Chef John's Homemade Eggnog


Imagine a luxuriously textured bourbon-spiked custard being sipped through a thin layer of nutmeg-scented meringue. Based on Alton Brown's famous version, this eggnog is vastly superior to the store-bought product.

Prep Time:
5 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Additional Time:
1 hr 30 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 45 mins
4 servings


Custard Base:

  • 4 egg yolks

  • cup white sugar

  • 2 cups whole milk

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • ¾ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • 2 fluid ounces bourbon whiskey, or more to taste


  • 4 egg whites

  • 1 tablespoon white sugar

  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg


  1. Place egg yolks in a saucepan. Whisk in sugar until well blended and creamy. Add milk and cream; whisk until blended. Place pan over medium heat; whisk frequently until mixture reaches a temperature of between 170 to 180 degrees F (75 to 80 degrees C) using an instant-read thermometer. Remove from heat. Stir in nutmeg and whiskey.

  2. Chill pan in cold water until cool. Transfer mixture to a container (a large pitcher is ideal). Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, 2 to 3 hours.

  3. Place egg whites in a bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Add sugar and continue whisking until egg whites hold a firmer peak. Whisk egg whites into custard base until thoroughly blended. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

  4. Whisk eggnog again just before serving and between each pour to ensure even distribution of the egg whites which tend to float to the top. Serve with a dusting of nutmeg.

    a clear glass mug of eggnog sprinkled with nutmeg
    Chef John

Cook's Note:

Be sure to use the freshest ingredients you can find-eggs, milk, and cream--and freshly grate the nutmeg.

Editor's Note:

This recipe contains raw egg. We recommend that pregnant women, young children, the elderly, and the infirm do not consume raw egg. Learn more about egg safety from our article, How to Make Your Eggs Safe.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

463 Calories
31g Fat
28g Carbs
12g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 463
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 31g 39%
Saturated Fat 18g 89%
Cholesterol 299mg 100%
Sodium 135mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 26g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 202mg 16%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 295mg 6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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