Today’s eggnog recipe marks the opening of this year’s holiday season. It’s silky, frothy, and comforting— all you need to get you through this winter.
What Is Eggnog?
Eggnog is a type of alcoholic, dairy-based beverage. The drink mainly consists of sugar and egg yolks cooked in milk, cream, and a touch of alcoholic spirits.
Whipped egg whites can also be mixed into the custard-like mixture— giving the drink a frothy texture. To finish, the drink is garnished with warm spices and served warm or chilled.
Traditionally, eggnog is a comforting holiday beverage as it is enjoyed especially during the Christmas season.
Is This Eggnog Healthy?
Our eggnog recipe does contain alcohol— it would be misleading to claim this drink is completely healthy.
That being said, we do follow USDA guidelines and limit the amount of alcohol in this recipe. According to their guidelines, the limit for 80 proof distilled alcohol is 1.5 fl oz per drink per day.
Our eggnog only contains 0.25 fl of 80 proof rum per serving. We recommend having only one drink to ensure you don’t exceed your alcohol limit.
In addition, we limit the amount of added sugar in this recipe to only a ½ tablespoon of sugar per drink. This is to help you avoid consuming too much sugar and too many excess calories.
Our eggnog contains 162 calories per serving. One serving yields about ⅔ cup of eggnog.
2. Is It Good for Weight Loss?
As previously mentioned, eggnog contains mostly eggs, dairy, and alcohol— giving it a high amount of saturated fat and calories. Technically, eggnog may not be suitable for those who are on a diet.
However, you can make it more diet-friendly by customizing the recipe. Here’s how you do it:
Use low-fat milk: Whole milk and other dairy products tend to be high in saturated fat. Using low-fat milk can lower your calorie and saturated fat intake.
Reduce the sugar: Sugar contributes to your calorie and carb intake. We use 2 tablespoons of sugar for a 4-serving recipe, but you can cut it down to 1 ½ tablespoons and still have that hint of sweetness.
Reduce or omit the alcohol: Like sugar, alcohol is a source of calories and carbs. It would be best to reduce or leave it out if you follow a strict diet. A quick search can also help you come up with healthier substitutions.
Here are the main ingredients in our eggnog recipe:
Dairy: We only use milk, but you can also add heavy cream.
Eggs: For today’s recipe, we only use egg yolks.
Spirits: Dark rum (optional.)
Spices: Clove, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.
Customize the Recipe to Your Taste
Our recipes are carefully planned and put together to give you healthier but still tasty food and drinks. They can, however, be used as a starting point to work from, and you can customize them as you see fit.
We use whole milk for today’s recipe, but you can use whichever type of milk you prefer.
If you’re trying to cut down on your calorie consumption, you can use 1% fat or skimmed milk. For those who are lactose-intolerant, we recommend using either almond or cashew milk.
2. Egg Whites
Traditionally, a good cup of eggnog often has a layer of foam on top of it. This layer is made from egg whites.
To make that foamy layer, start by whisking egg whites and sugar until stiff. After that, gently fold the silky egg whites into the cooled eggnog.
The whipped egg whites will enhance the drink’s texture, giving it a luscious, light and frothy consistency.
The most common spice mix for eggnog includes cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. That being said, other spices such as cardamom, clove, ginger, or even pumpkin pie spice are also excellent for this warm drink.
Types of Alcohol for This Drink
1. Dark Rum
This particular type of rum has a complex taste. It carries a scent of caramelized sugar, as well as an earthy, woody flavor, and a sharp, slightly bitter taste.
The bitterness is almost invisible when mixed with eggnog, leaving only the smell of caramel behind in every sip.
Brandy is a type of distilled alcohol with a mix of fruity, flowery, and citrusy flavors. If you add brandy to eggnog, it would be best to serve it chilled with ice to complement their flavors.
3. Flavored Liqueurs
We want to introduce two types of liqueur that we think you’ll love in your eggnog: Kahlúa and Baileys.
Kahlúa is a type of Mexican coffee liqueur. It adds a strong coffee aroma and a hint of sweetness that will pair flawlessly with your eggnog.
