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Spiked Eggnog (Easy Christmas Drink!)

Sweet, creamy, and spiced, this Spiked Eggnog is the perfect holiday drink! Learn how to make eggnog with alcohol, how to safely use raw eggs in eggnog, and more.

overhead photo of spiked eggnog with cinnamon stick garnish in two glasses on a wooden table

What Is Eggnog?

Eggnog is a creamy beverage made from milk (or cream), sugar, and eggs. Its exact origins aren’t known, but it’s believed that the English brought the drink to the New World when they sent settlers across the ocean. 

Today eggnog is primarily associated with Christmas and is one of the most popular drinks to sip during the holidays. 

Although it’s easy to find cartons of eggnog at the grocery store, the store-bought stuff often contains very little actual egg and are typically non-alcoholic. 

Homemade eggnog is richer, creamier, and boozier than anything you’ll get at the store — perfect for enjoying at an upcoming holiday party or Christmas gathering! 

In this post, I’ll explain how to make eggnog with alcohol, plus provide instructions on how to make it non-alcoholic. I’ll even explain how to pasteurize eggs for eggnog, in case drinking raw eggs isn’t an option for you. 

closeup overhead of a glass of spiked eggnog

How Is Eggnog Made? 

Eggnog can be made two different ways — with raw or cooked eggs. 

Traditional eggnog is made with raw eggs, and that’s the method I’m sharing with you today. 

To make eggnog with raw eggs, the eggs are separated into yolks and whites before both parts are beaten with sugar until frothy and then mixed with the remaining ingredients (spices, alcohol, cream, etc.). 

If drinking raw eggs isn’t your thing, you can opt to temper the egg yolks to create a “cooked” eggnog.  

To temper the eggs, the spiced cream mixture is heated on the stove and then poured a little at a time over the raw yolks to kill any bacteria they may be harboring. The main issue with this eggnog-making method is that it’s easy to curdle the eggs by mistake instead of tempering them. 

Today I’ll be sharing a traditional eggnog recipe that uses raw eggs. It’s faster and easier to prepare than cooked eggnog, and it turns out deliciously creamy every time! 

What Does Eggnog Taste Like? 

This spiked homemade eggnog is thick and creamy in texture, with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and star anise. 

It’s such a festive and comforting drink that always make me feel nostalgic around the holidays! 

Is It Safe to Drink Raw Eggs in Eggnog? 

The USDA considers it safe to use in-shell raw eggs when making eggnog, provided they’re pasteurized. 

Pasteurized eggs are eggs that have been heated to 160ºF to kill any harmful bacteria they might contain. You can find pasteurized eggs at the grocery store, or you can pasteurize eggs at home. 

You only need to purchase or pasteurize your own eggs if you’re making a spiked eggnog recipe (like this one!) that calls for raw eggs and that doesn’t involved cooking or tempering the eggnog mixture. 

Tip: If you’re pregnant, please speak to your doctor first before consuming eggnog. Even if it’s been made with pasteurized eggs, it still might not be safe for you to consume. 

How to Pasteurize Eggs for Eggnog 

I won’t lie, I don’t always pasteurize eggs before making eggnog. I’ve made it this way for years and have never had any issues! 

However, I fully understand if you would prefer to pasteurize your own eggs before proceeding with this recipe. If that’s the case, please reference my post on How to Pasteurize Eggs before making the eggnog with alcohol. 

Tools Needed to Make Homemade Eggnog 

Making homemade eggnog is quick and easy! You’ll need just a few tools to make the creamy beverage: 

  • Mixing Bowl — Be sure to use a large mixing bowl to combine all the ingredients. 
  • Whisk — For beating the eggs and sugar. 
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons — A glass measuring cup is handy for measuring liquids. 
  • Ladle — For serving the eggnog. 
photo og ingredients in spiked eggnog

Ingredients in Spiked Eggnog

This is an alcoholic eggnog recipe, although I’ve provided instructions later in this post for making the recipe non-alcoholic as well. Here’s all you’ll need to make eggnog: 

  • Pasteurized Eggs
  • Raw Cane Sugar
  • Whole Milk
  • Heavy Cream
  • Rum or Bourbon
  • Nutmeg 
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Star Anise

For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions to make this homemade eggnog recipe, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.

What Alcohol Is in Eggnog? 

Eggnog is traditionally spiked with bourbon, rum, or brandy. 

