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Toast the Holidays with Eggnog

Eggnog is a holiday tradition, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with your Yuletide cup. Cheryl Jerez, a bartender and server at The Vine in Elkhart, says she uses four or five eggnog recipes, each of which can be tweaked with different flavors, spices and alcohols.

“Eggnog is sweet already, so you can really add any time of alcohol that goes well with sweet flavors,” Jerez said.

Here are a couple ideas to shake up this year’s Holiday get-togethers. 

Chocolate Eggnog

“I’m a chocolate lover, so chocolate eggnog is right up my alley,” Jerez said. She said she often modifies this recipe, adding or substituting Godiva chocolate or Bailey’s Irish Cream. For children, she will leave out the Kahlua and rum and serve in cups using chocolate straws. 

This chocolate and coffee-flavored eggnog recipes serves eight revelers.

8 eggs
3 cups chocolate milk 
2 cups milk
1 cup cream
1 cup Kahlua liqueur (or freshly brewed strong coffee)
1 cup dark rum
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cinnamon for garnish
pinch of grated chocolate for garnish

1) Mix milk and chocolate milk in large saucepan and warm over medium heat (do not boil.)
2) In a large bowl, beat eggs and brown sugar until they are well combined and of a reasonably thick consistency.
3) When milk mixture is hot, add approximately half of it to the bowl containing the beaten eggs and brown sugar. Whisk well.
4) Pour all of the egg, sugar & milk mixture back into the large saucepan, reduce heat to low.
5) Slowly and gently, add the Kahlua liqueur or coffee and then the cream.
6) Stir continuously until the mixture has thickened (mixture is thick enough when it can coat the back of a spoon.) Make sure the mixture does not begin to boil.
7) Remove from low heat and stir in dark rum, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg.
8) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled (at least three hours.)
9) To serve, ladle the eggnog into individual glasses and garnish with ground cinnamon and grated chocolate.

Christmas Eggnog

Between the cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla, this recipe will have your kitchen smelling like the Holidays in no time! Jerez also shared this recipes, which serves eight. 

12 egg yolks
5 cloves, whole
4 cups milk
4 cups cream
3 cups light rum
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1) In a saucepan over low heat, blend the milk, cinnamon, cloves and half a teaspoon of the vanilla essence. Keep stirring while mixture heats and removed just before boiling point.
2) In a bowl, mix together the sugar with egg yolks. Make sure to whisk well so the mixture becomes light and fluffy.
3) Gently pour in the milk mixture a little at a time while continuing to whisk.
4) Transfer mixture back into your saucepan over medium heat. Continue to stir until mixture begins to resemble custard. Do not let the mixture reach boiling point.
5) Pour mixture through strainer into a jug, making sure to remove the cloves. Stand jug in the refrigerator for at least an hour. 
6) Gently stir in the cream, light rum, remaining vanilla and ground nutmeg. Put back into the refrigerator and leave overnight.
7) Serve in cups with a little extra ground nutmeg, cinnamon or baking cocoa sprinkled lightly on top.

Peppermint Eggnog Punch

Don’t have time to whip up an entire punch bowl of eggnog? No problem – this party-ready recipe from makes about 16 servings in 10 minutes. Hold the rum and it makes a perfect refresher for a kids’ party as well.

1 qt. peppermint ice cream (if you can’t find peppermint ice cream, substitute vanilla ice cream and a few drops of peppermint extract)
1 qt. eggnog
4 (12-oz.) cans or bottles of ginger ale, chilled 
1 cup rum
24 small peppermint candy canes for garnish

1) Set aside 2 or 3 scoops of ice cream in the freezer (these will be used for garnish.)
2) Stir remaining ice cream until soft. Gradually stir in eggnog and rum. 
3) Transfer into a punch bowl and stir in ginger ale.
4) Hang candy canes on the edge of a punch bowl and float remaining ice cream scoops on top. Serve immediately

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