I want to share my favorite eggnog recipe. This is another recipe that we have tested over and over again to make it our best recipe.
We LOVE eggnog and drink it all during the winter months, not just for the holidays.
Eggnog often gets viewed as a total indulgence (read: unhealthy treat that will make you gain pounds just by looking at it). And if you buy eggnog at the store then this is probably true. Not only do store-bought eggnogs contain ingredients of poor quality (like factory-farmed milk and eggs) but you will also most likely find it to be full of weird preservatives and tons of sugar.
But if you make your own eggnog you can control the ingredients and change it from an unhealthy beverage to a wonderful health-promoting drink.
What’s the secret to the best-tasting eggnog?
When I was growing up my dad (who is an amazing cook) always told me that the secret to being a good chef is using the best ingredients.
Call me herbally biased but I think that the biggest secret to tasty eggnog is the freshly grated nutmeg.
For a lot of Americans nutmeg is a culinary spice that gets taken out of the spice cupboard about twice a year (mmmm… pumpkin pie). This nutmeg is often bought at the grocery store and is already ground. Because it’s used a couple times a year it is also very old. Nutmeg is most tasty and most powerful medicinally when it has been just freshly ground. It quickly loses its umph after grinding so you can imagine how much benefit that old nutmeg powder lurking in the back of your spice cabinet has.
Instead of buying nutmeg already ground up, I buy it in whole form and then grate it freshly as needed. This ensures the best tasting nutmeg!
Did you know nutmeg comes from a tree?
The nutmeg spice is the seed of a fruit that grows on the nutmeg tree (Myristica fragrans). It is originally from some islands in Indonesia but is now cultivated in tropical climates all over the world.
The seed of the fresh fruit is covered in a bright pink casing called the mace. This delicate spice is also used in the culinary world, but tends to be super pricey.
Is nutmeg a drug?
Besides being a great culinary spice, nutmeg is also a strong medicine. So strong in fact that you can easily overdose on nutmeg. Taking too much nutmeg in one sitting can leave you feeling spacey and out of sorts for days. Taking even more nutmeg can lead to severe digestive disturbance (vomiting and diarrhea) and hallucinations. Keep in mind that you have to take many grams of nutmeg to create these unwanted effects, which is difficult to do in a culinary dish (that you also want to actually taste good).
From time to time nutmeg pops up in the news headlines because a group of teenagers will try to use it like a drug. I’ve read that the experience is so horrible (vomiting and diarrhea are not usually ways to have fun) that most people only try it once. I just thought I would mention it here in case you go googling to find out more information about nutmeg and then think I am recommending it in this way! Again, you have to consume A LOT of nutmeg to create ill effects.
Nutmeg as a medicinal herb
Used in appropriate dosages nutmeg can be effectively used for a variety of maladies.
Nutmeg’s most famous herbal use is as a very effective sedative. It can be a little tricky to use so it’s best to work with an herbalist who has experience working with nutmeg. It has a delayed onset of action and the dosage can be tricky as well.
Nutmeg is also used for a wide variety of digestive complaints, including parasite infections, diarrhea and an upset stomach.
I’ve read that it can be spread topically to stop a ringworm infection.
Nutmeg is also often touted as an aphrodisiac. Its diffusive and aromatic qualities and a relaxing nervine could be helpful for someone who is tense and high strung.
Health benefits of raw milk and raw eggs
The other main ingredients in eggnog are milk, cream and raw eggs. As you probably know, consuming raw eggs carries the risk of a salmonella infection.
We use both raw milk/cream and raw eggs to make our homemade eggnog and, to decrease our chances of a food born illness, we get those fresh from a local farm. I personally would not make eggnog with raw eggs or milk that have been factory farmed.
Raw milk health benefits: Raw milk from grass-fed cows has many health benefits including being a good source of calcium, amino acids and enzymes.
Raw egg health benefits: Raw eggs contain a variety of nutrients. Raw egg yolks are the best nutritional source of lutein, which is a nutrient specific to eye health.
How to Make Eggnog
Our eggnog recipe is very rich since it contains an equal amount of milk and cream along with whole eggs. We drink it in small quantities because it is so filling.
We use about a 1/4 cup of honey, which is a small fraction of the amount of sugar that is found in commercial eggnog, plus it has the many health benefits of local raw honey.
Most eggnog recipes call only for nutmeg; you’ll see we added some other tasty spices as well, including cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.
The dark rum is optional, but it does add a nice flavor to the drink without making it a strongly alcoholic beverage.
You’ll also notice this recipe calls for a lot of whisking by hand. We live off the grid and have very little solar electricity so we do many things by hand that others use electric devices for. I am sure this recipe is possible using a blender, but it’s nice to work up an appetite for a rich treat.
What you’ll need…
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup local raw honey
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (see how to make your own vanilla extract here)
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated nutmeg (plus a little more for garnish)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup dark rum (optional)
In a bowl, whisk the eggs until they’re very frothy.
Add the honey and continue whisking until it is well blended.
Add the freshly grated nutmeg (I use a small cheese grater but you can also buy specialty nutmeg graters from Mountain Rose Herbs) as well as the other spices and vanilla extract and continue whisking.
A little at a time, add in the whipping cream, continuing to whisk.
Only a little at a time, whisk in the milk.
Finally, whisk in the rum.
Chill the eggnog for 1 or 2 hours and serve cold.
Sprinkle a little nutmeg on top before serving.
This makes 4 small servings and should be consumed within 48 hours.