I prefer using rum or bourbon as they result in a more full-bodied eggnog. Brandy can be a little too sweet for my taste, but you may use any of the three liquors that you like. 

Tip: If you’re making a rum eggnog, opt for a dark rum rather than a white rum. A dark rum will add more flavor to the eggnog and can hold its own against the spices, cream, sugar, and eggs. 

step by step photos showing how to make homemade eggnog with rum

How to Make Eggnog with Alcohol

You don’t have to be an expert mixologist to make this easy eggnog recipe! Here’s an overview of how to eggnog comes together: 

  1. Make the eggnog base: Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites, placing them in two separate bowls. 
  2. Add ¼ cup of the sugar to the bowl with the egg yolks. Vigorously whisk until very creamy.
  3. In another mixing bowl, add the milk, heavy cream, rum or bourbon, spices, and vanilla extract. Whisk until combined. 
  4. Add the milk mixture to the egg yolk mixture and whisk until well mixed.
  5. Add the egg whites and remaining ¼ cup of sugar to a large mixing bowl. Whisk until soft peaks are formed. 
  6. Add the eggnog base to the egg white mixer. Stir to combine.

The above is simply a quick summary of this festive holiday beverage. Check out the full recipe in the free printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.

photo of a class of homemade spiked eggnog on a table with christmas ornaments

Fun Optional Garnishes

Homemade eggnog is perfect as is, but I like to add a fun garnish or two to each glass to make it even more festive. 

Try one or more of the following garnishes when serving eggnog: 

Make-Ahead Instructions 

The spiked eggnog base may be prepared up to 2 weeks in advance and stored in a bottle in the refrigerator. The alcohol content and refrigerated storage will preserve the mixture until you serve it.

If preparing this alcoholic eggnog recipe in advance, the egg whites may be frozen until you reach the step in the recipe that requires them. Make sure you thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before preparing the remainder of the recipe.

Tips for Making the Best Spiked Eggnog

  • Separating the eggs — If separating the egg yolks from the whites is a challenge for you, be sure to read my tutorial on how to separate eggs for success every time. 
  • Purchase quality rum or bourbon — You don’t need top shelf alcohol to make spiked eggnog, but you also don’t want the cheapest stuff in your drink. Buy a brand you’d otherwise be happy to drink straight. 
  • Use real vanilla extract — It’s much more flavorful than imitation vanilla! 
  • Use full-fat milk — Don’t try to cut corners by using skim milk in this recipe. For a rich and creamy eggnog, you have to use whole milk. For even creamier eggnog, replace some of the milk with heavy cream or half and half. 
  • Check your spices — Sniff your spices before adding them to the eggnog. If they don’t smell very strongly, they may have been sitting in the pantry for too long and lost their flavor. Buy new spices, if needed. 
photo of two glasses of spiked eggnog with a bottle of eggnog on a table set for christmas

FAQs

What Kind of Glass Should I Use? 

You can serve homemade eggnog in any kind of glass, but we prefer a short tumbler such as a lowball glass. A cute Christmas mug works just as well, though! 

Should Eggnog Be Served Over Ice? 

No! We prefer serving our eggnog cold, but not over ice. As the ice melts, it can make the eggnog watery. However, you’re welcome to serve your eggnog over ice if that’s your preference. 

Should Eggnog Be Refrigerated? 

Yes, store the spiked eggnog in the fridge in an airtight container, such as a bottle with a lid. You can try storing it in old rum or bourbon bottles, milk bottles, or flip top glass bottles

How Long Does Eggnog Last?

Eggnog will last up to 2 weeks if stored properly. 

Can You Freeze Eggnog? 

You can technically freeze eggnog, but I don’t recommend doing so as it can become grainy once frozen. 

Can You Use a Different Sweetener? 

Yes, you can substitute pure maple syrup for the sugar if desired. Or, you can replace it with monkfruit sweetener. I haven’t tested the latter method, but I think a 1:1 ratio would be appropriate. 

Can Eggnog Be Made Without Eggs? 

Yes, you can make a kind of mock eggnog without eggs. There’s no 1:1 substitute I can provide for the raw eggs since they’re the basis of this homemade recipe. 

However, you can look up egg-free eggnog recipes online for inspiration. Most add extra milk or cream to the eggnog mixture, plus instant pudding mix for creaminess and flavor. 

Can Eggnog Be Made Dairy-Free? 

