Eggnog was never a big part of holiday celebrations in my family; I actually can’t remember my mom ever having it in the house. My biggest eggnog memory from my childhood was watching Clark Griswold plunge his reindeer mug into a vat of eggnog in the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. About 10 years ago, I decided that I needed to find out what all of the eggnog hubbub was all about, so I looked online for some recipes and made one. I was surprised by how deliciously creamy it was, and how it packed quite a punch! While I’ve made a lot of recipes that use eggnog since then, I haven’t revisited the homemade eggnog until now. It’s so easy and a festive addition to any holiday party.
The base of this homemade eggnog is actually started in much the same way as an ice cream custard, with the exception that whole eggs are used here, while only egg yolks are typically used for ice cream. The egg, sugar and cream mixture is cooked over low heat until thickened, then once allowed to cool a bit, the rum, whisky and vanilla are added. Finally, additional whipped cream is beat to soft peaks and folded into the eggnog mixture to lighten it up. Add a sprinkle of nutmeg, and it’s ready!
Be forewarned – this eggnog is definitely strong! If you prefer your eggnog less boozy, I would cut back on the alcohol amounts listed below. Whether you’re throwing a holiday party or just want a little something extra-special for the holidays, this eggnog is a fantastic choice.
A recipe for old-fashioned eggnog - thick, creamy, and substantially spiked.
3½ cups heavy cream, divided
1½ cups granulated sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
¼ cup Myers dark rum
½ cup Crown Royal whiskey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish
1. In a large saucepan, heat 2½ cups of the cream over medium-low heat until it begins to simmer around the edges of the pan (do not let it boil).
2. While the cream is heating, whisk together the eggs, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Ladle out 1 cup of the warm cream mixture and slowly pour it into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Scrape all of the egg mixture into the saucepan. Continue to cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula, a few minutes. The mixture should register 170 to 175 degrees F on an instant-read digital thermometer.
3. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl and allow to cool for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Whisk in the rum, whiskey, vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of the freshly grated nutmeg.
4. Whip the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the eggnog mixture, making sure the whipped cream is completely incorporated. Serve immediately, topping each serving with a sprinkle of fresh nutmeg. The eggnog can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Be sure to gently whisk before serving.