Classic Eggnog

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr 20 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Many historians believe eggnog evolved from a medieval drink called posset, a spiced milky-ale concoction, before morphing into the spirit-spiked dairy drink in Colonial America we are more familiar with today. This version cooks the eggs for added food safety, and also lets you keep it in the refrigerator longer.



  1. Whisk the whole eggs, egg yolk and sugar in a bowl until combined. Heat the milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat until steaming; do not boil. Remove from the heat. Whisk 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, then whisk the egg mixture back into the pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and a thermometer registers 165˚ F, about 5 minutes. (Do not boil or the eggs will curdle.)
  2. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl and stir in the vanilla and nutmeg. Let cool at room temperature, about 1 hour, then cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours or up to 1 week.
  3. Whisk the remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Slowly whisk in the chilled eggnog mixture, then whisk in the rum, if using. Pour into glasses and garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon sticks.