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Eggnog, also known as egg nog, is a sweetened dairy-based beverage made with milk and/or cream, sugar and beaten eggs (which gives it a frothy texture), and flavoured with ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Various liquors, such as brandy, rum, whisky, advocaat and/or liqueurs, are often added.

Eggnog may be added as a flavouring to food or drinks such as coffee and tea. Eggnog-flavoured ice cream is a seasonal product in the United States and Canada.

Left: A carton and a glass of eggnog from Montreal, called by its French name lait de poule ("hen's milk").

Eggnog is a popular drink throughout the United States and Canada, and is usually associated with winter celebrations such as Christmas and New Year. Commercial non-alcoholic eggnog is typically available only in the winter season.

Traditional eggnog typically consists of milk, sugar, spices, and raw eggs. Frequently, cream is substituted for some portion of the milk to make a richer drink. Some eggnogs add gelatin. Toppings may include vanilla ice cream, meringue, whipped cream and wide variety of garnishes, notably grated nutmeg and chocolate curls.

Eggnog can be produced from homemade recipes, or ready-made eggnog containing alcohol and "just-add-alcohol" versions are available. Whiskey, rum, brandy, bourbon or cognac are often added. Since the 1960s, eggnog has often been served cold and without spirits, both of which are significant departures from its historical origins.

It has traditionally been high in fat and cholesterol but low-fat and sugar formulations are available using skimmed or lowfat milk. In North America, a few manufacturers offer seasonally-available, soy- or rice-based alternatives for vegans and those with dairy allergies.

The ingredients in commercial eggnog vary significantly, but generally raw eggs are not included as in traditional eggnog because of safety concerns. In the home and in restaurants, traditional eggnog recipes calling for raw eggs can be made more safely by using pasteurized eggs.

Eggnog Recipe Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 240ml (1 cup + 1 tablespoon) sugar
  • 2ml (1/2 teaspoon) vanilla extract
  • 1ml ground (1/4 teaspoon) nutmeg
  • 180ml (3/4 cup) brandy
  • 80ml (1/3 cup) dark rum
  • 480ml (2 cups) cups whipping cream
  • 480ml (2 cups) milk

All liquids should be very cold. Refrigerate in advance.

Makes about 2-1/2 quarts.

Recipe Cooking and Preparation Method

  1. Beat the eggs for 2 or 3 minutes with an electric mixer at medium speed until very frothy.

  2. Gradually beat in the sugar, vanilla and nutmeg.

  3. Turn the mixer off and stir in the cold brandy, rum, whipping cream and milk.

  4. Chill.

  5. To serve, sprinkle individual servings with more nutmeg.

Notes, tips, and variations


  • Separate egg yolks from egg whites.

    1. Beat egg yolks first, allowing them to lighten in color.

    2. Gradually beat in 1 cup sugar, vanilla and nutmeg (per step 2 of main recipe above).

    3. Turn the mixer off and add liquids (per step 3 of main recipe above).

    4. Beat egg whites separately, adding 1 T sugar when peaks form. Continue beating until peaks stiffen.

    5. Whisk egg whites into the main mixture.

    6. Chill and serve (per steps 4 and 5 of main recipe above).

  • Cooked Eggnog:

    1. Heat milk/cream to scalding temp.

    2. Temper beaten/sweetened egg yolks with milk, before mixing the two.


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