There are a few seasonal drinks that clearly and distinctly let you know what time of year it is: lemonade, piña coladas, sorrel drink, pumpkin spice lattes, and of course: eggnog.
Eggnog is a holiday staple in the US and for good reason – it’s delicious. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly low-carb and the stuff you buy at the store is filled to the brim with fillers. So much so that the ‘FDA regulations (as of January 2015) require eggnog to contain at least 1% egg yolk solids and at least 8.25% milk solids’ (wiki). Which, we all know that the commercial producers are not going to add more than those minimum requirements – it’s just business.
But, we can easily make our own and make it low-carb and keto-friendly! And it’s actually incredibly easy. The interesting part is that eggnog is basically the beginning steps of both creme brulee as well as icecream, except we don’t have to worry about the complicated aspects of those recipes (i.e. water baths or churning). By knowing how to make eggnog, it also means we can have it year round because eggnog is delicious and works incredibly well as a fat bomb. Its also composed of off-the-shelf ingredients, which is also makes it a breeze to souce.
There are a couple versions of eggnog – one of which uses raw eggs and the egg whites and another that cooks the yolks and omits the egg whites. In the video I go into both, but I prefer the cooked eggnog as it’s creamier and much close to what you would buy in the store.
Can I omit the whole milk?
Yes, you can omit the whole milk! The reason I recommend using lactose free whole milk is for three reasons:
- Lactose free milk typically has less carbs and will work for lactose intolerant folks.
- Using two cups of heavy cream makes the eggnog taste and feel overly fatty to me, which is something I didn’t want.
- Using two cups of unsweet almond milk, give the nog too much of that almond milk taste.
If you choose to omit the milk, simply split the difference and use 1.5 cups heavy cream and 1.5 cups of almond milk. That middle ground works decently well. You can also substitute with a bit of heavy cream and some water since milk is essentially watered down cream (not exactly, but essentially).
What alcohol is in eggnog?
The alcohol in eggnog can be used to taste of the drinker. Traditionally in the US, it was made with rum. After the blockades and such, they changed to using an alcohol that was available, thus whiskey. You could also use brandy or even vodka, but avoid any alcohol that is floral (e.g. gin), overly peaty (some whiskeys), and overproof. If you’re an experienced alcohol enthusiast, then I’d recommend the overproof liquors, otherwise, it will be overpowering for most.
My preference for eggnog is actually a mix of both whiskey and dark rum. It sounds crazy, but the subtle flavor of each liquor really compliment the eggnog and give it a fantastic overall complexity that’s delicious.
What does eggnog taste like?
If you’ve never had eggnog, don’t worry, it doesn’t taste like eggs. Think of it as a liquid creme brulee – creamy, not overly milky (oddly), sweet, and a the spices!
Does eggnog require raw eggs?
The knock down, old school classic eggnog version DOES require raw eggs. However, there are ways around this:
- Make this version of the recipe which uses cooks the egg yolks
- Use pasteurized eggs
- Add alcohol and let sit for a 1-2 days.
Yes, you read that right – add alcohol. There have been a few studies that show the ability of alcohol to kill E. Coli and Salmonella – and typically within 24-48 hours the task can be accomplished (link). Simply dump your liquor preference in, and place it into the fridge. You can actually even age eggnog (I’m in the midst of this experiment!).
Is this eggnog keto friendly?
For sure – especially if you omit the alcohol! It’s literally a fat-bomb. I found myself at the end of the day being short on my fat intake and would simply consume a couple of ounces of the liquid gold. It’s one hell of a way to get your fat intake.
Why so many spices in your recipe?
I simply enjoy the flavor combination. I have nothing against the nutmeg only eggnogs, but I don’t find it as complex, appetizing, and appealing. Hate me for it, I like flavor :shrug:
Looking for something slightly different?
How about a Rumchata or a staple of the Caribbean (e.g. the eggnog of the Caribbean), Coquito?