Who says you can't drink eggnog all year long?

Eggnog is too good to only exist during the holiday season. Let's change that

By D. Watkins

Editor at Large

Published January 11, 2024 3:30PM (EST)

Fresh eggnog with cinnamon and nutmeg for Christmas holiday (Getty Images/Inna Dodor)
Fresh eggnog with cinnamon and nutmeg for Christmas holiday (Getty Images/Inna Dodor)

My local market has stopped selling eggnog, even though I believe it should be available all year round. So, I experimented with some different ingredients and came up with the perfect solution. 

My wife and I had eggnog for the first time during the holiday season of 2023. Well, to be clear, I have been having eggnog for years — so I should say that it was the first time I experimented with an alcohol-free version of the classic drink.

For years, my recipe would include 4 parts rum and one part eggnog. My drink was so heavy on the rum, that I'm not even sure if I could legally call it eggnog. 

And since 2023 was my big year of cutting back on alcohol and being more healthy in general, I completely forgot about eggnog. I wasn't being the Grinch, I had just always associated the drink with a buzz that I wasn't currently seeking.

The big difference in 2023, though, was that my daughter was now three years old and fully into Christmas spirit. Yes, she wanted to wrap presents; yes, she wanted to sing Christmas songs all day and all night (even at 3 am); yes, she wanted to bake cookies for Santa and yes, my wife said to make sure I get that baby some oat or almond milk-based eggnog. 

I consider myself an entry-level chef and barista, so I made a sweet concoction for the young lady. It consisted of oat milk based eggnog that I warmed up, mixed with cinnamon, before topping it off with a healthy portion of dairy free whipped cream. She drank like she never drank before, guzzling every drip, wiping off the whipped cream mustache, and then saying, “More please, I would like more eggnog please.” 

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And then she wanted to have a glass of eggnog with her oatmeal in the morning, and a glass of eggnog after school, and even a glass of eggnog while she enjoyed her baked chicken and broccoli. The girl is hooked.

It's so bad that my wife and I secretly used eggnog as a reward; i.e, “Put your toys away and we'll give you some eggnog,” or “If you finish your vegetables, and go to bed, I'll let you have a sip of eggnog.”
Now the holiday season has come to an end, but we are going to ride this eggnog thing until we can’t, so I took to the Internet, tried to bunch of different recipes, and ended up with something that works perfectly for my baby girl. And me too. 

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4 to 6 servings
Cook Time
10 minutes (plus 2 hours refrigeration time)


2 ½ cup oat milk
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 tablespoon ground nutmeg
3/4 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 ¼ cup dairy free heavy cream
Whipped cream  



  1. Pour the oat milk into a pan and heat on low. 
  2. When the oat milk comes to a boil, stir in the nutmeg, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla.

  3. As that simmers, whip the egg yolks is a container large enough to hold all of your ingredients, until they are smooth. There should be no globs or lumps. 

  4. Gradually and carefully, pour the hot oat milk on top of your whipped egg yolks in intervals and continue whisking for about 3 minutes, until homogenous. 

  5. Pour everything back in the pan and cook over low heat until the mixture starts to thicken. As soon as the texture changes, pour in the heavy cream and stir for about 2 minutes.

  6. Chill in the refrigerator for about two hours and serve. 

  7. Add as much whipped cream as you want. 

By D. Watkins

D. Watkins is an Editor at Large for Salon. He is also a writer on the HBO limited series "We Own This City" and a professor at the University of Baltimore. Watkins is the author of the award-winning, New York Times best-selling memoirs “The Beast Side: Living  (and Dying) While Black in America”, "The Cook Up: A Crack Rock Memoir," "Where Tomorrows Aren't Promised: A Memoir of Survival and Hope" as well as "We Speak For Ourselves: How Woke Culture Prohibits Progress." His new books, "Black Boy Smile: A Memoir in Moments," and "The Wire: A Complete Visual History" are out now.

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