Chef John's Homemade Eggnog


  • 4egg yolks
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 fluid ounces bourbon whiskey, or more to taste
  • 4egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • Directions

  • Step 1

    Place egg yolks in a saucepan. Whisk in sugar until well blended and creamy. Add milk and cream; whisk until blended. Place pan over medium heat; whisk frequently until mixture reaches a temperature of between 170 to 180 degrees F (75 to 80 degrees C) using an instant-read thermometer. Remove from heat. Stir in nutmeg and whiskey.


  • Step 2

    Chill pan in cold water until cool. Transfer mixture to a container (a large pitcher is ideal). Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, 2 to 3 hours.

  • Step 3

    Place egg whites in a bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Add sugar and continue whisking until egg whites hold a firmer peak. Whisk egg whites into custard base until thoroughly blended. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

  • Step 4

    Whisk eggnog again just before serving and between each pour to ensure even distribution of the egg whites which tend to float to the top. Serve with a dusting of nutmeg.

  • Cook's Note:

    Be sure to use the freshest ingredients you can find-eggs, milk, and cream–and freshly grate the nutmeg.

    Editor's Note:

    This recipe contains raw egg. We recommend that pregnant women, young children, the elderly, and the infirm do not consume raw egg. Learn more about egg safety from our article, How to Make Your Eggs Safe.

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