How to Make Eggnog from Scratch

Leave the store-bought kind behind.

Eggnog is a holiday drink beloved by Americans, but with a history dating all the way back to 14th-century England. Today it is synonymous with Christmas parties and festive holiday gatherings. You know, like the one where your uncle had a little too much spiked eggnog? Whether you're serving it out of a punch bowl at a party, or simply making some to enjoy on a cozy December night, eggnog is just better when it's homemade.

Vitamix(R) Eggnog
Pictured: Vitamix® Eggnog | Photo by lutzflcat.

There's more than one way to take your eggnog. Take it spiked with rum or bourbon, or try it booze-free for a treat the whole family can enjoy. We love it so much we've made it into coffee creamer, breakfast food, and a plethora of festive desserts. Traditionally eggnog is aged with liquor for several weeks (even up to a year!) to both preserve and sterilize the drink, as it contains raw eggs. But for those who don't have that kind of patience (talking about myself here), this basic homemade eggnog recipe can be made the night before your Christmas party, without risk of food-borne illnesses.

How to Make Eggnog

VIDEO: Amazingly Good Eggnog

Learn step by step how to make homemade eggnog based on this Amazingly Good Eggnog recipe. Recipe creator NATALIESMOM says, "This uses cooked eggs for safety, and you can use more or less rum to taste. It's a bit of work to make, but well worth it. You'll never buy store-bought eggnog again!"


  • 4 cups milk
  • 5 whole cloves
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 12 egg yolks
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 ½ cups light rum (optional or to taste)
  • 4 cups light cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. Heat the milk mixture. In a saucepan, combine milk, cloves, ½ teaspoon vanilla, and cinnamon. Set the heat to the lowest level for five minutes, then slowly bring the mixture to a boil.
  2. Combine the mixture with egg yolks and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk the two together until they reach a light and fluffy consistency. Very slowly (to avoid scrambled eggs in your eggnog) add the hot milk mixture to your eggs and sugar, whisking it together as your pour.
  3. Cook the mixture over medium heat and let it cool. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, and cook over medium heat for three minutes, stirring constantly. Allow the mixture to reach a thick, foamy consistency, but do not boil. Strain the mixture and remove the cloves and any lumps. You'll need to let it cool for about an hour.
  4. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Add the rum (optional or to taste), 2 teaspoons vanilla, and nutmeg. Stir the mixture together.
  5. Refrigerate overnight. Refrigerate your eggnog overnight and serve. Try garnishing it with cinnamon sticks!

More Eggnog Recipes to Try:

1. Luscious Eggnog

"Having never had homemade eggnog before, I can only compare it to store bought. I will never buy store bought again! It is time consuming, but so worth it. It is best if you make it a day or two before you need it because it is good the first day, but even better the following day," says reviewer Leslie Rush.

Luscious Eggnog
Photo by Tina Enns.

2. Coquito

Recipe creator Brandy says, "Very yummy creamy tropical coconut eggnog made with spices and white rum. It is always requested at my holiday gatherings. (And sometimes gets selfishly hidden in the fridge by the hostess.) Serve in glass cups and sprinkle with more cinnamon if desired. Feliz Navidad!"

3. Easiest Eggnog

Reviewer SKICHRISY says, "I was skeptical of such a simple recipe. But, it was FANTASTIC, and only took 5 mins at the most! It's not as heavy as store-bought eggnog, so you can actually have more than one glass!"

Easiest Eggnog
Photo by sarah p.

4. Christmas Creamy Eggnog

"This was excellent! I made it the night before my morning cookie exchange and had the rum available on the side," says reviewer TJTENNESSEE.

Christmas Creamy Eggnog
Photo by Alize.
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