The morning crew has been swapping eggnog concoctions all month long, and Tuesday morning was my turn to contribute. Despite never having made eggnog before, I am glad to say my version was a hit, and since one of our listeners requested the recipe, I'm even more glad to share it.

I must first give credit where credit is due, however, and admit that this was not something I made up. I get daily recipe emails from Better Homes and Gardens, and one of those emails recently listed about 10 different possibilities for eggnog.

So, I picked one. It is titled, simply, "Eggnog."

Here is what you will need:

  • Egg yolks
  • Milk
  • Sugar
  • Light rum
  • Bourbon
  • Vanilla extract
  • Whipping cream
  • Nutmeg

Just for planning purposes, you'll also need to prepare an ice bath in a bowl that's big enough to hold the saucepan you use to cook the eggs.

I actually doubled the recipe so that there was plenty to go around for everybody who works the morning shift, plus extra, though it really shouldn't sit around too long. The reason for that is, although the main eggnog mixture (the first six ingredients) can be put together and can chill for up to 24 hours, it is then combined with fresh whipped cream right before serving. The cream won't curdle per se as it sits, but it can separate and then would have to be mixed again.

By the way, you can whip the cream however you are most comfortable. I did it by hand, but electric beaters or a stand mixer should work just fine. If you're making everything ahead like I did, you may want to slightly overwhip the cream past the soft peaks stage, since it will fall upon sitting.

As far as the alcohol goes, I really am a beer-and-wine guy without too much of a taste for spirits, so I went with what I thought would be crowd-pleasers: Bacardi White Rum and Jim Beam. Of course, you can adjust the brands to your heart's content; I think the key is stirring the egg mixture over the ice bath before adding the alcohol, to make sure everything incorporates seamlessly.

Depending on how "homemade" you really want to get -- by no means am I suggesting you distill your own alcohol! -- you can opt for vanilla beans over bottled extract. I used the extract and it came out just fine.

And not to sound too much like Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa of the Food Network, but you will definitely want to have freshly grated nutmeg on hand with which to top your drink. Pre-ground nutmeg just won't give you the same effect. Garten does make a good point in one of her cookbooks that I have: The first time you make a recipe, make it exactly as written. Then, you can change measurements and ingredients as you see fit.

In this case, that might mean changing how much alcohol you put into your eggnog. But however you do it, enjoy!

Patrick Lavery produces "New Jersey's First News" and is New Jersey 101.5's morning drive breaking news reporter. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email

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