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Photos by Stuart Mullenberg

Homemade Holiday Eggnog

Of all the grand holiday traditions, it’s the potent richness of eggnog (or egg nog) that’s most guaranteed to keep seasonal revelers in high spirits. And it may be that no one understands this more than Gary Butch, co-owner of James Beard Award-winning restaurant Elizabeth on 37th in Savannah, Georgia.

Every year, about a month before the holidays, Butch and his family gather with about 50 staff members and friends to throw a party and whip up a giant batch of eggnog that they bottle and give as gifts throughout the season. The annual tradition has been happening for more than a decade, and the lucky people who receive a bottle of the treasured nog are the envy of anyone in the know.

The powdered sugar in Butch’s nog adds to the creamy consistency, while the inclusion of fruit brandies yields even more depth of flavor. And to make holiday entertaining and gift-giving a little less hectic, Butch suggests making a batch ahead of time. “The longer you let it sit, the more time the sugar and the cream have to balance out the flavors of the alcohol,” he explains. “Plus, at around 15-to-20 proof, the nog will keep in the fridge for weeks.”


12 eggs
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 cup bourbon
2/3 cup white rum
1/3 cup dark rum
1/3 cup apricot brandy
1/3 cup peach brandy
4 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream



Hand mixer
2 large mixing bowls
Large measuring glass
Rubber spatula
Punch bowl and glasses (or 4 empty and clean bottles)



When working with raw eggs, be sure that they are fresh and free of cracks. Separating them is easy once you get the hang of it: Crack cold eggs firmly along the side of a bowl and gently pull apart the two shell halves, keeping the yolk in one half of the shell. Gently transfer the yolk back and forth from each shell half until all of the white has run into the bowl below.


Step 1
Carefully separate the eggs, placing the yolks in one large mixing bowl and the whites in another.


Step 2

Mix egg yolks with a hand mixer on medium speed to combine. Add powdered sugar and spices and continue to mix on medium speed until slightly frothy and most of the sugar has dissolved. Stir.



Step 3

Combine the bourbon, rums and brandies in the large measuring glass and slowly pour into the sugar-egg yolk mixture while whisking continuously.



Step 4

Continue whisking the mixture while adding the whole milk and heavy cream.



Step 5

With clean beaters, beat the egg whites in their reserved bowl until soft peaks form.



Step 6

With a rubber spatula, fold egg whites into egg yolk mixture. Whisk to make sure all ingredients are fully incorporated. Pour eggnog into a punch bowl and refrigerate until chilled or bottle the nog in clean bottles and store in the fridge for up to two months.




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