This rich and creamy Sugar Cookie Eggnog is a delicious holiday cocktail! Dark rum and sugar cookie syrup combine with rich cream in this indulgent wintertime treat. A sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg and a crushed sugar cookie rim makes gives this drink a little something special. It's a delicious twist on a traditional Christmastime drink.
Eggnog has been around since the 1700s, and there are tons of recipes for this traditional Christmas cocktail. The mixture of eggs, cream, spirits and spices is a truly indulgent and delicious treat. (I personally get full after half a glass!) This recipe incorporates flavors of vanilla and almond, rather than cinnamon and other baking spices.
As for the eggs, you can use raw eggs if you like, but I always pasteurize my eggs. It's so easy and you can find my full instructions here: How to Pasteurize Eggs Sous Vide.
Here are the ingredients to make this delicious Christmastime drink.
- Dark rum - any dark rum will work well. I used Appleton Estate 8 Year Old Reserve Rum. You could also use a light rum for a less intense rum flavor. Or, omit the rum and just use the vanilla vodka for more of a pure sugar cookie taste.
- Vanilla vodka - I used Stoli vanilla vodka. Other brands with good vanilla flavored vodkas are Absolut, Grey Goose, Ciroc and Van Gogh.
- Sugar Cookie Syrup - you can use store bought sugar cookie syrup, or make your own with my Sugar Cookie Syrup recipe.
- Cream - heavy cream works perfectly, or half and half is a good option too.
- Pasteurized egg - I always pasteurize my eggs for eggnog. Find instructions here: How to Pasteurize Eggs Sous Vide. If you can find pasteurized eggs in a store, it's even easier! Sometimes I even find pasteurized whole eggs in a carton. If you are using the carton, shake it well and measure out 1½ ounces (3 tablespoons) in place of one egg.
- Whole nutmeg - a little goes a long way with nutmeg. Whole nutmeg has a fresher and stronger flavor than pre-ground. Just use a spice grater to grate it directly into the drink.
Here are some ways you can substitute ingredients in this recipe.
- Dark rum - brandy or Cognac is a great substitute for dark rum here. Or, do half Cognac and half rum for a smooth flavor. Bourbon works well also.
- Vanilla vodka - if you don't have vanilla vodka, just use extra rum instead, plus a bar spoon of vanilla extract. The final drink will look a lot darker/yellow in color, but still taste delicious.
- Sugar Cookie Syrup - if you don't have this syrup, just use regular simple syrup and add ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract and ⅛ teaspoon of almond extract per cocktail.
- Cream - if you need to skip dairy, use coconut cream instead of heavy cream.
- Egg - you can use a vegan egg replacer instead of the real egg. If you're using a powdered egg replacer, make sure to mix it with water beforehand, following the instructions on your product.
- Nutmeg - omit if you don't have this, or use ground cinnamon.
Here are some ideas for changing things up in this cocktail!
- Non-alcoholic Eggnog - instead of the booze, you can either use milk or an alcohol substitute, like Lyre's Dark Cane Non-Alcoholic Spirit.
- Orgeat - instead of the sugar cookie syrup, try using orgeat syrup. I like BG Reynolds Orgeat. It is a classic almond syrup that is often used in Tiki recipes.
- Keto Friendly Sugar Cookie Eggnog - other than the syrup, this is a pretty keto-friendly recipe! If you want to make this lower in sugar, omit the cookie rim and use a sugar free syrup. Jordan's Skinny Syrups Cookie Dough is a decent option, or Monin Sugar Free Almond Syrup. If you're making it yourself, check out my blog post on Sugar Cookie Syrup for more keto friendly info. Lastly, you can also use plain vodka instead of vanilla vodka, as flavored vodkas often have some sugar content.
You'll need to have a cocktail shaker, strainer, jigger, and serving glass to make this drink. You'll also need some small dishes to dip the rim for the cookie crumb rim. Some nice-to-haves are a spice grater for the nutmeg, as well as a milk frother to get a nice foamy layer on top.
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Start by adding the cookie crumb rim to your serving glass. Dip the rim into some sugar cookie syrup, and then dip it into some sugar cookie crumbs.
If you are having trouble getting the crumbs to stick, you can try using a thicker syrup for this step. Corn syrup or honey are both good choices if you want a really packed cookie rim. You can even use buttercream icing if you're feeling extra!
