Serves a Crowd

"Spirits" of the Holidays Eggnog

October 24, 2014
9 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Prep time 24 hours 10 minutes
  • Serves a crowd
Author Notes

When I first came up with this recipe, my mother commented about the alcohol content. I felt compelled to remind her that I had never consumed any alcohol until I was in my mid-30s. Her reply: "Well, you appear to be making up for lost time." The first Christmas after she passed away, I felt extremely melancholy. My siblings all live in different areas of the country, and it would be the first Christmas we would all be apart. To brighten things up, I took out my mother's recipe book and got to work. I sent each sibling 12 packages, each containing an edible gift from her collection, along with a bottle of this eggnog. I included the original recipes and the memory (there was always a memory) attached to each. It was a lot of work, great fun, and NOTHING could have pleased them more!

This makes a very large amount, so take into consideration your refrigerator space for chilling. I like to bottle it and give it away during the holidays. You can always omit the alcohol, especially the rum. But, the apple brandy really works well. —Chef Lisa

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe was a hit all around. I made a half batch, which yielded close to 4 quarts, so this is definitely a recipe for a party. It was super easy to make, and I love the use of apple brandy -- that's something I haven't found in any other eggnog recipes, and it definitely added a complexity and slight fruitiness to the nog that elevated it to fancy party drink. It had just the right amount of alcohol, not too boozy and not cloyingly sweet. It's balanced, surprisingly light in taste and texture, and very easy to drink. —Annie "Smalls"

What You'll Need
  • 12 eggs, separated
  • 3 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups apple brandy
  • 1 cup light rum
  1. In a very large bowl, beat the egg yolks.
  2. Gradually add the sugar, cream, and half-and-half.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks, then fold in the cream mixture.
  4. Add the liquors and nutmeg. Stir gently.
  5. Chill for at least 24 hours.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Scott Silverman
    Scott Silverman
  • Chef Lisa
    Chef Lisa
  • Kt4
  • inpatskitchen
  • creamtea

21 Reviews

Janet December 12, 2022
I made this with 1/2 cup less sugar and combo of dairy that I had on hand. First sip was heavenly, but after resting in the fridge for 24 hours, it was undrinkably sweet (and I like sweet things). I even bought bottles to give it away, but had to dump it all out. I recommend making a small batch (like with 3 eggs) and letting it rest for 24 hours to adjust sugar to your taste. It definitely got sweeter overnight.
Robin F. December 5, 2022
Very delicious and much better than out of the carton! Thank you!
Mlcmd December 5, 2022
I’m having a hard time making the math work. Is the recipe that’s published designed to make a full batch or the half batch that author Annie Smalls made. She describes making 4 quarts(128ounces) but the liquid volume including estimating 1.5 oz/ egg only adds up to 86 oz. It would really help to be certain so that you could adjust it to scale. Thanks
jpriddy December 5, 2022
I'm having trouble with your math. A large egg is at least 3 fluid ounces, so a dozen eggs would be around 36 ounces before beating + 68 ounces of the other liquids (8.5 cups/dairy and booze) + the sugar would mostly dissolve without boosting volume, but that's already 104 ounces before beating the eggs to froth. Four quarts sounds about right.
jpriddy December 5, 2022
Fluid ounces to make quarts vs. pounds? I think that must be it. You need to think volume, not weight.
shannon December 5, 2022
I would LOVE to send this in a care package. How did you do it? It's fine unrefrigerated??
Chef L. December 6, 2022
I packed mine in an ice chest with cold packs inside and shipped overnight service. Yes, needs refrigeration.
Scott S. December 27, 2019
My family loved this! A number said it was the best egg nog they’d ever had – and I would agree. Whipping the egg whites and folding them in was a brilliant move to create a wonderfully light and creamy texture. I also used whole milk and heavy cream to cut down on fat a bit and it was still delicious.

My only gripe was the sweetness. I actually added a half cup less sugar than was called for (3c instead of 3.5c) and it was still a bit sweet to my taste. Next time I’ll add a full cup of sugar less. Definitely a keeper!
Chef L. December 6, 2022
I use much less too.
Chef L. December 22, 2015
Madison, I put it in wide-mouthed jars so I can get a bit of the froth. It will keep refrigerated for up to a week.
madison December 9, 2015
How did you bottle it and how does it keep?
Chef L. December 19, 2014
To be honest, I've never used pasteurized eggs, but I would assume it would be fine. I'll try it next time.
Kt4 December 19, 2014
Do pasteurized eggs perform well for this?
Estelle G. December 5, 2022
I would ONLY use pasteurized eggs for this recipe. If you use unpasteurized eggs, you're potentially infecting those who partake with salmonella! It's NOT safe to eat/drink uncooked eggs!
Chef L. December 6, 2022
Chef L. December 19, 2014
Jacob, I don't fold the whites in entirely. I leave "pillows" in the mixture. I do give a stir after it has chilled, but not much of one.
Jacob December 18, 2014
Maybe I am just missing something. But if you fold in the two mixtures how do you end up with a cocktail so wonderfully seperated?
Chef L. December 11, 2014
Thanks to all. The "story" is genuine!
inpatskitchen December 11, 2014
I love this! And what a wonderful story!!
creamtea December 2, 2014
I love the story!
mrslarkin December 2, 2014
What a lovely story. And the recipe sounds divine!