find that you need to add more to get enough nutmeg flavor. Either way, feel free to add or subtract from the amount of nutmeg given to suit your individual tastes.
Easy Homemade Eggnog
4 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, or to taste*
4 cups low fat milk
2 oz. brandy or bourbon, for serving (optional)
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until all of the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Whisk in vanilla, nutmeg and milk.
Pour mixture into a large saucepan and turn heat to medium. Bring eggnog just to a simmer (160F). Hold at that temperature for 1 minute, then remove from heat. Strain into a pitcher or serving dish and chill for at least 4 hours, or until ready to serve.
Pour into glasses, add brandy if desired, and sprinkle with additional nutmeg for serving.
*Note: If not using freshly grated nutmeg, you may want to use more nutmeg.
LauraDecember 6, 2009
I’m curious… Where do you find your pasteurized eggs? And what brand are they?
LauraDecember 6, 2009
Hm…I’ve never really been a big fan of eggnog, but maybe I can add in a few touches (like some cinnamon and vanilla extract!) and it’ll change my mind! Thanks for the easy recipe!
Nutmeg NannyDecember 6, 2009
Growing up my step dad always made eggnog around Christmas. I usually do not give salmonella a thought even though I know I should. I like that this recipe still taste like eggnog but cuts the risk of raw eggs out of the mix.
LSDecember 6, 2009
The cooked version will be perfect for me! I’m pregnant and I like Eggnog at New Years Eve, but I had already figured I wouldn’t be able to have any. Now I can. And like you, I don’t like the store bought versions. Thanks!
NicoleDecember 6, 2009
Laura – They carry them at some specialty markets: http://www.safeeggs.com/ They’re a good choice for recipes that use uncooked eggs (like the traditional, uncooked eggnog I linked to)
shannonDecember 6, 2009
Some of my friends adore eggnog, so I tried it and wasn’t too impressed. I think I may try this tomorrow, especially while theres still some brandy on the table, haha. too bad I don’t have fresh nutmeg!
SabsDecember 7, 2009
I love egg nog, but haven’t made it in a few years. Will try your recipe definitely!
ConfectionateDecember 7, 2009
This sounds great! Since it is being cooked, I might substitute some of the extract for vanilla bean!! Thanks for sharing!
EggnogDecember 7, 2009
Sounds great, will give this one a try this season. One question though, I’m curious as to why you bring the eggs to room temperature first? I always keep mine in the fridge, due to the warm climate I live in.
ConfectionateDecember 7, 2009
I tried this out tonight…I cooked it a bit too long so it was definitely thick, but otherwise delish! Next time I think I might add a bit more sugar. Thanks again for the recipe!
NicoleDecember 7, 2009
Eggnog – I recommend it because you need to dissolve the sugar in the eggs and fluff them up a bit, which is not easy with cold eggs.
sophiaDecember 16, 2009
hi this is the first time im going to make eggnog. i was wondering if i could add the brandy into the egg mixture when i strain it, or do i have to wait untill im about to serve it?
ScottDecember 3, 2011
How long will thjis last in the fridge? Would it be ok a few days later as it is a large serving.
Peter KDecember 24, 2011
Thanks for recipe! I am in Africa where salmonella is definitely a concern. I was able to force the lumps through the seive. I don’t know if that is the point, or if one is supposed to throw the lumps out or feed them to the dog. I put the mix in the blender before serving which got rid of the sludge and made it lighter and frothy. I am making more today – Christmas!