Enjoy the holiday season with a big batch of this spiced bourbon eggnog! A creamy homemade eggnog is steeped with warm spices and spiked with sweet, rich bourbon to make one decadent Christmas cocktail. Bourbon lovers will want to indulge in this eggnog all season long.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Prepared with a homemade eggnog recipe for the absolute best flavor and creamiest texture — store-bought eggnog has nothing on this drink.
- Calls for make-ahead preparation for stress-free holiday hosting.
- Serves a crowd and easily scales up for even larger parties.
Bourbon: I recommend a high-quality, mid-range bourbon. Some of my favorite bourbons for eggnog are Four Roses, Maker’s Mark, Elijah Craig, Buffalo Trace, Basil Hayden, Old Forester or Woodford Reserve. Save the expensive bourbon for sipping on its own.
Heavy cream: Make sure you get heavy cream rather than half and half for the best texture and flavor.
Milk: Like the cream, we’re going for full indulgence, so we want whole milk.
Eggs: The base of the eggnog just calls for yolks, but I like to save some egg whites to make a frothy topping.
Maple syrup: I recommend grade A maple syrup. This grade has the perfect balance of richness and sweetness.
Step 1: To start, we beat the egg yolks in a medium mixing bowl until they turn smooth (photo 1). A stand or hand mixer is much more efficient, but you can beat the eggs by hand if need be.
Step 2: In a small saucepan, we stir together the milk, heavy cream, maple syrup, cinnamon sticks, vanilla extract, nutmeg, whole cloves and pinch of salt and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat (photo 2). Once it simmers, we turn off the heat.
Step 3: At this point, we strain some of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks and whisk the mixture. We continue whisking in some of the hot cream at a time until the two fully combine. Our eggnog base is now ready, so we stir in the bourbon, cover and refrigerate to chill (photo 3).
Step 4: For our next optional step, we make a frothy egg white topping by whipping egg whites until soft peaks form. We then top each glass with the whipped egg whites and garnish with ground cinnamon and nutmeg (photo 4). The egg whites add a light finish to contrast from that thicker eggnog.
Take a sip and enjoy all those wonderful holiday flavors in a glass. This is your perfect holiday cocktail.
While I love bourbon for its sweeter flavor, you’re welcome to use a standard whiskey or another type of whiskey, such as rye. And if you have any non-bourbon drinkers, this eggnog also works well with dark rum.
With the bourbon, it will keep well for about a week in the refrigerator. Of course, I’d be shocked if it lasted that long. This bourbon eggnog cocktail is just too delicious.
We cook our egg yolks, but if you opt for the egg white topping, that is raw. In that case, I recommend using pasteurized eggs, which are gently heated in their shells to make them safe. Also, make sure your eggs are fresh and store them in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
Don’t skip adding the warm milk mixture in small ladles: This is called tempering the eggs, and it helps prevent turning the yolks into a scramble. Adding all the heated milk at once can overcook the eggs.
Plan ahead: I recommend refrigerating overnight. Not only does this ensure the drink is perfectly chilled but it also gives the flavors time to meld.
Keep the eggnog to a simmer: If it boils, the milk can separate and ruin the entire batch.
Use it for your Christmas morning coffee: Make it a festive morning and whip up some bourbon eggnog lattes.
Make it a merry holiday season with a batch of this homemade bourbon eggnog. Everyone will love every decadent sip.
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Spiced Bourbon Eggnog
- Small saucepan
- Fine-mesh sieve
- 6 large egg yolks reserve 3 egg whites
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup real maple syrup preferably grade A
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg preferably freshly grated
- ½ teaspoon whole cloves
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup bourbon
- Beat the egg yolks until they're smooth and slightly lightened in color. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, bring milk, heavy cream, maple syrup, cinnamon sticks, vanilla extract, nutmeg, whole cloves and pinch of salt to a simmer over medium heat. Do not boil. After the mixture comes to a simmer, turn off the heat.
- Strain some of the cream mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into the egg yolks and whisk. Repeat this process several times until all of the milk mixture is incorporated. Stir in the bourbon. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- For an optional frothy topping, whip the reserved egg whites until soft peaks form immediately before serving and use to top each glass. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon and nutmeg if desired. Enjoy!
- Keep covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Separate the eggs straight from the refrigerator while they're still cool. If they sit at room temperature, they don't separate as well.
- Plan ahead. The eggnog needs time to chill, so make it at least a day before serving.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.