Thick and creamy with a hint of spice, our classic eggnog recipe is the perfect festive drink. Enjoy it with or without alcohol to celebrate Christmas.
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Place the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl. Whisk for 1-2 mins or until thick and pale.
Place the milk and half the cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat.
Slowly pour the hot milk mixture onto the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour into a clean saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 mins or until froth on top subsides and mixture thickens slightly, to the consistency of pouring cream. Do not let it boil.
Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, mixed spice and cinnamon. Set aside, stirring occasionally, for 30 mins or until just warm. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight to allow flavours to develop and mixture to chill.
Stir the brandy or rum into the custard mixture.
Use an electric mixer to whisk the egg whites until firm peaks just form. Add half the egg white to the custard mixture and gently whisk to combine. Repeat with remaining egg white.
Use a clean electric mixer to whisk the remaining cream in a medium bowl until soft peaks form.
Ladle or pour eggnog into small serving cups. Top with whipped cream and dust lightly with nutmeg to serve.
If you would prefer not to use raw egg whites, these can be omitted. It will just have a less frothy texture.
COOK. STORE. SAVE.
Clever storage: Both the vanilla and brandy in this spiked eggnog should be stored in a cool dark place away from direct sunlight, which may affect their quality.
Use it up: The leftover egg whites can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days and used to make mini pavlovas with stone fruit.
Cold, creamy and gently spiked with nutmeg and alcohol, homemade eggnog is a Christmas favourite for good reason. With its rich and luxurious flavour, spiced eggnog is used to toast prosperity and good fortune for the coming year. Our version of this seasonal cocktail has it all – a chilled custardy base lightened by whipped egg whites that lend a frothy, almost effervescent, texture. Flavoured with heady vanilla and warm spices, you can add the alcohol of your choice in our eggnog recipe, or leave it booze-free for all the family to enjoy. The silly season isn’t complete without a cocktail in hand. For more drink ideas, make our spiced white hot chocolate, or go all out with your Christmas cheer and whip up Santa super shakes for the kids. Check out our collection of drink recipes for further inspiration.
At its essence, it is chilled custard that’s made to drink rather than drizzle over pudding. Eggnog origins are thought to be in mediaeval England. Because nearly all the ingredients in a traditional eggnog recipe, especially eggs and milk, were scarce or unattainable at the time, drinking eggnog was only enjoyed by the wealthy. It symbolised luxury, also because spices were mainly grown in places far away from Europe and were expensive to transport. Eggnog spices like nutmeg and cinnamon were worth more than their weight in gold and were thought to bring prosperity. Sugar, too, was referred to as ‘white gold’ and vanilla is still known as the ‘queen’ of spices. By the time it made its way to America these basics were more affordable as was the ubiquitous rum, making easy eggnog a drink for all. Where the term came from is unknown – the ‘nog’ may refer to a type of cup or ‘grog’, which was an old sailor’s drink of rum and water. These days eggnog ingredients are readily available.
As it is a festive drink don’t skimp when it comes to the ingredients in eggnog. No low-fat milk or cream is to be used here! Here are some other great tips:
Make sure you stir the custard over low heat for long enough to cook out the eggy taste. How do you know when the custard is cooked? It should coat the back of a spoon.
Add the spices while the mixture is still warm for them to infuse throughout the custard. The mixture needs to be refrigerated for at least three hours or even up to a few days to help the texture become silky and the flavours develop.
If you’re making an alcoholic eggnog, it’s best to stir the booze in just before serving to keep it prominent in the flavour profile.
The egg whites need to be folded through the custard gently and in batches to ensure the texture stays light and fluffy.
In our Christmas eggnog, we use brandy or golden rum but feel free to use whatever alcohol you like. Sherry was originally used for the flavour so try it or add bourbon or fireball whisky. Liqueurs like Cognac or Grand Marnier can also be added for an extra decadent touch.
For a smooth and lump-free eggnog drink, it is important to ‘temper’ the eggs. Tempering is a way of adding the hot milk to the cold eggs. The milk should be poured over the eggs slowly while whisking constantly. Once it has all been incorporated, transfer the mixture to a clean saucepan and stir until thickened.
This recipe can easily be doubled or more if you want to serve it at a Christmas party. It needs to stay chilled, so keep a couple of backup batches in the fridge. You may want to serve it in a punch bowl. This not only looks impressive but is practical, too, as the ladle can be used to give it a good stir now and then if the mixture starts to separate. Don’t be tempted to add small ice cubes, as these will melt quickly and dilute the mixture. You could add one large block of ice or place ice cubes in the punch bowl and a smaller decorative serving bowl on top. Pour the drink mixture into the smaller bowl where it will remain chilled.
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