how to make eggnog

How to make the perfect festive Eggnog

Friday 08th Dec 2023 |

Love it or hate it, eggnog is a sweet tipple at Christmastime. The egg-based alcoholic drink is a festive classic to enjoy.

Patrick Pistolesi, Master Mixologist for NIO Cocktails Christmas Cocktails, has shared three ways you can enhance your eggnog this Christmas

Classic Eggnog recipe:


  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • Vanilla extract
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground cloves


  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until well combined and slightly thickened.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the milk, cream, vanilla and spices over low to medium heat. Stir frequently and bring the mixture to a simmer but do not let it boil.
  3. Once the saucepan mixture is hot, gradually pour a small amount into the egg yolk mixture, whisking continuously to temper the eggs and prevent curdling.
  4. Return the egg mixture to the saucepan with the remaining milk mixture, and continue to cook over low heat. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens slightly and reaches a temperature of 70°C. This should take about 5-7 minutes and be careful to not let it boil.
  5. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes.
  6. Cover the eggnog and refrigerate it for at least 4 hours or overnight to allow the flavours to meld and the eggnog to chill thoroughly.
  7. Before serving, give the eggnog a good stir. If it has thickened too much in the refrigerator, you can add a little more milk or cream to reach your desired consistency.

How to enhance your Eggnog for the festive period:

  1. Spiced Orange: 

“To enhance your basic eggnog recipe with a festive twist, add a dash of freshly squeezed orange with a sprinkle of the orange zest  to the mixture. To bring the flavours through add a hint of clove to your eggnog to create a festive explosion in your glass. The citrusy notes from the orange zest complement the rich and creamy eggnog, while the warm clove adds depth. It’s a festive twist that adds a citrus kick to the classic eggnog. Garnish with cream and sprinkle orange zest for decoration.”

  1. Cranberry Cinnamon Swirl: 

“A popular Christmas flavouring is cranberry which perfectly combines with cinnamon for a seasonal flavour pairing. In a small saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar and the cinnamon over a medium heat. If using a cinnamon stick, you can break it in half to release more flavour. If using ground cinnamon, you can add a pinch directly. Cook the mixture for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until the cranberries burst and release their juices, then add this into the eggnog mixture. The sweetness of cranberries adds a contrast to the richness of eggnog, while the warm notes of cinnamon create an inviting flavour combination.”

  1. Gingerbread Spice: 

 “A classic favourite at Christmas time is a gingerbread treat, but you can also incorporate this into your eggnog recipe too. The warm comforting notes of gingerbread spice complement the sweetness of eggnog perfectly. Simply add a teaspoon of gingerbread syrup into your eggnog mixture. For extra flavour, sprinkle a pinch of ground ginger and ground cinnamon into the eggnog and these key spices will enhance the overall gingerbread flavour. Stir the eggnog mixture thoroughly to combine the ingredients. Top the eggnog with whipped cream and garnish with small gingerbread for an added touch