A few years ago, I adapted Alton Brown’s eggnog recipe to my tastes and the ingredients I had on hand that day. I wrote the recipe down, but then I forgot about it and didn’t make it for awhile. This Christmas season, I found that piece of paper and decided to make it again. This is definitely dessert in a glass – I love the combination of bourbon, vanilla (from the whole bean), and nutmeg (fresh grated). By whipping the egg whites into medium peaks (basically to the point that you can lift the whisk and leave a peak that slowly slumps) you create a a drink that is rich and creamy, but also has an airy lightness.

If you don’t have whole nutmegs and vanilla beans in your pantry, I recommend using 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 tsp ground nutmeg. When serving, I like to add a dusting of fresh ground nutmeg to the top of the glass. When I made this about 4 years ago, I actually used Templeton Rye Whiskey, but this time I used Cedar Ridge Bourbon. Substitute your favorite bourbon/whiskey and you can always add more to your own glass. The amount in the recipe is enough to let you know there is alcohol in it without being too strong.

Eggnog with Bourbon


  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split open most of the way
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 ounces bourbon
  • pinch salt


  1. Separate the egg yolks from the whites and put the whites in a large bowl. Combine the egg yolks, cream, milk, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, nutmeg, and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan and put over medium heat. Stir continuously and slowly for about 10 minutes or until the milk mixture begins to steam. Cook while stirring for about 1 minute. Turn off the heat and keep stirring for about 5 more minutes.
  2. It’s important to stir regularly to keep the milk from burning or the egg yolks from curdling. Once you’re done stirring, transfer the mixture to a clean bowl. Remove the vanilla bean and squeeze out the seeds into the milk/egg mixture and then place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour.
  3. Whisk the whites and 1 tbs sugar together until medium peaks form. Add about a quarter of the whites to the milk/yolk mixture and whisk gently until fully incorporated. Be careful not to whisk all the air out of the whites. Add the bourbon and then the rest of the whites in two more parts to the yolk/milk mix. When done, refrigerate until completely chilled before serving.