Old-Fashioned Homemade Eggnog Recipe
I’ve been wanting to try making homemade eggnog for a while now. In fact, I’ve been wanting to try making it myself ever since I realized you could make such things at home.
But, like many things, it’s just one of those projects that’s been pushed to the back burner because life is just too crazy busy to make everything from scratch all the time. Amiright?
My philosophy is to take things one step at a time… Learn how to do one thing well and then move onto the next. Often what I find is that when I finally get around to learning a new skill or how to make a new recipe or project from scratch, it’s actually really easy and takes very little time to do. But I don’t overwhelm myself with pressure to do it all perfectly right away.
So anyway, homemade eggnog was one of those things that took me a couple years to finally try making at home myself. And lo and behold, it’s so easy I now wonder why I didn’t start making it years ago.
I know, however, that slow and steady wins the race, especially when it comes to homesteading and making things from scratch. There are endless skills and recipes to learn when you’re aspiring to make as much as possible yourself, and each year and season is a chance to learn just a little bit more.
Next Christmas I’ll tackle something else, but this year it’s eggnog, and now that I’ve learned how easy it is to make it from scratch, plus the fact that it tastes better than store-bought and is better for you, means I will pretty much always make it from scratch from here on out. And once you try it, I’m sure you’ll feel the same. And then you’ll be inspired to take on another from-scratch recipe or homesteading skill. It’s a slippery slope!
But for now, let’s talk about eggnog for a minute…
What is eggnog anyway?
When I started researching recipes for homemade eggnog, I came across a few different recipes and some interesting information about how eggnog came to be the infamous holiday drink it is today.
The general consensus is that eggnog originated in England in the 17th Century and was made with eggs, milk and some sort of alcohol (aka. “nog”).
It was originally made with sherry or brandy, but when eggnog reached America it was typically spiked with rum because rum was easier to come by. Eventually some people started substituting American whiskey.
Nowadays we can drink eggnog with or without alcohol, but traditionally eggnog was always an alcoholic drink that wealthy folks (who could afford milk and eggs and alcohol) would use to toast to their prosperity.
I found at least one source that claims eggnog was created by mixing alcohol with eggs and milk earlier in the season when egg and milk production was at a high. The alcohol was used to preserve the dairy products so that they could be consumed during the winter months when egg and milk production was low.
This certainly makes some sense, but I couldn’t find many other sources to verify this theory. What we know for sure is that eggnog used to be made with a few simple, all-natural ingredients and it didn’t come from a carton on the store shelves.
In fact, I’d advise you to steer clear of the eggnog on store shelves if for no other reason than to avoid all of the additives and processed ingredients typically found in commercially-produced eggnog: ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, modified milk ingredients and carrageenan (thickener) used in place of natural ingredients like organic sugar, whole milk and yes, even eggs, so that it’s cheaper to produce.
No thanks. I’d rather make it myself from natural, organic ingredients I know and trust.
How to make homemade eggnog
When it comes to making eggnog from scratch nowadays, there are a few different options.
First of all, you can spike it with alcohol or not. I don’t spike ours when I first make it because our two-year-old drinks it too, but my husband and I have been known to add rum when pouring into our own glasses;)
Second, when it comes to making eggnog, my preferred way is to use raw eggs and cold milk and cream. I love the flavour and I love that it can be made fresh and enjoyed right away. The only caveat to making eggnog “cold” with raw eggs is the risk (albeit low) of salmonella poisoning.
It’s true that raw eggs can harbour the salmonella bacteria that make us very sick, but truth be told, it’s much more rare than many people think and the risk is even less when using fresh eggs from free range chickens from organic farms (which I always recommend using, whether you raise your own laying hens or purchase eggs from a local farm).
Store-bought eggs carry a higher risk of salmonella because they typically come from factory-farmed chickens that were raised in unsanitary conditions.
So if making your eggnog with raw eggs, I advise you to only use fresh eggs from healthy chickens and a source you trust.
We don’t have our own chickens (yet), but we get our eggs from friends who have a small flock of free range laying hens. So I can vouch for the fact that I make my eggnog with raw eggs and no one in our family has gotten sick.
If you’re still feeling iffy about using raw eggs or you’re using store-bought eggs, I recommend heating your eggnog slowly on the stovetop until it reaches 160ºF (the minimum temperature needed to kill salmonella bacteria).
I’ve made it both ways and both are good, but when I cooked my eggnog, it got a little bit lumpy (like custard) despite my best efforts to heat it slowly and whisk constantly to avoid this.
