Like apple cider and hot cocoa, eggnog is a must-have holiday drink for many families over the winter season. Although cartons of the creamy beverage can be found in the aisles of most grocery stores, no eggnog tastes better than the one that is freshly made and served immediately, chilled over ice cubes and spiced with a touch of nutmeg.
If you think you’re not an eggnog fan, many people have been converted by tasting a homemade recipe. The store-bought varieties tend to be heavy on the sugar and artificial thickeners, whereas their homemade counterparts are fresh and creamy, subtly sweet and perfectly seasoned.
Traditional eggnog is made using raw eggs, which poses some concern for many home cooks. However, if you chose organic farm-fresh free-range eggs, your risk of salmonella is dramatically reduced. As with most recipes, using the best quality ingredients that you can afford will yield the very best results and tastes. For those who are weary of not cooking their eggs, this stovetop recipe is a crowd pleaser:
Homemade Spiced Eggnog
- 4 cups milk
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 8 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ¼ cup bourbon (optional)
- 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, whisk milk and sugar together until dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from the stovetop and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. While whisking constantly, pour the hot milk mixture into the yolks in a slow and steady stream, being careful not to add too much liquid at a time, otherwise you will cook the eggs.
Return the mixture to the pot and cook over low heat until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 20-25 minutes. Stir the mixture often.
Using a fine mesh sieve, strain the milk into a bowl. Add the vanilla, bourbon (if using), spices and cream. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge before serving.
Eggnog can be made a little more fancy with the addition of chocolate or other alcohols. These three drinks are a perfect example of what you can make once you have the basic recipe prepared:
Eggnog also makes for an excellent addition to baked good or other recipes that might otherwise call for milk or cream. Including any of the following in your holiday cooking is sure to please those who love the flavour profile of regular eggnog: