written by
Bert Gallagher

Vodka and Eggnog: Your Ultimate Guide to a Classic Holiday Drink

8 min read

As the holiday season approaches, festive beverages become a topic of interest for many, and one classic combination that continues to delight is vodka and eggnog. This iconic pairing offers a delightful mix of rich creaminess and a smooth, spirited kick. Over the years, the basic recipe has been enhanced and modified to suit various tastes, resulting in an array of delicious options to explore.

Vodka, a versatile spirit, complements the thick, indulgent texture of eggnog, creating a well-balanced drink perfect for holiday celebrations. While the classic vodka and eggnog recipe is a timeless choice, a variety of innovative adaptations have emerged, including flavored vodkas, additional liqueurs, and various garnishes. The versatility of this cocktail means that there is a version to suit virtually any palate, making it a true crowd-pleaser at gatherings with friends and family.

Vodka and Eggnog

Key Takeaways

  • Vodka and eggnog is a classic, versatile holiday beverage
  • A variety of variations offer unique flavor combinations to suit different tastes
  • Experimenting with flavored vodkas, liqueurs, and garnishes expands serving options

What is Vodka and Eggnog

Vodka and eggnog is a popular holiday cocktail that combines the creamy, rich flavors of eggnog with the smoothness and versatility of vodka. This delightful combination is enjoyed during the winter holidays, particularly around Christmas.

Eggnog Origins

Eggnog is a creamy, dairy-based beverage traditionally made from a combination of milk, cream, sugar, whipped egg whites, and egg yolks. It is often flavored with spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. The drink has its roots in medieval Europe, specifically England, where it was originally consumed as a hot, milk-based beverage called "posset." With the addition of eggs, it eventually evolved into the modern-day eggnog we know and love.

Vodka and Eggnog Cocktail

Vodka is a highly versatile spirit that pairs well with the rich and indulgent flavors of eggnog. There are many variations of vodka and eggnog cocktails, with some incorporating additional liqueurs or flavors to enhance the taste. One popular variant includes the addition of amaretto, which adds a sweet, almondy flavor to the mix. Another option is using vanilla or whipped cream-flavored vodka, which further complements the creamy nature of eggnog.

To make a simple vodka and eggnog cocktail:

  • Fill a glass with ice
  • Add 1 part vodka
  • Fill the glass with eggnog
  • Stir gently to combine
  • Optionally, sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg for garnish

Holiday Significance

Vodka and eggnog is a classic holiday drink that is enjoyed during the Christmas season, adding a unique twist to the traditional eggnog experience. The appeal of this cocktail lies in its combination of rich, creamy eggnog with the sharpness of vodka, creating a well-balanced flavor profile that is both indulgent and refreshing. It is a great option for holiday parties and festive gatherings, providing a delicious and smooth Christmas cocktail that is sure to delight guests and spread holiday cheer.

Classic Vodka Eggnog Recipe


To make this classic vodka eggnog, gather the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup vodka (preferably whipped cream vodka for added flavor)
  • Optional: caramel syrup, cinnamon sticks, whipped cream, and chocolate shavings for garnishes


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine milk, heavy cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Heat the mixture over low heat until it begins to simmer, then remove it from heat.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until they are well combined and have a pale-yellow color.
  3. Slowly add the hot milk mixture to the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly to prevent the yolks from cooking. Once combined, return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until it reaches a thick consistency.
  4. Remove the eggnog from heat and allow it to cool slightly. Add in vodka and mix well. You can serve it warm or refrigerate it for later use. For best results, chill it for at least 2 hours before serving.

Garnishes and Presentation

If you'd like to garnish your classic vodka eggnog, here are some ideas:

  • Add a dollop of whipped cream on top of each serving.
  • Drizzle caramel syrup or caramel sauce over the whipped cream for added sweetness and flair.
  • Sprinkle a mixture of cinnamon and sugar over the whipped cream.
  • Place a cinnamon stick in each glass for stirring and decoration.
  • Grate chocolate shavings over the eggnog for a touch of indulgence.

To present your classic vodka eggnog, fill glasses with ice cubes, then pour the chilled eggnog mixture over the ice. Add your preferred garnishes and enjoy this festive booze-infused eggnog.

Eggnog Variations

Spiked Eggnog with Other Alcohols

Spiked eggnog is a popular choice for holiday celebrations and can be made using various alcohols. Some common choices for spiking eggnog are:

  • Rum: This is the traditional choice for spiked eggnog, with spiced rum adding a rich, complex flavor.
  • Brandy: Often used alongside or in place of rum, brandy adds warmth to the eggnog.
  • Whiskey: Both bourbon and Irish whiskey can bring an appealing depth to the drink.
  • Liqueurs: Options like Kahlúa, amaretto, and Irish cream can introduce additional flavors and textures to the cocktail.