I also had to wait a few hours for it to cool down in the fridge before serving, so that was another downside. But when it was cool enough to serve, I simply ran it through a blender to smooth out the lumps and it tasted great in the end!
The choice is yours. I recommend going raw if you can, but it’s just a couple extra steps to heat it up and then cool it down if you would rather cook it first.
Don’t forget to mix in some nutmeg to give your nog that signature holiday taste. Mix with rum, brandy or whisky if adding alcohol and garnish with extra nutmeg (fresh grated is always best!) and a cinnamon stick.
There you have it! Homemade eggnog with all-natural ingredients and no additives whatsoever. And it takes less time to whip up than it takes to run to the grocery store for a carton.
P.S. Want more homemade, homegrown, homestead goodness? Subscribe for FREE to Modern Homesteading Magazine, a monthly online magazine full of useful tips, recipes and inspiration to help you produce more of what you consume and live an all-natural, made-from-scratch, self-sufficient life, wherever you are!
Old-Fashioned Homemade Eggnog Recipe
- 6 large eggs
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups milk
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg + more to garnish
- Cinnamon stick and alcohol of choice (optional)
- Separate egg yolks and egg whites. Set egg whites aside.
- Beat the egg yolks and the sugar until smooth. Add the milk, cream and nutmeg and beat together until smooth and well combined.
- You can either serve your eggnog just like this and use your egg whites for something else (omelette perhaps?), OR you can beat your egg whites until they solidify and form stiff peaks, then fold them back into your eggnog mixture to make it extra light and fluffy.
- To serve, pour alcohol of choice over ice (if using), pour eggnog overtop and grate a little fresh nutmeg on top. Garnish with a cinnamon stick to make it look extra pretty.
- Enjoy responsibly! (Eggnog hangovers are not fun).
- 76 Things to make at home to save money - Wandering Hoof Ranch - […] HOMEMADE EGGNOG […]
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Can you heat it after the egg whites are added?
I wasn’t sure about this myself, but I found this article helpful: https://juliescafebakery.com/can-you-warm-up-eggnog/
Why not use a carton of eggs. It is already pasturized.
I guess that depends where you live and what the egg industry is like, but here in Canada, and in much of the US, store-bought eggs are not required to be pasteurized. They are just washed and refrigerated. Some stores may offer pasteurized eggs, but from what I’ve read, they’re much more difficult to find.
Eggs keep better if they aren’t washed. Only mentioned because you said you were using uncooked eggs that you got from a friend
Too sweet , when I make again I will use half the sugar. Delicious.
FYI, you can search for a method for heating the eggs to pasteurize them. That should make it safe plus hopefully avoiding your problem with the egg nog thickening.
I have been looking for a good natural ingredient Egg Nog recipe, this looks great, I can’t wait to try it!
This is one of our favorite Holiday drinks (plus it makes your house smell amazing) thought I’d share!
How many servings does this recipe make? Also, have you ever tried it with Almond Milk? I’m on Keto so wondering if I can try to Keto-fy the recipe. I LOVE putting eggnog in my coffee this time of year instead of creamer and I was horrified when I recently looked at the ingredients in the store bought!
I just made this recipe again the other night and it made roughly 4 servings (although we all had different size glasses, so it could be closer to 5 or 6 8-oz. servings with ice. As for almond milk, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. It just might not be as thick as it would be with the cream. Although you could try coconut milk too. I find it thicker.
This was really good. Thanks
I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
I just made this with raw milk from our mini-Jerseys and raw eggs from our chickens. I love having everything fresh from the homestead. Great recipe, my whole family loved it!
At what point would you cook it?
This is a traditional, no-cook eggnog. However I do have instructions for cooking it if you choose in the post above the recipe. I only use eggs from free range, pasture-raised chickens to help ensure healthy eggs. But if you prefer to cook it, you can heat your eggnog slowly on the stovetop until it reaches 160ºF (the temperature needed to kill any salmonella bacteria that may be present) stirring constantly to prevent any custardy lumps from forming, and then let it chill completely. I’ve done it this way too but I couldn’t keep all the lumps out, so I just ran mine through the blender after it was completely chilled:)
Since I was a kid, the way I make it is: 4 eggs, 4 cups milk, 1/4 cup sugar, (nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon as needed to flavor to taste), mix eggs and milk then add sugar, them add seasonings to flavor.
That sounds yummy too! Eggnog any way is just fine with me!