Egg Nog – Vintage 1862 Jerry Thomas Recipe

Most egg nogs I’ve ever seen are cooked at low heat for a bit, refrigerated for a few days, and taste more like custard than a cocktail. This is not that kind of recipe. This one is fast and easy to make. No cooking, just a bunch of shaking. Most of the really old recipes I found are not the custard kinds but recipes like this one. If you want you can let this drink sit in the fridge for a few days or just drink it right away.

That being said this is also the best egg nog I have ever had. THE. BEST. And I love egg nog. I usually try to stock up during Christmas and drink it well into the summer. The kind you buy are pretty thick and super sweet. This is not a super sweet and thick recipe, it taste like a creamy milk punch. This recipe is ripped right from the 1862 Bartender’s guide. The only change I made is the addition of vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The original recipe did not have those ingredients, but I added them because they do make the drink taste better and more inline with what someone expects egg nog to taste like. To me what makes this recipe outstanding is it taste exactly like you would expect egg nog to taste but the texture is thinner, and more like a cocktail. It may sound gross to just crack an egg into your shaker, shake it up and drink it, but you will be blown away once you try this egg nog. I mean these are the original recipes that made it famous to begin with.

As a word of warning use pasteurized eggs if you can. Pasteurized eggs are still raw like a normal egg but with all the germs killed off. The FDA guesstimates that 1 in every 40,000 eggs has salmonella. Which is super rare. Pasteurized eggs are kinda hard to find so you can pasteurizing them yourself or just roll the dice. Read my whole egg description for instructions on how to pasteurize eggs. If you have one of those fancy sous vide devices it’s really easy. As someone who has had Salmonella poisoning before, I can say it is one of the most painful things I have ever experienced. It feels like your intestines are possessed by the devil and being fed into a paper shredder. About a day in you start to think that you will actually die and you hope for death to come quick just to end it. Again 1 in every 40,000. So super rare, and if you get Salmonella you’re much more likely to get it the same way I did, by eating food in a country with no running water, where people don’t wash their hands. I’ve eaten countless raw eggs and have never gotten sick from the eggs once.

There is no definitive answer to where egg nog came from. Many guess it is a descendent of a medieval drink called posset, which is a milk and beer drink that would sometimes have an egg added for extra creamy-ness and flavor. The Oxford English Dictionary canonized the word nog in the late 1600s to mean a strong ale. It was probably used by the general population much earlier than that but that’s when it was officially recorded. The first use of the word Egg Nog started popping up in the United States in the late 1700s. England had a similar drink but it was called an Egg Flip. Over time it became linked to Christmas and is not made much outside of the winter holiday season.

There are a few ways to make eggnog. There are recipes that have you build it and then store it for a month or so in the refrigerator. Some where you cook it and make more of a boozy custard. and Some like this quick and easy one you just build it and shake it up. Personally speaking I like this style better. Its less sweet, the texture is much thinner, and it doesn’t taste like melted ice cream. Again the flavor is still the same, but the texture is much better.


Egg Nog – Vintage 1862 Jerry Thomas Recipe

0 from 0 votes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American






Total time



Learn how to make the a classic Egg Nog.


  • 1 dash Vanilla Extract

  • 1 Whole Egg White

  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup

  • 6 oz Half & Half

  • 1.5 oz Brandy

  • 1.5 oz Bourbon


  • Simply combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards and garnish with ground nutmeg.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *