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Eggnog = Holiday Joy

Whether you call it eggnog or boiled custard, nog on!

This rich and creamy drink, typically made with a blend of milk, cream, sugar, eggs, and spices like nutmeg and cinnamon, is often spiked with a dash of rum, brandy, or bourbon to add a warming, festive touch.

Served chilled and garnished with a sprinkle of nutmeg, it brings a comforting and indulgent flavor to holiday gatherings, symbolizing the joy and togetherness of the season.

Christmas Eggnog is surely a beloved holiday tradition in the United States. Many agree Eggnog originated in medieval England. The British drink was called Posset, which was made with hot milk and then curdled with wine or ale and flavored with spices. It was even used as a cold and flu remedy. 

In this country, it didn’t really hit its stride until American colonists adopted it as a drink. In a time when harvest festivals really were a "last hurrah" before a long, possibly lean, winter, eggnog was the go-to drink in a Holiday toast to continued prosperity.

So, is it eggnog…or boiled custard? Well, it all depends on where you are drinking it or where you are from. We sat with Guy Coleman, a retired Kentucky engineer, Air Force veteran, amateur astronomer, and amateur radio operator, who makes beer and wine in his basement, enjoys hiking, “RV-ing”, and is an astronomy volunteer at National Parks. “In the south, we call it 'boiled custard', it is always cooked and frequently mixed with a significant amount of spirits, like rum, brandy, or bourbon- it’s a matter of choice and especially determined by where you are from.” He adds bourbon to his.

There are many versions of Eggnog, but they all have five basic ingredients: milk or cream, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. They also contain spices like
allspice, cloves, and nutmeg.

Boiled Custard is thicker and creamier, and the alcohol and sugar will preserve it for the whole month in your fridge. When Guy makes his boiled custard, he makes large batches and greets his guests during the Holiday season with his Southern hospitality and a glass of his very own boiled custard. Being the engineer that he is, while cooking it, he uses a double boiler and when his dairy thermometer marks 180F, he takes it off the heat, cools it a bit, and refrigerates it.

“It will curdle a little so the next step is blending it in the blender to add air, and creaminess and make it very smooth. Remember to leave plenty of room in the blender as it will get airy and spill if too full,” advises Guy.

Right before passing it to his guests, he adds a sprinkle of nutmeg on top.

Guy’s Boiled Custard

Which also goes GREAT with biscotti!


  • 3/4 gallon half-and-half
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 whole eggs or 12 egg yolks (Guy uses 6 whole eggs)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • ground nutmeg


Heat 1/2 gallon of half-and-half with the cinnamon sticks in a
double boiler.

Beat 6 eggs (whole) or 12 egg yolks while adding the sugar
and salt. Add the remaining half and half to the eggs and beat
for 2 minutes.

Remove the cinnamon sticks and pour the egg+half-and-half combination into the remaining hot half-and-half. Heat and stir until it coats the back of a spoon (at 180F degrees).

Add the vanilla and stir. Cool. Refrigerate.

When ready to serve, blend the concoction to add air, creaminess, and smoothness. Pour into mugs and sprinkle it lightly with nutmeg.