Egg Nog

No beverage is more associated with holiday cocktail parties than eggnog, which is a beloved beverage come the holiday season.

While it’s perfectly acceptable to purchase store-bought eggnog in the dairy case and dress it up with a favorite spirit, most eggnog recipes only feature a handful of ingredients and are quite easy to make at home.

Rum, whiskey and brandy are customary liquors to use in eggnog recipes. However, The Spruce: Eats has taste-tested them all and believes brandy tops the others for the perfect finished product.

Quick Brandy Eggnog

Makes 1 cocktail

Ingredients:

1 ounce brandy

1 ¼ ounces milk

½ ounce simple syrup

1 egg yolk

Grated nutmeg or cinnamon for garnish

Directions:

In a cocktail shaker, combine the brandy, milk, simple syrup, and egg yolk. Dry shake without ice. Fill shaker with ice, then shake vigorously for about 30 seconds to ensure the egg is well mixed. Strain into an old-fashioned or cocktail glass. Add a dash of grated nutmeg or cinnamon as a garnish.

For those who are looking for a non-alcoholic version of this holiday tradition, try this recipe from Spruce: The Eats.

Non-alcoholic Egg Nog

Ingredients:

6 large eggs

2 egg yolks

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

4 cups whole milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

¼ cup heavy cream

Garnish: additional grated nutmeg

Directions:

Combine the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and salt in a heavy 3-or 4-quart pan, whisking until well-combined. Continue whisking while pouring the milk in a slow, steady stream until completely incorporated. Place the pan over the lowest possible heat setting; stir the mixture continuously until an instant-read thermometer reaches 160 F and the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Once the mixture has thickened, strain it through a fine sieve into a large bowl. Add the vanilla extract and nutmeg, stirring to combine. Carefully pour the mixture into a container and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Refrigerate the egg custard mixture to fully chill the eggnog, at least 4 hours. When ready to serve, pour the heavy cream into a bowl and whip until it forms soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the cold custard mixture until combined.

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