Luxuriously rich, this homemade Eggnog recipe can’t even be compared to a carton from the store.

Fresh eggs, hot milk & cream, and warm spices create a decadent holiday drink, perfect to be enjoyed warm or chilled.

Homemade eggnog can be made with or without alcohol and will keep for about 3 days in the fridge. It’s party perfect!

jug of Homemade Eggnog Recipe

What is Eggnog?

Eggnog is a rich creamy drink infused with warm spices. As with most recipes, the homemade version is so much better than store-bought.

  • Texture: Made with milk, heavy cream, and eggs, and the texture is thicker than cream.
  • Flavor: The flavor is sweet, lightly spiced, and we often add rum, brandy, or whiskey (but this can be made without alcohol too, see notes below).

We commonly see this drink in stores (and coffee shops!) during the Christmas season, served as a cocktail for its festive flavor! Eggnog can be served chilled (over ice), hot, or even in a latte!

ingredients for homemade egg nog

Ingredients in Eggnog

It’s hard to believe you can make such a great homemade eggnog recipe with everyday staples and a few common spices.

Here’s the lineup:

Dairy: Milk and cream create the base for this recipe. Adding heavy cream makes the best eggnog as it adds richness.

Egg yolks: Egg yolks thicken the mixture, add buttery texture and give eggnog its pale yellow color. The egg yolks are tempered (which means a hot liquid is added to raw eggs a little bit at a time) to keep the mixture smooth.

While some recipes use the whole egg or whip the eggs to form soft peaks, this method skips the whipping and cooks the yolks as raw egg can cause a risk of salmonella. Egg substitutes will work in this recipe.

Sugar, Spice, & Everything Nice. White sugar can be replaced with any sweetener you’d like. We love cinnamon, clove, and a splash of vanilla extract. Add in your favorite warm spices, from nutmeg to star anise or even cardamom.

Add alcohol (or don’t!).  Add some alcohol spirits according to your preference if you’d like. Rum is our favorite spike for eggnog, we use about 1 cup but start with half and after tasting, add more if you’d like.

Save the Egg Whites

This recipe uses only egg yolks, but don’t discard the whites. They can be scrambled or added to recipes.

  • Meringue Cookies or pavlova are great uses for egg whites.
  • Scramble them on their own (or add them to a couple of whole eggs) for scrambled eggs.
  • Mix them with cheese and veggies to make egg muffins.
  • Two egg whites (or approximately 1/4 cup) can replace a whole egg in many recipes.
process of making egg nog

How to Make Homemade Eggnog

These are the basic steps for making delicious homemade eggnog. Get out your wire whisk, it’s easier than you think!

  1. Whisk egg yolks in a large bowl until pale in color and slightly foamy.
  2. Heat milk and spices in a large pot.
  3. Add a bit of the heated milk to the egg yolks to temper them (more on tempering below). This keeps the eggs from ‘scrambling’.


Be sure not to boil the egg mixture, heat just until the temperature of the mixture reaches 160°F on a thermometer (or until thickened if you don’t have a thermometer).

cooling Homemade Eggnog Recipe in an ice bath
  1. Heat mixture until thickened and move to an ice bath (I do this in my kitchen sink).
  2. Add flavors/spirits and refrigerate overnight.

Egg nog is perfect for enjoying during the holiday season. Garnish with whipped cream, a small dash of nutmeg, and a cinnamon stick or a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.

Why and How to Temper Eggs

Tempering eggs (image below) is a way to add eggs to a hot mixture without having them scramble or get lumpy. It keeps the mixture smooth and allows the eggs to thicken the mixture.

To temper eggs, whisk eggs until they become a pale yellow color. Add about 1/2 cup of hot liquid while whisking to slowly increase the temperature of the eggs. Now add the egg mixture back into the remaining hot mixture and cook until thickened.

tempering eggs for egg nog

The Best Rum Alternatives

If you’re looking to add some alcohol to this traditional eggnog recipe, rum is a favorite. Alternatively, bourbon, brandy, or Southern Comfort are great options. For a festive twist, you could even add a couple of tablespoons of Amaretto, Bailey’s Irish Cream, or nutty Frangelico to each mug.

