Delicious eggnog recipes from all over the globe. Plus vegan and sweet potato spins on the classic!
Eggnog gets people brimming with excitement for the holiday season, when grocery stores stock up on this party staple. This year it’s time to ditch store-bought eggnog, though, and serve one (or more) of these globe-spanning eggnog recipes. And if you or yours aren’t fans of eggnog yet, these 10 unique variations just might evoke a change of heart.
1. Italy’s Il Bombardino
A direct translation of il bombardino is “the bomb,” which is what a skier reportedly called the Italian version of eggnog after tasting it for the first time in the country’s Alps. Created by a former fisherman from Genova with milk, whiskey and zabaglione (an egg-based custard), the Bombardino soon became a sought-after winter cocktail. Over time, the bomb’s recipe evolved to a creamy egg liquor, mixed with brandy and topped with whipped cream and cinnamon. And it’s served hot, to combat the season’s chill.
2. Mexican Nuns and Rompope
In the 17th century, nuns brewed rompope because Sister Eduviges at the Santa Clara convent in Puebla, Mexico, lobbied for them to be allowed to drink that which they made themselves. Fair enough. Derived from Spanish ponche de huevo (egg punch), rompope is served chilled or warm (depending on personal taste). And while the recipe we know today calls for almonds, milk, cinnamon, lemon rind, vanilla extract, white rum and eggs, there is one secret ingredient Sister Eduviges took to her grave, according to Epicurious. That sounds like a challenge to discover just what ingredient you could add to make the drink even more delicious — and worthy of a nun’s praise.
3. A Classic American Eggnog
Recipe: Martha Stewart
If you’ve been drinking eggnog out of a carton your entire life, it’s time to elevate your taste buds. The FDA actually limits how much raw egg can be in store-sold eggnog, so it’s not a good representation of American eggnog’s potential. There are lots of American eggnog recipes floating around, and Martha Stewart’s version is sinfully good, with bourbon, rum and cognac, plus six large eggs. She recommends refrigerating the eggnog for up to one day, so be sure to plan ahead.
4. Germany’s Eierlikör, the Most Adult Imaginable of All Eggnog Recipes
Germans don’t go the normal route with granulated sugar in their version of eggnog; they use powdered sugar. And 100-proof rum or vodka for quite a kick, if traditional grain alcohol (firewater!) isn’t on hand. There’s another twist to the super-potent Eierlikör: it should be served in shot glasses made entirely of chocolate. If you’re wondering how to pull that off, you can cheat and purchase them from Lang’s Chocolates. Given the high alcohol content in Eierlikör, it’s not kid friendly — but it’ll give them something to look forward to when they grow up.
5. Sweet Potatoes in Eggnog?
Recipe: The Sacramento Bee
If you read an eggnog recipe and sweet potatoes were listed as an ingredient you’d likely scream, “typo!” That’s not the case with Brown Butter and Sweet Potato eggnog, featuring Kentucky rye bourbon. This is one of the most extraordinary eggnog recipes in existence. And it’s totally worth trying. In addition to sweet potatoes, it has dark brown sugar and cloves, which add a complexity no one will see coming. You can age it or serve it warm. If you really want to get adventurous, add two scoops of ice cream and blend for a sublime milkshake.
6. A Year-Round Vietnamese Egg-Filled Delight
You’re not going to find eggnog on a menu in Vietnam. But you will find the famous cà phê trứng (egg coffee). And it’s very yummy. Vietnamese egg coffee was created in 1946 by a barman at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel in Hanoi. According to legend, he ran out of milk and decided to substitute egg yolks in guests’ coffee. His concoction is now a staple of Vietnamese coffee culture. And at Giang Cafe, where the barman’s family continue making his original egg coffee today, the recipe is a closely guarded secret. Hint: there’s coffee powder, condensed milk, some butter and cheese in the mix. The result is what has been referred to as liquid tiramisu.
7. Vegan Eggnog
Recipe: Tori Avey
Cooking and lifestyle blogger Tori Avey created Kosher Nog as a dairy-free alternative eggnog recipe to be served with a Kosher meat meal. Vegans took notice and adopted it for their animal-free diets, paving the way for Avey to rename it Veggnog. Instead of cow milk and eggs, Veggnog contains a nondairy milk, such as almond, and firm silken tofu. The rest of the ingredients are standard eggnog fare, except for the inclusion of ginger. Avey says Veggnog tastes “remarkably similar to eggnog” and contains less cholesterol and more lean protein. By serving it this holiday season, you’ll show your vegan friends and family that everyone deserves to be included in the eggnog tradition.
8. Indian Eggnog
Recipe: The ABCD’s of Cooking
If you Google the health benefits of saffron, the results are endless. Whether it does, in fact, combat cancer, help in fighting baldness, give you great skin, cure insomnia and treat colds and coughs is debatable, but it can’t hurt to add it to your diet. And there’s an eggnog recipe in which you can do just that. Indian spiked eggnog, based on Puerto Rico’s coquito, adds saffron and cardamom to the recipe as well as pistachios for garnish. While lassi may be the first drink you consider serving when you want to include an Indian-influenced beverage at a party, this eggnog is a great alternative that adds some spiciness.
9. Get Your Spoon Ready for Advocaat
Recipe: Serious Eats
The Dutch don’t drink eggnog; they eat it with a spoon. Advocaat eggnog recipes call for as many as 10 fresh egg yolks, brandy (or cognac), vodka, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract and salt! (You didn’t expect that, right?) Whisked until thick enough to coat a spoon, advocaat is then poured into shot-glass-size containers and refrigerated for a minimum of six hours. When ready, it’s eaten like pudding with a spoon. It will keep in the fridge for up to one month, so you can keep enjoying it long after the holiday season has ended.
10. Medicinal Eggnog
Recipe: Japanese Kitchen
The Japanese version of eggnog, tamagozake, takes raw egg, sugar and sake to create a cold remedy. That’s right: in Japan you drink eggnog to get well. Served hot, tamagozake isn’t served in restaurants or bars — it’s a traditional recipe reserved for the home because of its strong medicinal association. Next time you’re stocking up the medicine cabinet, consider adding a bottle of sake just in case the cold bug gets you or one of your holiday gathering’s guests (because there’s always one sniffler in attendance). Plus, it tastes a great deal better than Robitussin.