There's nothing more comforting during the holidays than a glass of eggnog. Rich and sweet, this festive drink has been beloved by Americans since our nation's inception (George Washington was particularly fond of his famous boozy recipe, which he cured for several days). Eggnog originated nearly a thousand years ago in medieval Britain, and is enjoyed by many cultures around the world today.
With a flavor that's similar to custard or melted ice cream, it's not hard to understand why eggnog has become so popular. But most recipes call for milk and cream, making this a treat that's out of reach for those who don't eat dairy. Commercially available nondairy eggnogs can be disappointing, too. The answer? Make your own at home!
As die-hard eggnog fans, we're really picky about this booze-optional beverage. We've found that our Barista almond milk makes the most delightful eggnog we've ever tried. If sugar isn't your thing, you can also make this recipe with our Unsweetened Vanilla almond milk and add the sweetener of your choice. Either way, you're in for a delicious treat.
We always use organic pasture-raised eggs in our eggnog, for several reasons. Pasture raised eggs come from hens that enjoy 108 square feet of space per hen, which is in stark contrast to the caged hens in warehouses that produce the vast majority of the eggs consumed in America. Pasture raised hens also have continuous access to the outdoors, so the hens can graze on pasture from sunrise to sunset. This is much more humane for the animals, since they're free to express their natural behaviors like dust bathing. They can also forage for goodies like grasses, insects, and grubs, which improves egg nutrition. A 2010 study from Cambridge University showed that pasture raised eggs are richer in Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Omega-3 fatty acids, and a German study from 2014 showed that hens exposed to sunlight lay eggs that contain higher levels of Vitamin D than hens raised indoors. Pasture raised eggs are better for you and the animals.
If you'd like to add alcohol to your eggnog, you can choose any bourbon, whiskey, or brandy of your choice. We recommend using something with a deep, mellow flavor that will balance the sweetness of the eggnog without overpowering it. Our very favorite is this single barrel bourbon from Lost Republic, a small craft distillery local to Sonoma County, California. This bourbon is aged for 36 months and has a rich caramel flavor with a smooth, warming finish. Perfect for eggnog!
The recipe makes about four 8-ounce glasses' worth, so adjust proportionally as you'd like.
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/4 c. granulated sugar
- 2 c. Barista almond milk (for cooking)
- pinch of ground cinnamon or one cinnamon stick
- 1 c. Barista almond milk (set aside to add after cooking)
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2–1 c. alcohol (optional)
- 4 egg whites (optional)
- In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks on medium-high speed until lighter in color (about one minute). You can also beat by hand using a whisk.
- Lower mixer speed to medium-low and add sugar a little at a time. Once all sugar has been added, beat on high for 2-3 minutes or until fluffy.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 2 c. Barista with cinnamon and heat slowly until mixture is hot but NOT boiling (mixture will be steamy but without bubbles).
- Temper eggs by slowly adding 2/3 of the milk mixture one spoonful at a time to the eggs, whisking vigorously to prevent curdling. Slowly pour this mixture back into the saucepan, whisking vigorously as well.
- Cook over medium heat until egg mixture thickens (about two minutes), stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Don’t let it boil or it will curdle! Mixture is ready once it coats the back of the spoon. If you have a candy thermometer, remove from heat once it reaches 160ºF.
- Remove mixture from heat, and stir in remaining 1 c. of Barista almond milk.
- Using a mesh strainer placed over a clean bowl, strain mixture to remove whole spices and any small curdled bits that may have formed during cooking. Cover and set aside to cool at room temperature for one hour.
- Stir in vanilla extract, nutmeg, and alcohol (if using). Pour mixture into a pitcher or large bowl, cover, and chill in refrigerator for 1-2 hours or overnight.
- Optional egg whites: just before serving, beat egg whites using an electric mixer on high until they form soft peaks. Add to chilled eggnog and gently fold into the mixture.
- Serve in individual glasses and sprinkle the top of each with a light dusting of ground nutmeg.