With its strong association to the holidays, homemade eggnog was a holiday tradition growing up. I always had a strong affinity for the wintery drink despite it being quite an acquired taste. Despite the hefty price tag at the store, this festive drink is fairly easy to make. Eggnog is best made the night before or early in the morning to give it enough time to chill.
- 12 large eggs, separated
- 1 ½ c. sugar
- 6 c. whole milk
- 2 c. heavy cream
- 1 Tbps. vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 2 c. bourbon or 1½ c. bourbon & ½ c. rum (optional)
Separate eggs. Set aside egg whites.
In a bowl large, whisk together egg yolks and granulated sugar until thick and pale yellow. Set aside.
Combine milk, heavy cream and vanilla in a large pot. Slowly heat over medium heat until hot and just about to simmer.
Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into egg yolk mixture. Stir continuously to temper.*
Pour mixture back into pot. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly—about 18-20 minutes. Mixture will thicken and coat a metal spoon. Do not allow mixture to boil or it will curdle.
Remove from heat. Stir in nutmeg. Cover and chill for 8 hours. Sticking the mixture in a freezer will speed along the process, but must be stirred frequently.
Once mixture is chilled, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into mixture. If desired, stir in bourbon/rum.
Before serving, sprinkle top with nutmeg.
- *Tempering the milk and egg yolk mixture prevents the eggs from cooking in the hot milk.
- Did the egg and milk mixture begin curdling? Try vigorously whisking the mixture until smooth again.
- When beating egg whites, make sure they’re room temperature and add ¼ tsp. salt or cream of tartar to stabilize whites.
- If not adding the alcohol, eggnog may seem thick, but usually deflates with time. Because of this, I prefer to make mine the night before as I feel it always tastes better the following day.