Deluxe Eggnog 15.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Dec 11, 2019

As the name promises, this eggnog is, indeed, deluxe. Rich with egg yolks and heavy cream and fortified with three types of spirits, it's one holiday beverage you're unlikely to forget. We suggest small portions since it is so decadent and strong.

The recipe is a longtime family tradition for the authors of the classic cookbook "Joy of Cooking." They recommend letting the egg yolks mingle with the liquor for the full time specified in the recipe, otherwise "your nog may taste more like a naughty omelet than holiday cheer."

This recipe calls for raw egg yolks; if you are concerned about a risk of salmonella, use pasteurized eggs, such as Davidson's brand. For food safety, the authors caution against reducing the amount of alcohol. If you would like to use less booze, make the eggnog with pasteurized eggs, or follow the variation below for a cooked eggnog.

The recipe doubles easily.

Make Ahead: The egg yolk mixture needs to be refrigerated for 1 hour, and the finished eggnog must be chilled for at least 3 hours. According to the authors, the eggnog will keep in the refrigerator "indefinitely," adding that the flavor improves with time and they've enjoyed some batches for up to a year.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 15 servings; makes about 7 1/2 cups

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup light rum
  • 1 quart heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 1 cup cognac or Asbach brandy
  • 1/2 cup orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish

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In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with a whisk until light in color. Gradually whisk in the confectioners' sugar and then the rum. Transfer the bowl to the refrigerator and let it rest there, uncovered, for 1 hour to dispel the eggy taste.

Whisking constantly, add the heavy cream or half-and-half, cognac and orange liqueur. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 3 hours. Serve, garnishing each cup with freshly grated nutmeg.

VARIATION: To make cooked eggnog, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a large bowl. In a large saucepan, heat 2 cups of the heavy cream over medium-low until steaming. While whisking, slowly add about half of the hot cream to the egg yolks. Then slowly pour the egg and cream mixture back into the saucepan, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens a little and reaches a temperature of 175 degrees. Do not overheat or the mixture will curdle. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the remaining 2 cups of heavy cream. Strain, cool completely and chill until cold. Stir in the rum, cognac and orange liqueur. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Joy of Cooking," by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, Ethan Becker, John Becker and Megan Scott (Scribner, 2019).

Tested by Becky Krystal.

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