Kitchen Basics Misc

Spiced Eggnog

As a child I carpooled to school with a very unusual girl named Danielle. A quarter century later, Danielle remains one of the most intriguing people I have ever met. She has the brain of an engineer, the heart of an experimental artist, the spirit of an old-timey woodsman, and the energy of a cartoon bunny. Several years ago for Christmas — right before she moved to Portland to explore her passion for pack goats —  she gifted me a small jar of her homemade eggnog. I was instructed to keep it in my fridge and take small sips of it over the course of the next year.

Eggnog, which is a concoction of eggs, dairy, sugar, and alcohol, did not strike me as something that would age well. Danielle assured me that the alcohol content was high enough to act as a preservative for the more susceptible-to-spoilage dairy and eggs. And she was right. I couldn’t make the nog last a whole year because I enjoyed it too much, treating myself to little tipples well into springtime.

I’ve been missing that creamy, comforting drink, so I decided to make my own. I checked in with internet food experts to make sure I wouldn’t poison myself, and learned that 20 percent of the total volume is the amount of alcohol needed to keep the eggnog safe. I also learned from Google that two or three weeks ageing in the fridge produces peak nog. I riffed off recipes from Kenji Lopez-Alt, Michael Ruhlman, and Alton Brown (the latter two of which had frat party-levels of alcohol) to create this spiced eggnog. Make a batch soon to enjoy over the holidays and beyond!

Makes: 2 quarts


  • stand mixer or handheld electric mixer


  • 8 eggs (very fresh or pasteurized. No old eggs.)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup dark rum
  • 2/3 cup bourbon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Separate egg yolks. Save whites for another use. (They freeze well.)
  • Combine egg yolks, sugar, salt, and spices and mix with whisk attachment on medium speed for about a minute, until creamy.
  • Add remaining ingredients and mix on low for another minute or two, until well-combined.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a year!