Who doesn’t love a rich, creamy glass of eggnog around the holiday time? My homemade Vanilla Bean Eggnog will beat out the store bought stuff hands down.
Have you ever had traditional eggnog?
Growing up, I’ve only experienced eggnog out of a paper cartoon from the grocery store. Nonalcoholic until I grew up a little more. It’s good, but doesn’t come close to my homemade version.
After doing some research, I’ll admit this version of Vanilla Bean Eggnog is not exactly classic. And I don’t mean because of the vanilla beans.
Traditionally, eggnog is made by whipping up egg whites, whisking together the yolks and the sugar, adding the creamy components and booze, and folding in the whites.
If you can make ice cream…
This Vanilla Bean Eggnog recipe is actually based off of a cooked custard eggnog recipe a friend of mine recommended to me last year by Martha Stewart.
Making the base is almost exactly the same process I use to make ice cream. The only difference is, in this recipe, I only cook a portion of the milk with the eggs and sugar, and pour in the remaining cold milk and cream in at the end to help cool things down.
More holiday Sweet Treats
- Hot Chocolate with Peppermint Marshmallows
- Chocolate Peppermint Whoopie Pies
- Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Gingerbread Scones with Lemon Glaze
- Quick Panettone
- Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Panettone Bread Pudding
- Linzer Cookies with Strawberry Rose Jam
- Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies with Chocolate and Jam
- Chocolate Hazelnut Cannoli
- Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons
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Who doesn’t love a rich, creamy glass of eggnog around the holiday time? My homemade Vanilla Bean Eggnog will beat the store bought stuff hands down.
- 3 ½ cups whole milk, divided
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped*
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 egg yolks
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup bourbon
- 1/3 cup brandy
- Nutmeg or cinnamon stick, for serving*
1. Set up cooling bowl: Place a large bowl over a wire rack. Place sieve over the bowl.
2. Heat milk: Add milk, split vanilla beans, seeds and salt to a small sauce pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
3. Whisk eggs and sugar: While milk comes to temperature, vigorously whisk together egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
4. Temper and stir: Slowly ladle in about 1 cup of warm milk into egg mixture, while constantly whisking to temper eggs. Slowly pour egg mixture into pot while constantly whisking. Reduce heat to medium-low. Switch to a flat spatula and stir milk mixture constantly, making sure to scrape down sides and bottom of pan repeatedly. Cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 4-5 minutes.
5. Cool down: Pour thickened milk mixture through sieve into prepared bowl on cooling rack. Discard vanilla bean pod. Stir in remaining milk and heavy cream into milk mixture. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
6. Make a large batch*: If desired, add all of booze to milk mixture now and refrigerate until completely chilled.
7. Or make individual drinks: If making individual, shaken drinks, chill milk/egg base without adding booze. For one drink, add 5oz of base with 2/3 ounce (4 teaspoons) bourbon and 1/3 ounce (2 teaspoons) brandy to a drink shaker. Add a couple cubes of ice. Shake to chill and make frothy. Pour through filter to hold back ice.
8. Top and serve: Grate over nutmeg and/or cinnamon stick over drink. Enjoy.
This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart.
The fresh vanilla bean pod can be substituted with 2 teaspoons of vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract.
I like to top this drink with freshly grated nutmeg or cinnamon from a cinnamon stick. Feel free to use pre-ground nutmeg or cinnamon if that’s what you have on hand.
I like to make individual drinks and shake them before serving to add some foam you may see in a more traditional eggnog recipe that uses whipped egg whites. You can also combine all ingredients in advance and serve with some whipped cream to make up for the loss of frothy texture.
Time does not include inactive time for chilling.
- Category: Drink
- Method: Simmer
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 6 oz drink
- Calories: 340
- Sugar: 24g
- Sodium: 180mg
- Fat: 17g
- Saturated Fat: 9g
- Carbohydrates: 25g
- Fiber: 0g
- Protein: 8g
Keywords: eggnog, vanilla bean