Trying My Hand at Homemade Eggnog

Learning a new skill with some extra free time.

I had the misfortune (fortune?) of having last week (1/11-1/15) off due to COVID shutting down our office. Luckily, everyone recovered alright and I was able to avoid the spread since I have the luxury of being able to work from home. I was, however, left with a large amount of free time that I wanted to fill in a fun/productive way as it was my first large time off in around a year.

First and foremost I wanted to explore someplace new as free time is best spent with exploration or adventure. Next I wanted to focus on some of my personal projects as motivation can often be hard to find after work days. And finally/most importantly, I wanted to try something new.

Exploration came easy. Kate and I had been eyeballing Salt Fork Sate Park for a while and finally had a good excuse to check it out. We had a great time and there was some beautiful scenery and hiking paths. However, we’ll need to go back when it’s warmer and the trees are a little more vibrant to experience what it fully has to offer.

Kate sitting on a mossy rock in the woods.
Personal projects were also easy to come by. I’ve been working on illustrating a bunch of old drawings of mine and have found it to be a relaxing way to refine my skill and find some new music on the side. I’ve also been practicing some new songs on the ukulele and trying to relearn how to play a trumpet/cornet. So there’s always a nice list of things to look forward to working on.

In regards to learning something new; I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making eggnog for a while but had been intimidated by the time requirement I had seen in some recipes. But, with free time to spend and a quick find of an easier recipe to follow, I was set to go on trying it out.

Eggnog is one of those weird drinks where if you think about it for more than a minute you really wonder why you’re putting it in your body. An egg based sweet drink filled with fat and cholesterol that we occasionally spike with alcohol that’s only around one time a year? Gross, that sounds miserable on paper. That said, I love the stuff and always look forward to getting a carton each year.

The recipe I decided to go with I found on Tastes Better From Scratch. This version has some nice and easy to follow instructions that I could comfortably read from my phone while cooking. The ingredients needed for their recipe are:

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • and ground cinnamon

A cooking bowl with whisked egg yolks and granulated sugar. A saucepan on a stove filled with milk, heavy whipping cream and nutmeg.

Following along with the Taste Better From Scratch instructions, the majority of the process was just slowly adding the warm milk mixture to the egg yolks one spoonful at a time. While some patience is required for putting it all together, the process wasn’t nearly as time consuming as I had anticipated. Honestly the hardest part for me was making sure the milk and whipping cream concoction didn’t get to a boil as my stove tends to run hot.

In the end I was left with a large mason jar full of more eggnog than I would be able to go through in a week (it’s recommended not to store it longer than that). The flavor is much much better than store bought in my opinion. However, I believe I let my stove get the better of me as there was an interesting aftertaste that implied the milk mixture had gotten close to a boil at some point. That said, I am super happy to find out how easy this holiday drink is to put together and I will be making this again in the near future (with a little more supervision on the milk). If you enjoy eggnog I fully recommend trying a hand at making it yourself. Even if you run into a hiccup like I did, it’s nice to see how easy and rewarding making something on your own can be!

A mason jar filled with eggnog.

The final product.

P.S. I found that a nice use of the remaining egg-whites was to fry them up with some kale, cubed ham, bell pepper, basil, pepper (no salt) and some hot sauce/sriracha to taste. You can make sine nice cholesterol light scrambled eggs this way.