Warm Eggnog

December 22, 2010
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

I grew up on a street where there were many little girls my age to play with. Every Christmas, the parents of my friend, Susan, had a large party. I can remember being in my Florence Eiseman Christmas dress, under her mother's grand dining room table with my friends. We were all very into Harriet The Spy at the time. Through a little trial and error, we discovered that the spot underneath the punch bowl filled with boozy eggnog was the best place to overhear entertaining conversations.

This recipe for warm, boozy homemade egg nog will wet your whistle and keep you warm. You cannot beat the combination of fresh eggs, whole milk, sugar, nutmeg, and cognac. The flavor of the cognac will shine through, so use the best. Cheers. —Waverly

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Waverly is a long-time Food52 member with 2 contest wins under her belt.
WHAT: A not-so-heavy eggnog you'll want to cup with both hands.
HOW: Combine warmed milk, cream, and vanilla with egg yolks beaten with sugar. Fold in beaten egg whites and cognac until everything is incorporated, then serve, garnish with freshly grated nutmeg, and let the party really begin.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Lighter, frothier, and more refined than your classic one-cup-and-you're-out eggnog, this playful variation will keep the party going strong. The cognac shines through in every sip, so be sure to crack open the good stuff. —The Editors

  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 6 to 8
  • 8 large eggs, yolks and whites separated and reserved
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups, whole milk
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup French cognac
  • 1 fresh whole nutmeg, grated
In This Recipe
  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks on high speed until thick and creamy. Add sugar and beat on high again until very light, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add salt and beat to combine. Set aside. In another large bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the milk, cream, and vanilla over medium heat. Do not boil. When small bubbles begin to appear, whisk the hot milk into the yolk mixture. Add the beaten whites and the cognac and stir until everything is incorporated.
  3. Fill a punch bowl and let everyone serve themselves, or pour egg nog into serving cups and sprinkle a generous amount of freshly grated nutmeg on top. Drink hot.

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Waverly used to be a lawyer and is now a mother 24/7. She has made a commitment to cooking for her family and absolutely loves it even when her family does not. She is teaching them, one meal at a time, to enjoy wholesome homemade food. She abhors processed food but recognizes its insidious nature and accepts the fact that her children will occasionally get some Skittles, Doritos, or the like. Her philosophy and hope is that if she teaches them well at home, they will prefer wholesome healthy foods when they go out into the world without her.