Homemade Eggnog + A Few Flavor Tweaks To Try

My husband is happy to drink purchased eggnog by the carton…me? I’m a little more fussy and only homemade will do, yum!

Here’s the recipe we tried last year and it was a big hit with everyone, it’s one from Martha Stewart and we really enjoyed it.

Next I added several variations that I collected from around the ‘net in case you’re looking for something different (still classic or traditional style) as well as some delicious tasty twists to tempt you with (chocolate, coffee, low-fat and more).


4 cups milk
1 1/3 cups sugar
12 large egg yolks
1 cup chilled heavy cream
grated nutmeg

Optional: 1/2 cup bourbon (we didn’t add this)


  • First add the milk and sugar to a medium saucepan then whisk together over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes until sugar is dissolved.
  • Next whisk the egg yolks in a large glass bowl and then while you’re whisking, pour in the hot mixture slowly (in a steady stream).
  • Pour everything into the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat and stir frequently so it doesn’t start simmering.
  • Cook for 20 to 25 minutes until it’s thick enough to coat the back of the spoon then strain into a bowl.
  • At this point you mix in the bourbon (if using) and the heavy cream.
  • Cool completely then cover and refrigerate until chilled.
  • Garnish with nutmeg when serving.

If you want something with more alcohol, this is the one for you, it’s also from Martha and includes bourbon, dark rum and cognac.

Next up…Here are a few variations you can also check out (for traditional versions, you’ll find a low-fat and several flavor twists next). They contain both cooked or uncooked recipes, I prefer playing it safe by only making cooked versions but I know that just won’t do for some of you ;). I wouldn’t skip the alcohol if making uncooked but it’s still not a sure bet that the raw eggs will be ok (make sure to use the freshest possible).

  • Alcohol Free: Light & Healthy version – a homemade, delicious, non-alcoholic version that can be enjoyed all season long without the guilt. Plus it’s non-dairy! From A Sweet Pea Chef.
  • Grandma’s Old Fashioned Boiled “Drinking” Custard & Base: A heirloom recipe, Once used regularly as a simple drink meant to sooth the sick. It’s a rich and creamy beverage, just like Grandma used to make, delicious anytime and an excellent base for homemade eggnog. From Deep South Dish.
  • Mama’s Thick & Tasty: Serves 8 to 10 and is made with Bourbon, heavy cream, milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla, nutmeg and chilled in the freezer before serving. From Paula Deen.
  • Plenty Of Flavor: This delicious spiced drink isn’t for everyone, but I promise you’ll love mine! From Epicurean Mom.
  • Dad’s With Rum & Brandy: Recipe courtesy of Dave Lieberman, ingredients include half-and-half; whole milk; allspice and more. Found at Food Network.
  • Old Fashioned With Bourbon: An old-school version that makes 5 pints, yolks and whites are beaten separately. To be served very cold with grated nutmeg and/or cinnamon. Source: Imbibe Magazine.
  • Saveur’s Version: This beverage has become the quintessential Christmas drink–holiday parties just wouldn’t be the same without it–but the ubiquitous store version doesn’t hold a candle to this preparation. Saveur.
  • Costa Rican Style: Popular throughout Latin America, this holiday version is traditionally served at Christmastime and to ring in the New Year. It is especially festive when garnished with a bit of grated coconut or a sprinkle of nutmeg. For a unique hostess gift, pour the chilled beverage into a pretty bottle tied with a ribbon. Source: Very Best Baking.
  • Dr. Katz’s Low-Calorie: (about 100 calories per serving) Made with skim milk, egg substitute, nonfat powdered milk and a few other ingredients to keep this drink a little on the lighter side of things. Source: oprah.com.

Tasty Twists: All but one these add something special to already made eggnog so you can use your favorite recipe or use purchased…

  • Clasico: Made from scratch but cooked with instant coffee granules for a tasty twist. Toast the New Year with this sweet twist on the traditional holiday classic. The unique, rich coffee flavor is sure to become a new holiday favorite that will have your guests asking for seconds. From Very Best Baking.
  • Snappy Chai Version: Powdered chai tea, vanilla extract, brandy, brown sugar and crushed gingersnaps. From Rachael Ray Magazine.
  • Chilled Mocha: A delightful twist with a hint of mocha flavor in this recipe. Instant coffee and a sweetened cream topping make this beverage one of the season’s super sippers. Taste of Home.
  • Coffee: Coffee is brewed with ground nutmeg and sugar then added to already prepared eggnog, topped with whipped topping. From Kraft Recipes.
  • Mocha: Makes 10 servings, chocolate milk, heavy whipping cream, instant coffee granules, pure vanilla extract and rum extract are added. From Taste of Home.
  • Holiday Cheer Latte: Shots of espresso (or double/triple concentrated coffee) are added along with milk, sugar, whipped cream and nutmeg (optional). Savory Sweet Life.

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    • Melissa

    For the first time we made our own and tried the first recipe you provided. We are never going back to cartons from the store! This was absolutely delicious! The only mistake we made was not making more, haha!

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