Eggnog poured into glasses

Top tips for perfect homemade eggnog

This traditional, creamy Christmas cocktail packs a punch. From the best eggnog recipes to cheat's and non-alcoholic versions, we've covered all things 'nog.

Eggnog: A traditional, yolk-based drink certain to polarise a Christmas crowd. Would you happily guzzle down a cup, or does the idea of it leave you colder than a reindeer’s nose?

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Well, in America and Canada, it’s not Christmas without eggnog. There, you can even buy it ready-made in cartons, but it’s been fast-gaining in popularity in the UK for the last few years. Now, it’s right up there with the mighty mulled wine in the league of favourite festive tipples.

To the uninitiated, eggnog is essentially drinkable custard. Its base of egg yolks and sugar is open to interpretation; while traditionally brandy or rum is used as the alcohol base, a dash of whisky shouldn’t be sniffed at as an alternative, and the favoured nutmeg sprinkle can be replaced with other festive spices.

Still not convinced? We spoke to our food editor Cassie Best and home economist Miriam Nice about making perfect homemade eggnog, plus some clever tips on how to serve it.

1. Try this easy recipe

Our triple-tested homemade eggnog recipe couldn’t be easier. If you’re not confident making custard from scratch, try using a can of condensed milk as a sweet thickener – it adds a delicious richness to the finished drink.

2. Make custard the foundation

One of the easiest ways to make your own eggnog is to make a batch of simple homepage custard to use as its base. Try this recipe but with one tablespoon of cornflour instead of three. Chill the custard and just before serving, add your choice of rum, brandy or whisky and top each glass with a grating of fresh nutmeg.

3. Try an alcohol-free option

Sweet? Tick. Creamy? Tick. Kitsch, moreish and festive? Tick, tick, tick. The custardy base of eggnog has ‘kids’ written all over it – and it tastes just as good without the booze. Simply replace with a splash more milk to achieve the right level of viscosity.

4. Use eggnog as a sauce for desserts

Serving custard this Christmas? How very passé. Step into line with the latest trends and try a splash of eggnog with mince pies, Christmas pudding or on ice cream.

5. Shake it up

Serve up a Don Pedro-style ‘hard’ eggnog milkshake made with whisky, ice cream and eggnog blended, then served in tall glasses.

Eggnog health and safety

If you’re using raw egg yolks, ensure you buy the freshest you can find (with the British Lion logo) and be sure to alert guests if you’re serving it at a party. If the recipe you’re using requires cooking, make sure you heat the eggs very slowly over a low temperature otherwise they could curdle, leaving you with party-pooping sugared scrambled eggs.

Still not convinced?

If you’re not quite ready to embrace homemade eggnog, a retro snowball is a zingier option. This classic cocktail contains advocaat, a Dutch liqueur made from egg yolks. Top up with with Babycham for the ultimate festive finish.

More festive drink inspiration

Top 10 drinks for Christmas
5 mulled drinks you can make in minutes
The best ever Christmas cocktails

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What’s your take on eggnog? Leave a comment below…