Posted by: Buzz | January 1, 2011

Egg Nogg

Grandpa’s Eggnog is our standby for alcohol during winter holidays. But this year, we wondered whether other made-from-scratch versions could compete with that favorite. Perhaps this recipe from Old Mr. Boston around 1941

Christmas Yule Egg Nogg

Beat the yolks and whites of 1 Dozen Eggs separately and then pour together and add:
1 Pinch Baking Soda
6 oz. Old Mr. Boston Imported Rum
2 lbs. Granulated Sugar

and then beat into stiff lather. Then add:
1 qt. Milk
1 qt. Sweet Cream
2 qts. Old Mr. Boston Rye or Bourbon Whiskey and stir. Set in refrigerator overnight. Before serving, stir again, and serve in 4 oz. Punch glasses, and grate Nutmeg on top.

Aside from the pinch of baking soda and an extra “g” in the nogg, these are extremely standard eggnog ingredients. Presumably the baking soda is there to help keep it foamy or something. Or perhaps Old Mr. Boston secretly owned stock in Arm & Hammer.

We made this for New Year’s celebration at home, so this is only 1/4 the full recipe… still plenty for two adults. I’m not even sure I have a bowl big enough to beat a dozen eggs with 2 pounds of sugar and 4 quarts of liquid ingredients!

Everything looks a bit glorpy before they’re beaten together. (And, side note, this is a slightly ridiculous amount of sugar. Even after a thorough mixing and a day in the fridge, I was able to find gritty sugar bits at the bottom of the bowl.)

Once the yolks go in, it’s pretty much impossible to make the mixture stiffer. I don’t think the baking soda does anything to improve the “lather.” So just pour the rest of the ingredients in; as long as it’s alcoholic enough, nobody will care. That’s the truly magical thing about eggnog.

As this sits in the fridge (or in your glass), the egg white foam gradually rises to the top. I personally like this in my eggnog — straining the creamy sweet yolk part through the foam on top, and getting just a hint of nutmeg in each sip. My advice is to completely ignore Old Mr. Boston’s advice to stir things up before serving, as long as you get both consistencies in your cup!

And the verdict? We’ll be sticking with Grandpa’s recipe in future. The flavors are pretty much the same, since it’s hard to go wrong with eggs, milk, sugar, and booze; but Grandpa’s always has the consistency I prefer, and has the weight of family tradition in its favor for us also!

Thanks to Kitchen Retro for originally sharing this odd nogg with the world.



  1. The baking soda is puzzling. I actually wonder whether they got confused, and it was supposed to be cream of tartar, which is the other ingredient in baking powder, and which does help to stiffen egg whites.

    • Don’the ever miss the baking soda it is the secret ingredient that makes the taste so special. Also make it two weeks ahead. It needs that time for the mixture to mellow.

  2. A week or two ago I might’ve felt up to trying this one–but after yesterday’s pork and sauerkraut and black-eyed peas, my stomach has revolted against all holiday-related foods. But I’ll definitely be bookmarking this for next year! Thanks for posting. :^)

  3. Addendum: On an old episode of Good Eats, I just saw Alton Brown explain that it’s simply the acidity of tartrate that helps whites to foam. Which means adding a weak base like sodium bicarbonate….

  4. 1st off, I Love Cruzan Rum! (Main Reason I Stopped to Comment lol) 2nd I Love me some Eggnog and that my Friend looks Tasty.

    Only thing I might Differ in is the Spice & Added Rum… I would do a Small Liquid Boil of Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves & Star Anise wit a splash of Vanilla Essence & Almond Essence. Now for the Rum I would Add Cruzan Rum’s 9 Spice, Vanilla & 151 Rums wit a Splash of Disorono Amaretto.

    Cruzan Rum has a Horchata Rum now called Velvet Cinn & it’s a Holiday in a Bottle! Go out & Try it if you find it… Who am I kidding, Find it!!! And while your Out there try the other 21 Flavors from Cruzan Rum lol

  5. This is the best egg nog recipe ever. My family has made this every year since the fourties. It is best to make this at least two weeks in advance and keep it refrigerated and stir every couple of days. Do not ever forget the baking soda, that is the secret ingredient that makes the drink. Once made and kept refregerated we have kept the extra for six months, it just does not go bad, it mellows and becomes really smooth tasty drink. It is the pinch of bakeing soda that does this.

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