Egg Nog

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Well, folks, it’s time of year again. I repost this recipe every year because I’m a man on a mission. You see, I love egg nog, but I can’t stand the thick, gelatinous goop they sell at the grocery store. Even if you were to cut it with alcohol, it’s still so overly-pasteurized and full of preservatives that it would be anything but enjoyable to slug down at a Christmas party. So a few years ago, I set about concocting the simplest, tastiest Egg Nog recipe I could, and after many trials and errors, here’s what I came up with.

In terms of cocktail history, Egg Nog is nothing more than a brandy or rum (or both) flip made with the addition of cream or milk. The 1862 Bar-Tender’s Guide by Jerry Thomas calls for a nog made up of a tablespoon of bar sugar, a tablespoon of water, a whole egg, cognac, rum and milk, shaken and strained, with some nutmeg grated on top. The problem I have with Thomas’ recipe is all the extra water that comes from the melting of the ice, not to mention that extra half ounce he calls for. Watery egg nog, anyone? Yeah, no thanks.

So I did a lot of research, in cookbooks and on the web, and tried a bunch of different recipes and methods. Some called for cooking the eggs into sort of a custard, but that’s a heck of a lot of work and results in something that can only be described as thick glop. Others required separating the eggs, beating them independently, and folding them together. But again, it’s too thick and I’m too lazy.

This is the recipe I devised (see at the bottom of the post). It can be made in just about any home or bar, since the ingredients are fairly simple. It can be done entirely in a blender, so there are no whisks or beaters or rubber spatulas or stovetops needed. It yields two healthy servings, so you can easily multiply it to serve more. It doesn’t use a ton of heavy cream, so it’s fairly light. In other words, it’s practically perfect.

One note about blenders. This recipe works great in home blenders, but the commercial models are designed to heat whatever they’re blending, which can result in scrambled eggs by the time you get around to the sugar. If you’re using a Vita-Mix or similar commercial blender, cut that initial blend time down to a quarter minute or so, or if your blender is multi-speed, set it to the lowest possible setting.

Clyde Common Egg Nog

Our tequila-sherry egg nog at Clyde Common has been so overwhelmingly popular that I figured I’d share the recipe here. It’s based on my original egg nog recipe from years back, just slightly modified to incorporate the lower-alcohol sherry into the mix.

Añejo Tequila and Amontillado Sherry Egg Nog

12 large eggs
18 oz (by volume) superfine or baker’s sugar (NOT powdered!)
3 tsp freshly-grated nutmeg
12 oz anejo tequila
15 oz Amontillado sherry
36 oz whole milk
24 oz heavy cream

In a blender or stand mixer on low speed, beat eggs until smooth. Slowly add nutmeg, and sugar until incorporated and dissolved. Slowly add sherry, tequila, milk and cream. Refrigerate overnight and serve in small chilled cups. Dust with fresh nutmeg before serving.

Makes one gallon.

Eggnog on the Small Screen Network

Here, here’s a video of me rambling on about egg nog which you might find helpful. Or not.

Eggnog in the New York Times Cookbook

I’m humbled to say that my eggnog recipe is featured in the New York Times Cookbook, one of the bibles of cooking out there. Amanda Hesser did a beautiful job of reediting Craig Claiborne’s original 1961 edition and updating it with some more current recipes and techniques. I’m proud to say that my recipe is featured alongside Craig’s, as a sort of modern interpretation of the older technique. Pick up a copy here, it’s indispensable in any kitchen.

Eggnog on the Local News

I got the opportunity to make Eggnog (without making a massive mess) on KGW, the local NBC affiliate here in Portland. Watch below while I make a couple of drinks and scare the heck out of the anchors when I run a blender with an open top (a major no-no, I know, but supposedly I’m a professional)

Egg Nog Print Me

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 oz/90 ml (by volume) superfine or baker's sugar (NOT powdered!)
  • 2 oz/60 ml brandy
  • 2 oz/60 ml spiced rum (I use Sailor Jerry’s)
  • 6 oz/180 ml whole milk
  • 4 oz/120 ml heavy cream
  • Whole nutmeg cloves, for garnish
  1. Beat eggs in blender for one minute on medium speed.
  2. Slowly add sugar and blend for one additional minute.
  3. With blender still running, add brandy, rum, milk and cream until combined.
  4. Chill thoroughly to allow flavors to combine and serve in chilled wine glasses or champagne coupes, grating nutmeg on top immediately before serving.

Recipe printed courtesy of

142 Replies to “Egg Nog”

  • Tammy and Alison – Of course. Just make sure you keep it refrigerated at all times.

  • Cory says:

    I’ve made this a year or 2 ago, but now I’m making a gallon batch next week. I have spiced rum and no brandy – would this work out ok? Would some Amarula I have in my fridge make a (better) difference? Or Jack Daniel’s Honey? Just wondering if you had any input – I think the JD Honey would make it good. And Amarula already has cream…

  • Pearsall Smith says:

    Jeffrey- discovered your recipe last year and found it to be the most fantastic egg nog ever! I’ve never been able to stomach the store-bought versions. An adult milkshake!

    Lacking the Sailor Jerry’s, I threw in some dark rum from Highwire Distillery here in Charleston. Fantastic!

  • Timo says:

    This is a kick-ass receipe. A kick-ass receipe.

    Like others, I too would recommend using less sugar, though.

    The merriest of christmases to y’all!

  • Eric says:

    Near the end of 2015 and people are still finding and making this!

    Just in case anyone’s still coming here, I was wondering if I’m doing anything wrong since I’m getting a skin/foam forming on top, and lots of little tiny curds. Blending on the lowest setting.

    Is there a way to avoid that, or is it just something you have to skim off before serving?

  • Andrew says:

    Jeff, I’m a huge fan of your work, but I’m going to have to disagree with your method here.

    What you’ve described is just an anglaise, but made with a little bit less control.

    For anyone having problems with this technique, here are a couple videos for you.

    The first is the more traditional way here –

    The second way is faster, but more prone to user error. If you don’t constantly whisk you might run into some problems. The addition of salt and them pointing out the finishing temp is ideal, and why I like this video –

    Don’t worry too much about the vanilla bean in these recipes. They are expensive and not worth it in my opinion. The difference between them and a high quality vanilla extract won’t be noticeable in the finished cocktail and I think that the vanilla bean seeds would actually detract from the look of the drink.

    Love your work though, Jeff. I’m a huge fan of your book.

    • Andrew – Thanks for the videos, but the method I’ve described here is nothing like a Creme Anglais. It is literally a Flip, with the addition of cream and milk. There is no heat applied to Egg Nog, nor should there ever be.

  • JT says:

    Jeff, I have loved all your recipes so far thank you for your generosity in posting them.

    I did have a question about your eggnog recipe. It reads like you are supposed to add the half teaspoon of nutmeg directly to the mix instead of reserving it just for the finish dusting. If this is so isn’t there a problem with the nutmeg failing to dissolve and settling out of the mixture? Perhaps using a very fine grind would help?

    Anyway, thanks again and happy holidays.

  • Bob Miller says:

    This is an awesome recipe – I’ve been using it for a few years now to rave reviews. I hope you keep up the website! By the way, what is with this “aged eggnog” thing? Hipster fad or significant improvement?

  • elle says:

    Hey there, it’s that time of year again. If ur still around, my question is – If Im only using rum and no sherry for the regular nog, do I double the amount of rum…or…?

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