I imagine so! Simply use full-fat versions of dairy-free milk and dairy-free cream. Just make sure you use unflavored and unsweetened non-dairy products for best results.

Can Eggnog Be Made Without Alcohol? 

Yes! Simply omit the rum or bourbon, noting that you’ll miss out on some flavor. If the eggnog tastes at all flat to you, consider adding rum extract to replace some of the lost flavor. 

Another alternative is to use alcohol-removed rum or bourbon to achieve a similar “spiked” flavor minus the alcohol. 

overhead shot of a wooden table with christmas decor and two glasses of spiked eggnog

What to Serve with Spiked Eggnog

Nothing pairs better with eggnog than Christmas cookies! 

Enjoy one or more of the following festive desserts with your homemade spiked eggnog: 

Try this Spiked Eggnog Recipe!

Next time you’re looking for a festive cocktail to serve during the holiday season, give this delicious Spiked Eggnog a try!

Did you think it was delicious? Leave a comment below and give it a review for others to see what you thought of this eggnog recipe with alcohol.

On Instagram? Share your photo and tag me with @goodlifeeats and #goodlifeeatsrecipes. I’d love to see your photo of this homemade eggnog!

More Easy Christmas Cocktails: 

This Cranberry Rosemary Shrub Cocktail is the perfect holiday cocktail! A homemade cranberry shrub with hints of black pepper, rosemary, and cinnamon is combined with bourbon and seltzer for a festive and colorful drink.

Fresh pressed apple cider, tart pomegranate juice, and Tempranillo pair with mulling spices and fresh fruit to create a fall-inspired cocktail. This Mulled Wine recipe is perfect for sipping during this autumn and winter season.

Peppermint Mocha Spiked Hot Chocolate takes traditional hot chocolate to the next level with the addition of the flavors of mocha, peppermint, and some optional Irish cream. Top it all off with Peppermint Mocha Whipped Cream and Marshmallows for an unbelievable sweet treat.

Make a batch of Christmas Wassail to serve at your next holiday party! Wassail punch can be prepared in advance and kept warm in a Crockpot all night long. 

Get into the holiday spirit by making yourself a Gingerbread Martini! This Christmas martini is made with Baileys and vodka, and it tastes just like gingerbread!  

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Spiked Eggnog

Spiked Eggnog

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Sweet, creamy, and spiced, this Spiked Eggnog is the perfect holiday drink! Learn how to make eggnog with alcohol, how to safely use raw eggs in eggnog, and more.       

Ingredients

  • 6 Yolks
  • 6 Egg Whites
  • 1/2 cup Raw Cane Sugar, divided
  • 3 cups Whole Milk
  • 1 3/4 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 cup Rum or Bourbon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Star Anise

Garnishes (optional)

  • Grated Nutmeg
  • Star Anise
  • Cinnamon Stick

Instructions

Preparing the Spiked Eggnog Base

  1. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites, placing the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl. Set egg whites aside in another bowl.
  2. Add ¼ cup of the sugar to the bowl with the egg yolks. Vigorously whisk until very creamy.
  3. In another mixing bowl, add the milk, heavy cream, rum or bourbon, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and vanilla extract. Whisk until combined. 
  4. Add the milk mixture to the egg yolk mixture and whisk until well mixed.
  5. If not serving immediately: Transfer this mixture to a storage container with a lid, such as a large jar or bottle, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks before serving. Freeze the egg whites until you plan to proceed with the recipe. Make sure you thaw them before the below.

Before Serving the Eggnog

  1. Add the egg whites and remaining ¼ cup of sugar to a large mixing bowl. Whisk until soft peaks are formed. You may use a wire whisk or an electric hand mixer.
  2. Then, add the eggnog base to the egg white mixer. Stir to combine.

Serving the Eggnog

  1. Place eggnog in a punch bowl and serve using a ladle.
  2. Garnish as desired.

Notes

  • The spiked eggnog base may be prepared up to 2 weeks in advance and stored in a bottle in the refrigerator. The alcohol content and refrigerated storage will preserve the mixture until you serve it.
  • If preparing in advance, egg whites may be frozen until you reach the the step in the recipe that requires them. Make sure you thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before preparing the remainder of the recipe.
  • If you fully prepare the recipe in its entirety, leftovers may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 502Total Fat 34gSaturated Fat 20gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 275mgSodium 135mgCarbohydrates 26gFiber 0gSugar 25gProtein 12g

GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy. This provided information is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

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