Why It Works
- Whipping egg whites into a meringue makes for an extra-light and frothy eggnog.
- Beating the yolks until they're ribbony ensures that they fold smoothly into the whipped whites, resulting in smoother eggnog.
A classic eggnog, made extra frothy and light with whipped egg whites. For a dozen variations on the classic, check out this post.
- 8 eggs, separated
- 2/3 cup sugar (5 ounces; 140g), divided
- 3 cups (700ml) whole milk
- 2 cups (475ml) heavy cream
- 2 cups (475ml) dark rum, brandy, or a mix
- Freshly grated nutmeg, to garnish
For Basic Shaken Eggnog: In a cocktail shaker, combine 2 eggs, 2 1/2 tablespoons (37g) sugar, 3/4 cup (180ml) milk, 1/2 cup (120ml) cream, and 1/2 cup (120ml) rum, brandy, or a mix of the two. Shake vigorously until homogeneous and frothy. Strain into 3 to 4 goblets and top with freshly grated nutmeg. Repeat process with remaining ingredients for further batches.
For Extra-Light and Foamy Eggnog: Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on low speed until frothy, about 30 seconds. (Alternatively, use a handheld electric mixer or hand blender in a large bowl.) Increase speed to medium-high and, watching carefully, beat until egg whites are about the consistency of shaving cream, about 90 seconds. Reduce speed to medium. With mixer running, add half of sugar and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Transfer whites to a large bowl. Do not wash mixer bowl.
Add egg yolks and remaining sugar to now-empty mixer bowl and beat at medium-high speed until pale yellow and ribbony, shutting off machine and scraping down sides with a rubber spatula as necessary, about 2 minutes total. Add milk, cream, and alcohol and mix on low speed to combine.
Using a rubber spatula or handheld whisk, fold whipped whites into egg yolk/milk mixture until completely incorporated. Serve by ladling into goblets and garnishing with grated nutmeg.
Cocktail shaker, stand mixer
This recipe produces extra-frothy, rich eggnog if made with a handheld electric or stand mixer. However, for a creamier, less frothy nog, you can use a cocktail shaker. Working in 4 batches, combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously until homogeneous. Strain into chilled glasses and repeat.
Eggnog can also be aged in the refrigerator indefinitely. Transfer to a sealed container and place in the refrigerator. It will gain complexity with time, though it may also get harsher. Blend aged eggnog with fresh eggnog to tame the harsh edge while retaining the complexity.