George Washington’s Eggnog

November 29, 2012

No holiday season is complete without eggnog in my humble opinion, and it seems like people either love or hate this creamy sweet drink. I recently stumbled across a recipe that originates from the kitchen of George Washington’s Mount Vernon, VA home. The story goes that in his kitchen a simple recipe for eggnog was found, and that each Christmas, guests of George and Martha were served this eggnog.  The exact recipe, as scrawled by George Washington, is this:


“One quart cream, one quart milk, one dozen tablespoons sugar, one pint brandy, 1/2 pint rye whiskey, 1/2 pint Jamaica rum, 1/4 pint sherry—mix liquor first, then separate yolks and whites of eggs, add sugar to beaten yolks, mix well. Add milk and cream, slowly beating. Beat whites of eggs until stiff and fold slowly into mixture. Let set in cool place for several days. Taste frequently.”


So, George neglected to write down exactly how many eggs you’re supposed to use. After much trial and error from people over the years, his recipe can successfully be made with about 10-12 eggs.  You’ll want to put this eggnog together 5-10 days BEFORE you want to drink it! This allows the alcohol to cure the raw eggs.

Here’s a more detailed recipe that you can follow:

2 cups brandy
1 cup rye whiskey
1 cup dark Jamaica rum
1/2 cup cream sherry
10 – 12  large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 quart milk
1 quart heavy cream

1. Mix liquors in a container and set aside.
2. Separate yolks and whites.
3. Beat egg yolks  and then add sugar. Beat until it becomes a light yellow color.
4. Add liquor mix very slowly to egg yolk mixture, beating until it’s incorporated.
5. Add milk and cream at the same time, slowly beating the mixture in. Set aside.
6. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold them into the alcohol/egg mixture.
7. Cover in an airtight container.
8. Allow to cure undisturbed for 5-10 days in the coldest part of your refrigerator.
9. Serve cold. You can also serve it with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Garnish with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Don’t forget to mind George’s recommendation to ‘Taste Frequently”!

Mount Vernon VA



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