Egg Nog
Put a new spin on classic egg nog by serving it in a martini glass.



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December 2007
Updated December 2016

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Cocktails

Classic Rum Egg Nog Recipe

And Some Delicious Egg Nog Trivia


The holidays mean egg nog. When else can we enjoy such a rich beverage with abandon? Actually, those fun-loving neighbors Down Under enjoy this luxury libation all year long, so don’t be surprised to be offered one in the middle of July. And, early American cookbooks listed egg nog recipes in sections for the sick and infirm. We’d probably have feigned a malaise to get a daily serving.

Egg Nog History

While the origins of egg nog are debated, it may have originated from posset, a medieval European beverage made with hot milk and white wine. Americans adapted it but used the New World liquor rum, and later, Bourbon (which evolved to its present form in the late 19th century); cider was also used. George Washington was quite a fan of egg nog and devised his own recipe that included rye whiskey, rum and sherry.

We know that there are eggs in egg nog, but what’s the “nog?” Opinions differ.

  • In Colonial America, rum was commonly called “grog,” and the descriptive term for the drink, “egg-and-grog,” may have corrupted to egg‘n’grog and then to egg nog.
  • Other experts insist that the “nog” is short for “noggin,” a small, carved wooden mug used to serve drinks in taverns.
  • It could even be a combination of the two: that an “egg and grog in a noggin” was shortened to egg nog. After having one or two, it’s easy to see why.

In the 1800s, egg nog was nearly always made in large quantities and nearly always a party drink. It was noted by an English visitor in 1866, that “Christmas is not properly observed unless you brew egg nog for all comers; everybody calls on everybody else; and each call is celebrated by a solemn egg-nogging...It is made cold and is drunk cold and is to be commended.”

Egg Nog CupsRum Notes

This classic recipe is courtesy of Mount Gay Eclipse Rum, one of our favorites. Mount Gay Eclipse Barbados rum is different from other rums you may be familiar with. It’s complex and fruity dark rum (light amber in color), with cherries on the nose and a purity and mellowness on the palate that makes it as enjoyable to sip straight up as a Scotch. Interestingly, at about $19.00 a bottle, it’s far more affordable than Mount Gay Extra Old rum, the award-winning premium bar brand which is aged 17 years and retails for about $33.00. Many people find Mount Gay Extra Old to be the finest rum in the world—it’s a powerful yet smooth libation. But as wine drinkers, we love the complex fruit and spice, the vanilla oakiness, of Eclipse.
Photo: Mount Gay Eclipse Rum with a punch bowl and classic cups of egg nog. If you treat yourself to a set of glass cups, they look great with tea all year around.



This recipe makes 2 quarts and serves 18 to 20.


  • 8 large eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 1½ cups rum
  • 1 cup 80º bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar


  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs, yolks and granulated sugar until smooth.

  2. Pour into a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in milk, gradually, blending well with each addition. Heat slowly over very low heat, stirring steadily, until the mixture reaches 160º to 170ºF on an instant read thermometer. The custard should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon: If you draw your finger across the back of the spoon, the line will remain distinct and the custard sauce is done.

  3. Pour the custard through a fine-meshed sieve into large bowl. Stir in vanilla, the Nutmeg GraterMount Gay Eclipse rum, Bourbon and nutmeg. Let mixture cool, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least three hours and or up to one day.
  4. Just before serving, whip cream to very soft peaks, beating in, superfine sugar as you go. Gently fold into custard mixture until incorporated. Serve from a chilled punch bowl or ladle into individual martini glasses, garnishing with grated nutmeg if desired. (We highly recommend it. In fact, if you don’t have a nutmeg grater—like a peppermill but for nutmeg—get yourself one and some whole nutmegs as a holiday gift to your kitchen pantry.)

Make 16 cups. Serves 18 to 20.

Recipe © Copyright Mount Gay Rum. Other material