Here's a quick recipe for an eggnog martini:

  1. 2 oz vodka
  2. 2 oz store-bought eggnog
  3. 1 oz amaretto

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a dusting of nutmeg.

Non-Alcoholic and Dairy-Free Options

For those who prefer a non-alcoholic or dairy-free version, there are plenty of alternatives:

  • Non-Alcoholic Eggnog: Store-bought non-alcoholic eggnog, such as from Trader Joe's, can be enjoyed on its own or mixed with other non-alcoholic ingredients for a festive twist.
  • Dairy-Free Eggnog: Vegan and dairy-free alternatives, like almond milk or coconut milk-based eggnogs, are available for those with dietary restrictions. They can be enjoyed as is or mixed with other dairy-free ingredients.

Unique Flavors and Mix-Ins

In addition to traditional spiked eggnog, there are numerous unique flavor options and mix-ins that can be added for a personalized touch:

  • Tropical Twist: Add coconut and pineapple to create a refreshing and exotic spin on the classic eggnog cocktail.
  • Cinnamon Whiskey: Mix in cinnamon whiskey for an extra spicy kick.
  • Ice Cream: Blend eggnog with ice cream for a thick and creamy eggnog milkshake to enjoy as a dessert.

These variations can be created by experimenting with different ingredients and combinations, allowing you to tailor your eggnog to your specific preferences and tastes.

Serving Suggestions

Glassware and Utensils

When serving vodka and eggnog, it's essential to choose the right glassware to impress your guests. Typically, crystal or glass cups like martini glasses or rocks glasses work well for this drink. If you're making an eggnog martini, opt for a martini glass and consider rimming it with cinnamon sugar to enhance the presentation.

Also, ensure you provide utensils like:

  • Cocktail shaker
  • Strainer
  • Bar spoon
  • Jiggers
  • Ice bucket with tongs

Preparing for Parties and Events

Vodka and eggnog are perfect for holiday parties and events. Here's how you can impress your guests with delicious, customized cocktail recipes:

  • Offer different vodka flavors: In addition to regular, unflavored vodka, consider providing vanilla or whipped cream flavored vodka to enhance the eggnog experience.
  • Create a themed bar: Set up a bar where guests can prepare their drinks, complete with a variety of mix-ins, garnishes, and the essential tools mentioned above.

For larger gatherings, you may opt to prepare a pitcher of the vodka eggnog cocktail, making it easy for guests to serve themselves. Be sure to keep it chilled and provide extra vodka for those who prefer a stronger drink.

Pairing with Food

When serving vodka and eggnog, consider offering a range of food options that complement the rich, creamy flavor. Some suggestions include:

  • Appetizers: Cheese boards, bruschetta, or deviled eggs
  • Desserts: Chocolate truffles, gingerbread cookies, or holiday fruitcake

Remember, balance is key – offer a variety of lighter, refreshing dishes to offset the richness of the vodka eggnog cocktails. Your guests will appreciate the thought and effort you've put into creating enjoyable pairings.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to make eggnog vodka martini?

To make an eggnog vodka martini, you'll need eggnog (homemade or store-bought, non-alcoholic), vodka (plain, vanilla, or whipped), and amaretto liqueur. Fill a shaker with ice, add equal parts vodka and amaretto, and fill the rest with eggnog. Shake well and strain into a martini glass with a cinnamon-sugar rim. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon if desired.

Popular eggnog vodka recipes?

Some popular eggnog vodka recipes include the classic eggnog martini mentioned above, as well as variations that incorporate different flavored vodkas or additional liqueurs. Another option is the white Christmas cocktail, made with eggnog, vodka, and amaretto. Experiment with different flavors and combinations to find your perfect eggnog vodka concoction.

Can you mix eggnog with Baileys?

Yes, you can mix eggnog with Baileys Irish Cream. This combination creates a rich, creamy, and indulgent holiday drink. Simply mix equal parts eggnog and Baileys, shake with ice, and serve chilled with a sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon on top.

Vodka, amaretto, and eggnog combo?

A vodka, amaretto, and eggnog combo can be made by combining equal parts vodka and amaretto, then adding eggnog. This creates a creamy, smooth, and slightly sweet cocktail perfect for the holidays. Shake the mixture with ice and strain into a glass, garnishing with a cinnamon stick or nutmeg if desired.

How to create eggnog martini with Kahlua?

To create an eggnog martini with Kahlua, you'll need vodka, Kahlua, and eggnog. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add equal parts vodka and Kahlua, and fill the rest with eggnog. Shake well, then strain into a martini glass with a cinnamon-sugar rim. Garnish with a sprinkle of cocoa powder or grated chocolate.

Eggnog martini with Rumchata recipe?

An eggnog martini with Rumchata can be made by combining equal parts Rumchata, eggnog, and vodka (or rum, if preferred). Shake the mixture with ice, strain into a martini glass with a cinnamon-sugar rim, and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg. This creamy and spicy drink is perfect for festive celebrations.