Add your pasteurized egg to your cocktail shaker. You may note that the egg white of a pasteurized egg is cloudy, and that is totally normal.
Then, add in the heavy cream.
Add the sugar cookie syrup and then the dark rum to the cocktail shaker.
Add in the vanilla vodka, and then grate some fresh nutmeg directly into the shaker.
Fill the shaker with ice and seal the shaker. Give it 15 to 20 hard shakes.
Strain the ice out of the drink. I did this by pouring it into the other half of my cocktail shaker, but you can use a tall glass or container if you are using cobbler style shaker (where there is a lid with holes in it).
Then, either shake the drink again without ice, or use a milk frother to froth up the drink. This will give you a foamy top on the drink.
Pour the drink into your prepared serving glass. Then, grate nutmeg over the top of the drink, and serve.
Hint: don't be afraid to play around with the proportions in this drink! My recipe is fairly strong and the rum brings a lot of flavor. Try using only vanilla vodka if you prefer a milder taste. If you want it to be less strong, try adding some milk or even water to thin it down.
Frequently Asked Questions
Traditionally, eggnog is a rich cocktail made with both eggs and cream. It's often associated with the Christmas holidays, and flavored with warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.
Eggnog was developed over the centuries as an alcoholic drink. The alcohol in the mixture actually helps preserve the drink and give it a longer shelf life. However, with modern refrigeration, it can certainly be made without alcohol. Non-alcoholic eggnog will have a shorter shelf life, but it is definitely a tasty drink for anyone not imbibing.
Top tip - Making a big batch
Nothing says Christmas party like eggnog! This is a great recipe to make ahead of time and serve out of a pitcher. You can keep it in the fridge until you're ready to serve. Just be sure to follow the expiration date on the cream and egg you're using.
For 9 servings, you'll need a 64 ounce (~2 liter) pitcher to hold everything. Each drink is about 7 ounces.
To make a big batch, just multiply the ingredients based on the number of servings you need. Then, add in ½ ounce of water or milk per serving. Add everything together in a large pitcher or mixing bowl with a pour spout. You can use a whisk or hand mixer to beat everything together, so that it becomes a smooth consistency. Then pour it into your storage container, seal it closed and keep it in the fridge until you're ready to serve.
Sugar Cookie Eggnog
- 1 Cocktail serving glass (around 8 ounces in capacity)
- 2 Small dishes (for adding the cookie crumb rim)
- 1 Spice grater (optional) (for the nutmeg)
Sugar Cookie Rim
- 2 tablespoon sugar cookie crumbs
- 1 tablespoon sugar cookie syrup (or use corn syrup or honey for a thicker cookie rim)
- 1 egg (preferably pasteurized - about 3 ounces/90 ml)
- 1½ ounce heavy cream
- 1½ ounce sugar cookie syrup
- 1 ounce rum
- 1 ounce vanilla vodka
- whole nutmeg (or use ground nutmeg)
Sugar Cookie Rim
- Add the cookie crumbs and syrup into two small dishes.
- Dip the rim of the serving glass into the syrup, letting the excess drip back into the dish so it doesn't go down the side of the glass.
- Then dip the rim into the cookie crumbs, lift it out, turn and dip again until you have an even coat. If you are having trouble getting the crumbs to stick, you can either crush them into finer pieces, or use a thicker/stickier syrup like corn syrup.
- Set the glass aside while you make the drink.
- Add the egg, cream, syrup, rum, and vodka to the cocktail shaker.
- Grate nutmeg over top of the shaker, so you have just a pinch of nutmeg in the drink.
- Add ice to the shaker and shake well, about 15 to 20 shakes.
- If you want a more foamy top to the drink, do a dry shake, which is where you strain out the ice and shake the drink again without ice. A milk foamer comes in handy here for a quick and easy froth.
- Pour the frothed drink into the prepared serving glass.
- Grate some more nutmeg on top for a garnish, and enjoy!
- You can make this drink ahead of time. Keep it in the fridge, and it will be good up until the expiration date on your cream or egg.
- To lighten up the calories in this recipe, use half and half or whole milk instead of the heavy cream.
- To reduce the sugar content, use a sugar free syrup (see my Sugar Cookie Syrup post for tips on making a keto-friendly version of the syrup).
- If you want to reduce the alcohol, simply replace it with milk, or use a non-alcoholic rum substitute like Lyre's to keep a rum flavor in the mix.