For a delicious twist on the classic eggnog recipe, try adding Irish Cream Liquor make a spiked eggnog latte!

Make it Alcohol Free

To Make This Alcohol Free, simply skip the rum or add in a bit of rum extract (1 teaspoon in the whole batch should do).

a glass of egg nog

How to Store Homemade Eggnog

Homemade eggnog should not linger for hours at room temperature. If you’re serving it in a punchbowl, put it in an ice bath, or just return the pitcher to the fridge after an hour.

Every winter celebration will be complete when you serve eggnog. Now let’s raise a cup of eggnog, dear, for Auld Lang Syne!

More Holiday Drinks

Have you tried this eggnog? Leave a comment and rating below and tag us on Instagram!

egg nog in a jug
5 from 23 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Homemade Eggnog Recipe

A quick and easy holiday classic made with milk, cream, fresh eggs, and warm spices.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 1 day
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings



  • 10 egg yolks
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup dark rum * optional
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


  • Prepare an ice bath big enough to put the bottom of the saucepan in (I use the kitchen sink).
  • Whisk egg yolks until light in color and slightly foamy.
  • Combine milk, sugar, cloves and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan. Whisk over medium heat until hot but not boiling.
  • Scoop about 2 cups of the hot milk mixture into the eggs a little bit at a time whisking after each addition.
  • Pour the warm egg mixture into the milk and whisk over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, place in ice bath and whisk 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in cream, rum and vanilla. Chill at least 24 hours.
  • Serve over ice with a dash of nutmeg.


To Make This Alcohol Free Simply skip the rum or add in a bit of rum extract (1 teaspoon should do).
Do not boil the egg mixture, heat until the temperature of the mixture reaches 160°F on a thermometer (or until thickened).
Homemade eggnog will keep covered for about 3 days in the fridge.
Dark rum is our favorite spike for eggnog, we use about 1 cup but start with half and after tasting, add more if you’d like. Other spirits will enhance your eggnog equally well. Bourbon, brandy, or Southern Comfort are great alternatives.
Eggnog can be served chilled (over ice), hot, or even in a latte!
5 from 23 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 447 | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 317mg | Sodium: 81mg | Potassium: 219mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 1178IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 200mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Beverage, Drink
Cuisine American
jug of Homemade Eggnog Recipe with cinnamon sticks and a title
jug of Homemade Eggnog Recipe with a title
Homemade Eggnog Recipe with a cinnamon stick and writing
close up of Homemade Eggnog Recipe in glasses with writing
jug of Homemade Eggnog Recipe and with cinnamon sticks and writing


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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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    1. Hi Amy, we have only made this recipe as listed but if you want to try ground spices I would start with ½ to ¾ teaspoon of ground cloves and ¼ to ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon.

  1. Unpopular question I’m sure, but is there any substitution for the rum? Or will it just be a thicker result? Thanks!

    1. You can leave out the rum, the consistency should be just fine. If you’d like to add flavor without the rum you can add a little bit of rum extract or brandy extract. You can also find this info in the post.

      Other spirits will enhance your eggnog equally well. Bourbon, brandy or Southern Comfort, Amaretto, Bailey’s Irish Cream or Frangelico are alternatives. To Make This Alcohol Free Simply skip the rum or add in a bit of rum extract (1 teaspoon should do).

  2. My husband loves eggnog and I’m going to try making it for him. As I was reading over your list of ingredients and directions I couldn’t find where or when to add the 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream. Does it go in with the milk and spices?5 stars

  3. Is it possible to make a lactose free version of this recipe? I’m thinking of replacing oat milk for the whole milk, but i’m Not sure what to use to replace the heavy cream… any suggestions?

    1. I haven’t tried it with lactose free but I do think it would work well. As for the heavy cream, some stores do sell lactose free cream. You could also leave it out, the mixture is nice and thick without it. Let us know how it goes!

    1. I most often use them for breakfasts and make egg muffins which freeze and reheat well. Believe it or not, they can be cooked and chilled and then served in an egg salad (or added to salads in place of hard boiled eggs).

      They can be scrambled or made into egg white omelettes and raw egg whites freeze well too!! Hope that helps!