Eggnog Ice Cream Recipe

A frozen version of our favorite holiday drink spiked with bourbon.

A scoop of eggnog ice cream garnished with grated nutmeg.

Serious Eat / Max Falkowitz

Why It Works

  • Cooking the eggnog base eliminates the fear of drinking raw eggs.
  • There is just enough bourbon to make it interesting.

I never got eggnog until fairly recently, when I started drinking it raw.

You see, when I was growing up, my father would pick up a carton or two of eggnog about once a year. We would drink it because it was fatty and creamy and that's what we boys did. But I could never shake the feeling that I was just drinking chemically-enhanced pudding. As I got older and made the connection that my melted ice cream had a thinner consistency than the eggnog I poured into a glass, I got put off by the stuff.

And so it was until I dared to try a version (like this one) made with raw egg yolks and a frothy head made possible by the addition of whipped egg whites. After I took a few sips, I topped it off with bourbon, and I understood—eggnog doesn't need to be, and shouldn't be—a slurpable pudding to be good. Long live froth and the uncooked egg.

But I get that some people aren't comfortable drinking raw eggs, what with the salmonella and other unfortunate side effects. For those who prefer their eggs cooked, but don't relish the thought of drinking pudding, enter eggnog ice cream: all the rich creaminess you expect from a cooked eggnog, but taken to its logical conclusion in scoopable form.

Though this ice cream is great on its own, it's even better with some cake or pie on the side. Ginger pecan worked out nicely, as would fruitcake.

Bourbon is my personal spirit for eggnog, but if you prefer rum, brandy, or Scotch, substitute freely. You can also reduce or leave out the booze altogether, but then you're just left with nutmeg ice cream, and where's the holiday spirit in that?

This recipe originally appeared as part of the column "Scooped."

December 2012

Recipe Facts

Active: 60 mins
Total: 12 hrs
Serves: 8 servings
Makes: 1 quart

Rate & Comment


  • 9 egg yolks

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 2 cups cream

  • 1 cup milk

  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup bourbon


  1. In a heavy medium saucepan, whisk egg yolks and sugar together until well combined. Slowly whisk in cream, then milk. Cook, whisking frequently, over medium heat, until a custard forms on the back of a spoon and a finger swiped across the back leaves a clean line.

  2. Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg, salt, and bourbon. Pour through a strainer into an airtight container and chill overnight.

  3. The next day, churn according to manufacturer's instructions. Return to airtight container and chill in freezer for at least 3 hours before serving.

Special Equipment

Ice cream maker


The amount of bourbon listed here will impart a noticeable but balanced boozy flavor to the ice cream, though the intensity of the flavor will increase the next day. You can reduce the alcohol to none if you prefer, or increase it by a tablespoon, without doing any textural damage to the ice cream. Brandy, Scotch, and rum are also worthy substitutions for bourbon, depending on your tastes.

Read More

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
391 Calories
28g Fat
22g Carbs
10g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 391
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 16g 81%
Cholesterol 302mg 101%
Sodium 230mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 22g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 111mg 9%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 180mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)