How to Make Alcoholic Eggnog


Start to Finish: 2 1/2 hours
Servings: 4
Difficulty: Intermediate

Homemade eggnog traditionally falls into two categories: cooked and uncooked. Uncooked eggnog relies on large quantities of alcohol and an aging process to kill any pathogens, such as salmonella, that could be present in raw eggs. It is nearly impossible to tell whether a batch of uncooked eggnog still has bacteria present, so the U.S. Center for Food Safety recommends avoiding this method.

Cooked eggnog is essentially a custard that is lightened with whipped egg whites and spiked with your favorite alcohol. This version is less sweet than commercially produced eggnog and has a spicy overtone. The custard portion of the eggnog can be made the day before you plan to serve it. This recipe is inspired by a Triple-Shot Eggnog recipe published in Fine Cooking.


    • 5 large eggs
    • 1 1/4 cups sugar
    • 1 cup half-and-half
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, plus extra for garnish
    • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/4 cup black or spiced rum
    • 1/4 cup bourbon
    • 6 large egg whites

Make the Custard

  • Whisk the eggs and 1 cup of sugar in a large saucepan until the eggs are thickened and pale yellow. Slowly mix in the half-and-half. Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. The custard will coat a metal spoon with a thin film.

    Remove the custard from the heat and pour it into a large mixing bowl or punch bowl.

    Mix the spices in a small bowl.

    Stir the heavy cream, spice mixture, vanilla extract, rum and bourbon into the custard. Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least two hours or until you are ready to serve.

Lighten and Serve

  • Whip the egg whites until foamy. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and whip until stiff peaks form.

    Fold the whipped egg whites into the cooled custard. Serve in punch cups or coffee mugs. Top with freshly grated nutmeg.


  • Substitute honey whiskey for the bourbon for a sweeter eggnog.
    Experiment with other spices, such as cardamom, mace or even cayenne.


  • Be sure to cook the egg mixture to 160 degrees to eliminate salmonella.


  • Photo Credit bhofack2/iStock/Getty Images
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