Eggnog With Brandy, Bourbon, or Rum

Eggnog Recipe
The Spruce
  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Chill: 4 hrs
  • Servings: 12 to 16 servings

A glass of chilled eggnog, with just the right hit of booze and light sweetness, is the ultimate holiday drink. Paired with dessert or served as dessert, it's best when dusted with freshly grated nutmeg.

No need to fear raw eggs in this recipe. The eggs are gently cooked to kill any potential bacteria. The low and slow cooking not only cooks the eggs, it creates a luxurious consistency that pairs perfectly with a little brandy, bourbon, or dark rum. Since it contains alcohol, the kids will not be able to enjoy it, but here's a recipe for non-alcoholic eggnog for their enjoyment.

You will want to keep this rich and creamy eggnog on hand all through the holidays—it can easily be made ahead of time, and is actually better if it chills overnight. Just whip a little cream and fold it in just before serving. You may even want to turn it into a pie, cheesecake, or other eggnog-infused dishes.


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  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar (plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup brandy (or bourbon or dark rum)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (cold)
  • Garnish: additional grated nutmeg

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a heavy 3 or 4-quart pan, whisking until well-combined.

  3. Continue whisking while pouring milk in a slow, steady stream until completely incorporated.

  4. Turn on a burner to the lowest possible heat setting. Place pan on the heat and stir mixture continuously until an instant-read thermometer reaches 160 F and the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Be patient. This should take about 25 to 30 minutes.​

  5. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a large bowl to remove any small bits of cooked egg.

  6. Add brandy, bourbon, or dark rum, plus the vanilla extract and nutmeg. Stir to combine.

  7. Pour into a glass pitcher, decanter, or container and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Refrigerate the egg custard mixture until well chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days before serving.

  8. When ready to serve, pour the cold heavy cream into a bowl and whip until it forms soft peaks.

  9. Fold the whipped cream into the cold custard mixture until combined. Mix carefully so that you don't deflate the cream.

  10. Serve in chilled cups or glasses and garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg. Enjoy!

Recipe Variation

  • If you would like more potent eggnog and want to add more liquor, you will need to make a minor adjustment to maintain the right consistency. Simply increase the liquor amount to 1 cup and the heavy cream to 3/4 cup.