Eggnog | Easy Traditional 1862 Recipe

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Eggnog Variations

There are countless eggnog recipes and they all range from thick custard like dairy drinks to non-alcoholic almond milk drinks, and from really good store bought to really bad store bought. During the holiday season a typical grocery store may sell well over a dozen different eggnogs. although, where you can really have fun with eggnog is when its homemade. Common homemade variations of eggnog are:

  1. Traditional no cook eggnog. Like this recipe most of your traditional eggnogs are not cooked but either shaken or beaten and drank right there on the spot or stored in the fridge for several days to develop more flavor.
  2. Modern cooked eggnog. Eggnogs started to get cooked due to the worry of food poisonings from consuming raw eggs. These tend to be very thick and custard like and the majority of most recipes today.
  3. Dairy free eggnog. Typically made for a lactose intolerance, these will replace the dairy with either coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, oat milk or some other kind of alternative milk. They also usually don’t have eggs and most are also vegan.
  4. Egg free eggnog. Typically made for allergies, dietary or just because some folks are grossed out by drinking eggs. Egg free eggnogs just exclude the eggs altogether and use heavy cream to provide a thicker texture.
  5. Vegan eggnog. Made for dietary and lifestyle choices, most of your dairy free egg nogs are also vegan.
  6. Alcohol free eggnog. Almost all store bough eggnogs are alcohol free, unless they are sold at liquor stores. Typically bought for their convenience, the option of adding alcohol or not, and so children can join in too.

I love eggnog and have drank a ton of the every kind listed above. That being said this 1862 Jerry Thomas recipe is the best eggnog I have ever had. THE BEST. This is not a super sweet and thick recipe, it taste like a slightly thicker 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 eggnog to taste like. To me what makes this recipe outstanding is it taste exactly like you would expect eggnog to taste but the texture is thinner, and more like a normal 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 eggnog. Keep in mind, these are the original recipes that made eggnog famous to begin with.

To Cook Or Not To Cook Eggnog

Most eggnogs are cooked at low heat for a bit, refrigerated for a few days, and taste like custard or melted ice cream. This is done to ensure that all the germs are killed that could potentially cause food poisoning and because most people are super grossed out at the idea of drinking a raw egg. Cooking also adds quite a bit of time to making eggnog, and it can be difficult to prevent clumping from the egg whites cooking. Hence why most just buy it these days. Although if you add thickened cornstarch to the eggs before cooking it prevents the egg whites from forming large cooked groups. Most recipes say the cornstarch is to add thickness but its really to prevent the proteins from forming large bonds and making the eggnog chunky.

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 cooked custard kinds but recipes like this one. If you want you can let this drink sit in the fridge for a few days to develop more flavor or just drink it right away.

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. Pasteurized eggs don’t make big foamy egg white heads like non-pasteurized eggs do but you can be sure they won’t get you sick. 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. If you have one of those fancy sous vide devices it’s really easy to do. As someone who has had Salmonella poisoning before, without going into detail, I will say it is one of the most painful things I have ever experienced. 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. Eating dirty food prepared by someone who didn’t wash their hands. I’ve eaten countless raw eggs and have never gotten sick from eggs once.

History Of Eggnog

There is no definitive answer to where eggnog came from. Many guess it is a descendant 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 Eggnog 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.


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Eggnog | Easy Traditional 1862 Recipe

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American






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Learn how to make the a classic Eggnog.


  • 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.


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