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How to Make Eggnog

Constant stirring is a key to great homemade eggnog. A bath of ice water is also a critical step to make this traditional holiday drink.

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Thick, creamy eggnog starts with the classic custard. The secret is knowing when the custard is perfectly cooked. Combine the egg yolks, milk and sugar in a heavy sauce pan, then cook over medium heat whisking constantly. This is really important. Don't rush it by turning up the heat. That may cause the custard to boil or curdle. Continue cooking and stirring until the custard begins to thicken and turn velvety smooth. Here's the secret. You'll know when it's ready. When it coats the back of the spoon, like this, immediately place the base of the sauce pan in iced water to stop the custard from cooking further. Stir for about 2 minutes until it has cooled. Now, add remaining ingredients, then cover and chill. With eggnog this good, you'll wish the holidays came more than once a year.