Eggnog can be a pain to make and most store-bought versions fall flat. But we can’t go through a festive season without some of this quintessential festive drink, so here’s our version of a super quick and tasty ‘nog—perfect for your next holiday gathering. [Editor’s note: If you want this in dessert form, look no further than our easy eggnog pie recipe.]—Eric Prum and Josh Williams

Easy Eggnog FAQs

What kind of ice cream should I use in this eggnog?

Whether you go with ice cream that you’ve made or from a store, we recommend one that has lots of eggs in it. We have a few with that custardy consistency on the site, including the one listed in the ingredients.

How warm does my ice cream need to be to make this eggnog?

You’ll want it to be soft enough to scoop easily, so warmer than rock hard for sure. After that, it depends on how thick and icy you want that ‘nog. Make it with very cold ice cream for something closer to a milkshake, let it melt quite a bit for something thinner. Just don’t forget to put the carton back in the freezer!

Two eggnogs in glasses with a gingerbread star on the lip and a rim of cinnamon.

Easy Eggnog

5 from 1 vote
This easy eggnog is made with melted ice cream, bourbon, dark rum, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The ice cream makes it rich and easy to toss together. A Christmas cocktail classic.
David Leite
Servings2 servings
Calories172 kcal
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes


  • Cocktail shaker; coupe or martini or old-fashioned glasses (optional)


  • 1 shot bourbon
  • 1 shot dark rum
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream, (1/2 to 3/4 cup), slightly softened
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus a pinch for garnish
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, plus a pinch for garnish


  • Before you do anything else, place 2 coupe or martini or old-fashioned glasses or whatever stemware you've got in the freezer.
  • Add the bourbon, rum, ice cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the shaker and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. (If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, you can blitz everything in a blender.)
  • Divvy the creamy eggnog concoction between the chilled glasses. If you want, add a pinch cinnamon or nutmeg for garnish. Serve the eggnog without delay.
Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails Book

Adapted From


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Serving: 1 drinkCalories: 172 kcalCarbohydrates: 8 gProtein: 1 gFat: 4 gSaturated Fat: 2 gMonounsaturated Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 15 mgSodium: 27 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 7 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2013 Eric Prum | Josh Williams. Photo © 2013 Natasha Breen. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

To me, this easy eggnog has the richness of eggnog without the heaviness. While I’m a lover of good eggnog, sometimes it can be just a little too much. I sometimes feel that I want just one more, then I regret it.

I used a very high-quality vanilla ice cream made with whole vanilla bean. I also made sure when making this eggnog to use both high-quality bourbon and rum. The total ice cream was just a little over 1/2 cup. I also used freshly grated nutmeg. I think next time I make this, I’ll start with a little less ground cinnamon and increase as needed. Can’t wait to try this easy eggnog with Irish whiskey or Irish Mist for St. Patrick’s Day. I certainly won’t keep this recipe just for the holiday season as it’s nice for any wintertime festivities.

Eggnog is a must during the holiday season. Some years I make it from scratch and others I buy it. I have a good friend who makes her milk punch with ice cream like in this easy eggnog, but I’ve never thought to do that with eggnog. It sure is easier than the time-consuming traditional method, which basically involves making a custard base.

With high-quality vanilla ice cream, the custard base is already made for you! Plus, the creaminess that the ice cream imparts is out of this world. I like the use of both rum and bourbon here—they complement each other well and pair nicely with the warm spices. Yes, as the recipe instructed, I did use a strainer to pour the cocktails into their chilled glasses; it was the easiest way in my mind to serve these delicious after-dinner drinks.

Who knows? This eggnog was so good, I might not be able to wait for the holidays to get here to make it again!

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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    1. Betsy, the photo came from the publisher, but I believe it’s a mixture of granulated sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg.

      1. Thanks, David! Might be fun to try rimming eggnog glasses with something like gingersnap crumbs, now that I ponder it. I once had a key lime pie “Martini” at Gertrude’s cafe in Baltimore (at the Baltimore Museum of Art) and the glass was rimmed with graham cracker crumbs. It was sublime, and I wish I knew that recipe!

        Cheers, and happy holidays!

        PS My mom, who was born in 1927, loved making eggnog, and she always used eggnog ice cream as her base. Seems a bit harder to find it these days, though. Sometimes we make our own (eggnog ice cream) to make eggnog with.

        1. Betsy, that sounds wonderful. And I love the Baltimore Museum of Art. The One is from Baltimore, so when we visit family, we sometimes stop by the museum. Happy holidays to you and yours!

  1. I make egg nog with cinnamon ice cream and Southern Comfort. I don’t have a set recipe, since I usually just wing it while making it for myself. This is going to help me work out the portions I use for a potluck.

  2. My dad made a similar eggnog for Thanksgiving every year. Although he’s been gone for 17 years, we each still do so, in our various homes, with the vanilla ice cream and a healthy measure of bourbon and give a toast to him. Wonderful to read this recipe today. 🙂

    1. That’s a wonderful memory to toast to, Ali. I hope that tradition lives on for a long time.