Homemade Eggnog


Hear those sleigh bells ringing? It's the holiday season. And that's our cue to start prepping for the long lineup of festivities that are hitting our social calendars this season. It is also our favorite time to break out the overstuffed recipe box and focus on making new dishes and drinks that we've been saving for this special time of year, like this rich and creamy homemade eggnog.When December rolls around, every good Southern host is always prepared for unexpected guests with a few essentials on-hand: at least one dozen sugar cookies, Million Dollar Pound Cake, and a batch of eggnog chilling in the fridge. Eggnog is the signature drink of the holiday season, and a recipe that every home cook should try and whip up from scratch at least once. And while the grocery store markets are stocked with every flavor imaginable (pumpkin, sugar cookie, vanilla, caramel) and different varieties (dairy-free, organic, low-fat), the Southern Living Test Kitchen recommends making a batch of Clark Griswold's favorite celebratory drink from scratch.Our classic version, which serves nine, includes four cups of whole milk, a dozen eggs, and two cups of heavy whipping cream. We like to spice it with nutmeg and vanilla extract to call it our own. And while our recipe calls for bourbon, it's fine to omit the alcohol to turn this into a ready-to-serve-everyone drink for the holiday season.

Homemade Eggnog
Photo: Jennifer Causey; Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Stylist: Audrey Davis
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
9 hrs 25 mins
Makes 9 cups (serving size: 1 cup)


  • 4 cups whole milk

  • 12 large eggs

  • ¼ teaspoon table salt

  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar

  • ¾ - 1 cup (6 oz. to 8 oz.) bourbon

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, plus more for serving

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream


  1. Heat milk in a Dutch oven over medium until just hot (do not boil), about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

  2. Beat eggs and salt with a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment on medium-high speed until thick and pale, about 4 minutes. Gradually add sugar, and beat well, about 1 minute. Gradually stir about one-fourth of hot milk into egg mixture; gradually add egg mixture to remaining hot milk in Dutch oven, stirring constantly.

  3. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring constantly, until milk mixture thickens and an instant-read thermometer registers 160°F, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in bourbon, vanilla, and nutmeg. Remove from heat, and cool 1 hour. Cover and chill at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Gradually stir in cream. Sprinkle individual servings with additional nutmeg.

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