Baileys, on the other hand, is a type of liqueur made from Irish whiskey, cream, and cacao. Add this to your eggnog, and it will be extra rich, creamy, and flavorful with a touch of alcohol.
Can You Make Vegan Version?
Yes, you can. Here’s how you make a vegan-friendly “nog”:
Leave out non-vegan ingredients: particularly in today’s recipe, granulated sugar, egg yolks, and whole milk.
Look for vegan alternatives: we recommend using cashew milk and agave or maple syrup. You may also want to look for vegan-friendly alcohol as well.
Thicken the texture: you can mix in flour or cornstarch to the drink and heat it up to cook. Or, blend warm cashew milk with freshly roasted cashews for an extra thick consistency.
Tips for Making
Here are a few things to keep in mind when making eggnog:
Don’t boil the milk: you want the milk to heat up gently over low heat. When you notice steam coming off of the milk, it’s warm enough.
Don’t put hot milk into eggs all at once: it’s best to put it in one ladle at a time. If you put all the milk into the eggs, the eggs will be cooked too quickly and become scrambled.
You can make the drink more aesthetically pleasing by decorating the glasses. Use a dampened paper towel to lightly wet the rim of your serving glasses and dip them into cinnamon powder.
The cinnamon powder will stick to the rim of the glass, creating a nice visual effect. It also gives you an extra kick of cinnamon with every sip.
Can You Freeze It?
Yes, you can. However, we wouldn’t recommend freezing homemade eggnog.
Freezing homemade eggnog can prolong its shelf life for about a month, but it will not guarantee the flavor.
The other issue is that eggnog has a silky, frothy texture thanks to the air bubbles that form when you whisk it. Freezing eggnog will destroy all those tiny air bubbles, ruining the drink’s texture.
On the other hand, store-bought eggnog freezes well and can last 3 to 6 months, depending on the expiration date.
Our homemade eggnog can last from 3 to 5 days in the fridge, provided you store it properly.
We recommend keeping the drink in a clean airtight jar or bottle. Before you need to store any leftovers, wash the container clean and rinse it with hot water before leaving it to dry completely.
It’s important to properly and sterilize your container so that whatever food or drink you’re storing can last longer. Also, it would be best if you also allowed your eggnog to cool before putting it in said container.
If you put warm eggnog into a bottle and seal it, it releases steam and the steam will be trapped. This will cause moisture build-up inside of the container, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to grow.
So, to store eggnog properly, leave it to cool before putting it in an airtight container and into the fridge.
Heat the milk: in a small saucepan, add 2 cups whole milk and heat over very low heat for 5 minutes. The milk should be warm and not boiling.
Whisk the egg yolks: while the milk is heating, add 3 large egg yolks and 2 tbsp granulated sugar into a mixing bowl. Whisk vigorously for 3-5 minutes or until frothy.
Temper the egg: slowly add the warm milk to the egg yolk, ladle by ladle, whisking constantly. Repeat with the rest of the milk.
Cook the eggnog: once finished, add the mixture back in the saucepan and put it back on the stove over very low heat. Add 1/2 tsp ground cloves, 1/2 tsp ginger powder and 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring gently and constantly. Turn off the heat. Add 1 fl oz 80-proof rum, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and 1/2 tsp nutmeg. Stir to combine.
Serve: divide the eggnog into 4 glasses and serve hot. Or refrigerate and serve chilled with ice.
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 162Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 4g
Vitamin A 386IU
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Lizzie Streit is a Minneapolis-based dietitian and founder of It’s a Veg World After All. She completed her MS in Human Nutrition from Drexel University, and is an expert in culinary nutrition, recipe development, and nutrition communications. Lizzie’s philosophy is centered around making nutrition recommendations, and especially the advice to eat more vegetables, approachable and realistic. She is excited to be working with the team at Healthy Recipes 101 to ensure that their recipes are both nutritious and delicious.
The recipe is simple and includes ingredients like eggs, sugar, cream, and nutmeg. Perfect for celebrating the festive season with your family and friends.