"We are not measured by the trials we meet -- only by those we overcome."
- - Spencer W. Kimball
December 01, 2015
Homemade Eggnog
by Melanie Gunnell

I always know itís eggnog season when Brian volunteers to go grocery shopping for me (which he never does during normal times of the year). Itís the only way store bought eggnog makes it into our house. I loathe the stuff. But I swear Brianís veins run with eggnog from about November 1 to January 15. And of course, the boys, seeing their big, strong daddy chugging eggnog, have jumped right on board.

Apparently because eggnog-buying season overlaps with wrestling season, they have somehow made the association that drinking eggnog ensures faster take downs, better whizzers, swifter double legs and tighter gut-wrenchers.

I seriously have no idea what I just said.

Anyway, I decided to try my hand at homemade eggnog, wondering if I would like it better than store bought. A few disclaimers: I knew right off I wasnít going to make it with raw eggs. I wanted a version that I could serve to my little kids and also to my favorite 80-year old Yugoslavian friend without any of them having to sign a waiver about the risk of salmonella.

I also knew I was going to make a non-alcoholic version since quite simply, I donít drink alcohol and neither do my kids. I wanted this to be a family event.

The Making and Drinking of The Eggnog.

So if either of those things have you crying ďunauthenticĒ then we probably need to part ways for this post. After several tries and variations, in the end, I loved this. Really loved it. It is thick and creamy with a rich flavor from the egg yolks and a delicious fragrant taste of nutmeg.

Because nutmeg is the only spice used here, I implore you to grate your own. The difference between already ground nutmeg and freshly ground is pretty amazing. I use my rasp grater (the same thing I zest my lemons and limes with); small spice jars of whole nutmeg are fairly easy to find in a well-stocked grocery store.

You are probably wondering what the boysí verdict is on this homemade version. Of course the kids gulped it down ó I mean, itís sweet and creamy, whatís not to love?

Brian, the eggnog connoisseur, liked it but said it was missing the classic taste heís grown accustomed/addicted to (uh, honey, thatís the artificial pencil shavings and paint extract they added to your store bought stuff to make it last longer).

Either way, this is much more my style. It tastes clean and fresh and so very, very creamy, plus the nutmeg flavor really shines and it makes me nerdily happy to have a homemade version that all of us can enjoy together.

I think when Brianís not looking, Iím going to pour this into his empty eggnog carton and see if he really can tell a difference. The dead giveaway will probably be when he catches me guzzling it from the carton since thatís never happened in the history of ever (chocolate milk? yes. eggnog? no way).

So now Iím curious: are you an eggnog lover or hater?

Homemade Eggnog
Yield: Makes about 3 1/2 cups of eggnog

I use 1% milk when making this ó you could probably get away with anything from skim to whole milk. I happen to really love nutmeg ó if you think the full 1 1/2 teaspoons might be a bit overwhelming, knock it down to 1 teaspoon to start and add more after tasting, if needed.


  • 6 large egg yolks

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 2 cups milk

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg (see above)

  • Pinch of salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/8 teaspoon rum extract (optional)


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until light and creamy.

  2. In a saucepan, bring the cream, milk, nutmeg and salt to a bare simmer, stirring often. Slowly ladle in 1/2 cup or so of the hot milk to the egg mixture, whisking vigorously to avoid little bits of cooked egg. This will temper the eggs so they don't scramble when cooked on the stovetop. Ladle in another 1/2 cup, whisking vigorously the entire time. Do this until all the hot milk has been added to the eggs and the mixture is well combined.

  3. Pour the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan of milk on the stove, whisking quickly, and cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it reaches 160 degrees F on a thermometer.

  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and rum extract (if using).

  5. Pour the eggnog into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Recipe Source: adapted from various sources until I liked the result (including Alton Brownís recipe and one from Cuisine at Home)

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About Melanie Gunnell

Melanie Gunnell is a food-loving, chocolate-obsessed mom who has a desperate need to share her favorite tried-and-true recipes with the world. In a past life she graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in public health, but for the past ten years, stay-at-home motherhood has been her job along with blogging-from-home for the past five.

She resides in the brilliantly cold tundra of Northern Minnesota with her husband and their brood of five children: four boys and one tiny, bossy girl. Dark chocolate (particularly the act of shoving chocolate chips in her mouth whilst hiding in the pantry) is her coping skill of choice for both the never-ending winters and the never-ending wrestling matches in her front room.


Calling(s): Primary pianist, CTR 6/7 Primary teacher, Activity Day leader

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