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Emeril's Anytime Eggnog

Emeril's Anytime Eggnog

Eggnog is delicious, decadent and perfect if you're hosting a party. You can bottle, cork, and refrigerate it for several days—the flavor will be even better. Shake before serving.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, plus chilling time
  • Yield: 4 quarts, 12 to 16 servings


  • 12 eggs, separated (see Notes)
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup good-quality bourbon
  • 3/4 cup good-quality brandy
  • 3/4 cup good-quality dark rum
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish (optional)


  • Fill a large wide bowl with ice and cold water, and set it aside.

  • In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with 1 cup of the sugar until the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 2 minutes.

  • Combine the milk, vanilla bean, and salt in a medium saucepan. Set it over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat.

  • While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle 1 cup of the hot milk into the yolks. Add 1 more cup of the hot milk to the yolks in the same manner.

  • Now that the yolks have been tempered, slowly pour the yolk mixture into the saucepan with the remaining milk while continuing to whisk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 3 minutes, or until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Remove the saucepan from the heat.

  • Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a large metal bowl set in the ice bath. Stir as needed until cooled, about 20 minutes.

  • Cover the eggnog base, and refrigerate until it is well chilled and ready to use, at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

  • Place the egg whites (see Note 1) in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat until soft peaks form. Slowly add the remaining ¾ cup sugar, beating the whites on high speed until stiff peaks form.

  • Remove the chilled eggnog base from the refrigerator. Whisk in the bourbon, brandy, and rum. Whisk in the heavy cream (see Note 2).

  • Fold in the whipped egg whites, and whisk until the mixture is uniform. Serve immediately, with freshly grated nutmeg if desired, or refrigerate until ready to enjoy.

  • Notes:

    1. If you prefer to make this eggnog without raw egg whites, eliminate step 5 from the recipe. Instead, whip 3 cups of cream (the 2 cups plus an additional cup) with the ¾ cup sugar until thick, and add this to the eggnog base in step 6. Discard the egg whites or reserve for another use.

    2. If you prefer a thicker eggnog, whip the cream before adding it to the eggnog base.