Homemade eggnog recipe

The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

Prep: 8 hrs 25 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 8 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Yield: 16 cocktails
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
87 Calories
2g Fat
1g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 87
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 71mg 24%
Sodium 54mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 29mg 2%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 49mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Eggnog is a holiday classic and it is a favorite party drink when the Christmas season rolls around each year. While there are many ways to make eggnog, few recipes are as traditional as this one which features brandy and fresh eggs. 

Made-from-scratch eggnog is superior to any ready-to-drink, just-add-booze options that you can buy at the supermarket. It is also easier than many people have been led to believe. If you know how to beat eggs and have a basic stock of kitchen essentials, you can make great eggnog.

This is a perfect recipe for larger parties and it is one that has been enjoyed by revelers for centuries. Though it does require a bit of patience and time (no more than those baked goodies you whip up), it is well worth the effort and sure to be a crowd-pleaser.


  • 6 large eggs, separated

  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar, divided

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 cups brandy

  • 1 cup milk

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for homemade eggnog
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  2. Beat the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of the sugar with the vanilla extract, nutmeg, and salt until it is very thick and has a light yellow color.

    Beat egg yolks
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  3. Slowly beat in the brandy and milk.

    Set in pan
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  4. Cover and chill overnight in the refrigerator.

    Cover and chill
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  5. Shortly before serving, beat the egg whites to soft peaks.

    Beat egg whites
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  6. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat this mixture to soft peaks again, creating a meringue-like cream.

    Gradually beat sugar
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  7. Slowly pour this cream over the chilled brandy mixture, folding it in gently.

    Mix in brandy
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  8. Serve the eggnog in a mug, Irish coffee glass, or punch cup and grate nutmeg over the top for a garnish. Enjoy.

    Serve eggnog
    The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.


Recipe Variations

Eggnog is one of those drinks that people either love or hate and many people fall into the latter category. If you are one of those haters, explore the many eggnog recipes that are available. It is quite possible that you have not yet found the 'nog that's right for you.

  • For a gentle introduction to the world of eggnog, try a recipe with sweeter flavors and a little spice to cover up the egginess. Recipes like gingerbread eggnog and toffee eggnog will quickly change your mind about eggnog.
  • If you want to avoid eggs in your nog, that's possible too. Whip up a vegan eggnog or Puerto Rico's coquito, which prefers coconut and milk over eggs.

How Strong Is Eggnog?

Eggnog also has a reputation for being too strong and it has been known to get more than a few holiday party guests a little tipsy. In most cases, this is because the drink has too much liquor thanks to a "generous" host. This is never the best idea for punch-style drinks because your guests don't know how potent it is. It's easy for them to have one glass too many.

In this recipe, the two cups of brandy are perfect when serving about 16 small glasses of eggnog. With an 80-proof brandy, it works up to around 18 percent ABV (36 proof), which is about average for a good cocktail. Besides, most people will only have one or two glasses before turning to another drink because you can only have so much nog!