I’ve never been brave enough to actually use raw eggs, even though I’m sure the alcohol is sufficient to kill all known germs. Maybe I just like the smell of warm spiced milk in my kitchen before Christmas.

David’s Eggnog Recipe

You need a jam thermometer (helpful), the biggest saucepan in the house and a couple of huge mixing bowls (and enough room in the fridge for said bowls, otherwise decant into jars and bottles for easy storage).



  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 225g granulated sugar
  • 2 and a half pints whole or gold-top milk
  • 2 and a half pints single cream
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 pinches of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 750ml brandy
  • 237ml dark rum
  • 118ml cup dry sherry
  • 118ml cup whiskey, the good stuff


1 Combine the milk, cloves, and cinnamon in a thick-bottomed saucepan. Slowly heat on medium heat until the milk mixture is steamy hot, but not boiling.

2 While the milk is warming up, in a large bowl use a whisk or an electric mixer to beat egg yolks until they become somewhat lighter in colour. Slowly add the sugar, beating after each addition, whisking until fluffy.

3 Temper the eggs by slowly adding half of the hot milk mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly while you add the hot mixture. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.

4 Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture begins to thicken slightly, and coats the back of the spoon. It helps to have a jam thermometer, but not necessary; if you have one, cook until the mixture reaches 160°F or 71.1°C. Do not allow the mixture to boil, or it will curdle. (If the mixture does curdle you may be able to save it by running it through a blender.) Remove from heat and strain the mixture through a mesh strainer to remove the cloves. Stir in the cream. Let cool for one hour.

5 Mix in vanilla extract, nutmeg, and booze (omit booze for kid-friendly eggnog, but what would be the point).

6 Chill until serving.