It's only taken me, oh... about four years to get around to blogging this recipe! Every year, without fail, I say to myself, "I must get the eggnog recipe up on the site BEFORE Christmas!" And every year, Christmas comes and goes, not a photo in sight. 

Not to say that I don't make it every year, I do. In fact, since I decided to give eggnog a go and since I completely fell in love with the creamy, boozy stuff, I look forward to making it every Christmas.  

Full disclaimer, before making my own, I'd never had eggnog. South Africa isn't exactly land of the 'nog and it's not a feature here in Ireland. So, I'm not entirely sure how this fares to the stuff you'd find State side. But, I did get the recipe from a well-known American website so I'm hoping it's the real deal.

Actually, most people I've come across seem to think of it unfavourably. I'm not sure if that's down to actually trying it, maybe a cartoned variety which turned them off. Or, if it's just the idea of what eggnog is made from that grosses them out. 

To be fair, the reason this is a cooked version of eggnog is because I wasn't too enthused by the idea of drinking a raw egg amalgamation. Pretty damned stupid considering I love Tiramisu which is made using both raw egg white and yolk.  

Anyway, however my brain works, when I decided to give this stuff a try I went looking for a cooked version. I found one on the Martha Stewart website that looked promising, and turns out, it was friggin' delicious. It was the very first recipe I tried and I've been making it the same ever since. Well, it's not quite the same recipe, I swapped out dark rum for Cognac, but each to their own, and that's my own. Perhaps one year I'll try it with Honey JD, I imagine that would be seriously tasty. 

(Hah! In writing this, I've realised how silly it is to be put off by the raw variety considering I have no issues with various desserts, mousses included, that are raw egg based. So maybe, just maybe, you'll get another recipe for said eggnog next Christmas. Well. Don't hold your breath. It took me four years to post this, one can only assume I'd be just as timely with the next one ;) But, I have no excuses now. I'm embracing Ireland's Winter daylight so there's no reason I can't take a few snaps like I did for this post! But still... Don't hold me to it... :P )

If you're not sure about this as a drink, the only way I can explain it is this: it's kind of like the melted vanilla ice-cream at the bottom of your dessert bowl. It's slightly thick, creamy, sweet and smooth but instead of a vanilla flavour, it's laced with booze. In my case, Cognac. Then when serving it, a grating of nutmeg gives it a little something, a little Christmas something. I'm telling you, if you like custard or creamy cocktails and desserts, you are going to like eggnog.

The original recipe used dark rum so you could try that or even whiskey. Maybe a dash of Kahlua or Frangelico. I don't know what the eggnog rules are regarding which spirits you're supposed to use and I have no interest in researching this matter as we're in Ireland and I figure it's safe for me to bastardise the recipe with little repercussion. So, go with whatever your own preference is. Although, you add weird flavoured spirits like Sambucca at your own peril.  

Right, I finally have this crossed off my to-blog list! Yes! There are such things as Christmas miracles!

On that note, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, so go get your 'nog on!

Eggnog (cooked)

Makes 1.5l (Serves 8-10)
875ml 30 fl oz 3 1/2 cups Milk
5 5 5 Egg Yolks
150g 5 oz 3/4 cup Sugar
250ml 9 fl oz 1 cup Double Cream
175ml 6 fl oz 3/4 cup Cognac or Brandy
Nutmeg, to serve


  • Pour 500ml (17.5fl oz/2 cups) of the milk into a medium sized saucepan and heat just until it starts to steam and is nearing boiling point
  • Meanwhile, beat or whisk egg yolks with sugar in a heat-proof bowl until thick, creamy and pale in colour
  • As soon as milk is scalded, remove from heat then pour a little less than a half of the scalded milk into the egg mixture. Stir to combine
  • Tip: This is called tempering. If you add some of the hot liquid to the eggs, it brings their temperature up slowly so you don't end up with scrambled egg
  • Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, until it thicken up and coats the back of a spoon, it should look like a very thin custard
  • Remove from heat and stir in the cream
  • Tip: You can use fresh (single) or double (heavy) cream in Ireland. The original recipe calls for double cream, but our cream has a higher fat content so fresh cream is also fine to use
  • Place a sieve over a clean heat-proof bowl and pass the liquid through it to remove any lumps
  • Place in the fridge to chill
  • Tip: If you want it to cool quicker, place the bowl in an ice-bath. I find ice-baths faffy, so I don't bother. I make this early in the day so it's ready for guests in the evening, but if you're doing this last minute, an ice-bath will help!
  • Once cold, stir in the remaining milk (375ml/13 fl oz/1½ cups) and the Cognac or brandy
  • Tip: If you're using a different alcahol like whiskey or dark rum, do this to taste. The original recipe used 250ml/1 cup of dark rum, but you may want to use less of whiskey. Or not. It should be to taste
  • Pour into a lovely serving jug or punch bowl. Serve each glass with a light sprinkling of grated nutmeg


Recipe adapted from the Martha Stewart website

Other Tips:

The original recipe suggested serving each class with a dollop of softly whipped cream on top. I guess it's go big or go home! I like it as is, but if you want to add a creamy flourish, go for it.

Will keep for a few days in the fridge, so you can make this 1 or 2 days ahead of serving, which is great for getting your Christmas celebration prep done in advance.

The leftover egg whites can be used to make meringue kisses or a festive pavlova! Or, some of my Candy Cane Macarons ;) 

Posted on December 18, 2016 .