If you're sick of waiting until December every year for your favourite holiday drinks to be back on sale, we feel you.
Christmas is one of our favourite holidays of the year, not just because of the bounty of presents and cheer, but rather the sights, sounds and smells embodying this festive season that makes us feel all warm and toasty on the insides.
A popular holiday drink that originated from Britain, the eggnog drink does not taste savoury or eggy unlike what its name suggests. In fact, this creamy spiced drink tastes as smooth and velvety as melted ice cream, and slurping it down feels like you’re giving yourself a big warm hug from the insides.
The main components of the drink are eggs, sugar, milk/cream, and spices. Cinnamon and nutmeg are the common spices used in this beverage, but you can substitute for other spices of your choice, or omit the cinnamon if you're not a fan of it. The aroma of the spices that permeated our kitchen during the testings was irresistible; all we could imagine was us curled up by a fireplace in snuggly sweaters, each having a cup of eggnog in hand with Michael Bublé crooning away in the background...
Simply put, it’s Christmas in a cup and you’d have to try it to believe it.
There are several ways to make eggnog. Some recipes utilise only the egg yolks, while some incorporate whole eggs together with the other ingredients. For this recipe, we will be using both the egg yolks and egg whites, but in two separate additions.
The egg yolks help to add thickness to the drink while the addition of whipped egg whites prior to serving gives the drink texture, making it airier and frothier.
To begin, you'll have to separate your eggs, placing the yolks and whites in two separate bowls.
Next, combine the milk, cream, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla over medium heat until the milk starts to emit steam. Shortly after, the most wonderful smell in the world (ok debatable, but definitely up there in the charts) will start to waft through your kitchen. Take your pot off the heat and let the spiced milk mixture sit and cool slightly. Take note to not let your milk mixture boil!
While you’ve got that going, whip your egg yolks with sugar using a whisk. This step helps to incorporate air into the yolks, and you'll gradually see the mixture turning pale and fluffy. This creates the base of a custard, which is what makes up that smooth, thick melted ice-cream-like texture of eggnog.
Next comes the tempering of the yolks! This is done by slowly streaming the spiced milk into the whipped yolks while whisking constantly. Whisking constantly is important to prevent the yolks from scrambling or curdling.
Voila! Your eggnog is pretty much done. Place the mixture into the fridge until you’re ready to serve. Or if you’re serving it immediately, move on to the last step!
When you’re just about ready to serve the most spectacular Christmas eggnog to your friends and family, whip up the egg whites you’ve set aside to stiff peaks as seen in the image above. To get to stiff peaks, whip the whites until they stand straight up when you lift your whisk/beaters.
Once that's done, fold/whisk the egg whites into the spiced custard, taking care not to deflate the mixture too much. The added egg whites will lighten up your eggnog, giving it that signature frothy mouthfeel. Finally, serve, and finish with a dusting of cinnamon.
If you love Christmas as much as we do, you’ll definitely love this too. Try it and let us know what you think!
Homemade Creamy Christmas Eggnog
yields ~5 cups
240g heavy/whipping cream
3 sticks or 1.5 tsp (3.5g) cinnamon powder
1 vanilla pod or 2 tsp (6g) vanilla
1 tbsp (6g) nutmeg
- Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in a large mixing bowl and the whites in an airtight container or a clean, dry, and oil-free bowl if serving right away. Set aside.
- In a sauce pot, combine the milk, cream, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla.
- Over medium heat, heat up the milk mixture until steam emits. Do not boil. Take it off the heat and let the mixture sit, steep and cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, add the sugar into the egg yolks and whisk until pale and fluffy. This will take a few mins.
- Next, carefully and slowly stream the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks while whisking constantly. (Optional) Add in your desired alcohol and whisk until well combined.
- Store the mixture in jugs/bottles/containers in the fridge for up till 3 days.
- Before serving, whip the egg whites in a clean, dry, and oil-free bowl until stiff peaks and fold/mix it into the egg-milk mixture. Serve eggnog chilled/warm/iced.
A Comforting Drink to Usher in the Holidays
If you're planning to bring something different to your upcoming year-end gatherings, this eggnog is something you can try! The best part is that you can make it ahead, adapt it to taste, and serve it with your choice of alcohol mix. If your crowd has more of a sweet tooth, simply increase the amount of sugar in the recipe and booze it up with a sweeter alcohol or liqueur.
For more Christmas baking and gifting ideas, check out our collection of Christmas kits which include no-bake items for those without ovens!
Trying this recipe out? Make sure you hashtag #bakestarters on Instagram so we can see your wonderful creations!