17 Eggnog Cocktails That Will Convert Your Tastebuds This Holiday

Eggnog may be known as hot cocoa’s less desirable cousin, but we’re here to argue its case. (The old-school milk punch has been part of the holiday zeitgeist since the 1700s, so there must be something redeeming about it.) The drink—a decadent elixir made from cream, sugar, whipped egg whites and egg yolks—is sweet, silky and tastes pretty darn close to melted ice cream, if we do say so ourselves.

If you refuse to drink it straight, perhaps we can convince you to try one of these eggnog cocktails instead. Spiking your glass with a bit of booze in order to cut its sweetness might just turn you into a believer. On that note, here are 17 eggnog cocktails that are bound to impress at Christmas cocktail hour.

The Best Eggnog for the Holidays, According to Our Extensive Taste Test

1. Classic Eggnog

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, make ahead, <10 ingredients

You can’t go wrong with the O.G., especially when it only takes about 15 minutes to prepare. (The rest is all simmering and chilling.) It tastes great on its own, but we love how nicely this drink pairs with whiskey, dark rum or cognac.

2. Peppermint Eggnog White Hot Cocoa

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pot, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, <30 minutes

The mocktail version is just the Christmas Eve nightcap for your little ones. (Warning: They’ll squeal over the crushed peppermints and mini marshmallows.) But we suggest adding vanilla vodka or bourbon to your mug for extra holiday magic.

3. Christmas Vacation Dirty Chai Cocktail

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, gluten free

The recipe technically calls for canned coconut milk, which gives the drink a tropical twist, but we'd much prefer it with eggnog as the base. Made with vodka and Kahlúa, the cocktail's real magic comes from the spiced vanilla-chai honey syrup.

4. Eggnog Egg Cream

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, special occasion-worthy, <10 ingredients

Forget dark, spiced spirits—this sipper stars bubbly, bright prosecco. It's a nostalgic nod to NYC's famous egg creams, which the boomers at your table will appreciate. If there are staunch eggnog haters at the party, get an extra bottle of vino for them to sip on.

5. Eggnog Mexican Hot Chocolate

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegan, gluten free, dairy free, <30 minutes

The recipe is dairy-free, since it calls for soy eggnog and soy milk, but you could totally substitute homemade or store-bought dairy eggnog. (There are also plenty of oat milk and almond milk options out there nowadays.) So, would you like yours topped with Baileys, crème de cacao or Frangelico?

6. Pumpkin Eggnog with Bourbon

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, gluten free

In case you still haven’t had your fill of pumpkin come December, this whiskey-kissed sipper has you covered. Canned pumpkin purée and pumpkin pie spices infuse the eggnog with lots of fall flavor. But if you're in a pinch, look for pumpkin eggnog at the grocery store (yup, it exists).

7. Eggnog White Russian

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, <30 minutes, beginner-friendly

The original cocktail calls for vodka, coffee liqueur and cream. Here, eggnog takes over for cream before the drink is topped with whipped cream and nutmeg. We love how no-frills yet versatile this recipe is. Feel free to sub in vanilla- or whipped cream-flavored vodka, or even coffee-flavored tequila.

8. Peppermint Cream Martini

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, special occasion-worthy

Refreshing peppermint schnapps meets vanilla vodka and simple syrup to create a festive cocktail for the books. Simply substitute eggnog for rum cream liqueur or use a bit of both. (Whatever you do, don’t forget to coat the glass’s rim in crushed peppermint candies.)

9. Homemade Eggless Eggnog

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, one pot

If the whole drinking eggs thing freaks you out, look no further than this yolk-free alternative. We think it’s a stellar recipe for serving a crowd, so if you’re hosting, look no further. Spike it with dark rum or bourbon to get the party started.

10. Beer, Nog and Bourbon Cocktails

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

Even the craft beer nerds at the cookie swap can get in on the nog-laced fun, thanks to this recipe that starts with your favorite porter or stout. (We'd recommend a vanilla-forward porter or a coffee-like stout. If you want the drink to turn out extra creamy, go for a nitro stout.)

11. Aged Eggnog Cocktail

  • Time Commitment: 10 days and 20 minutes (includes aging time)
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, make ahead, crowd-pleaser

Remember how you had to raise your sourdough starter like a newborn at the beginning of quarantine? This recipe is sort of the same idea: The eggnog will need at least ten days in your fridge to age and properly meld with the whiskey, rum and cognac. Might we suggest preparing the base in your stand mixer?

12. Iced Eggnog Lattes

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

We love this recipe because it's a total breeze to multiply for guests. Sweetened with brown sugar and finished with nutmeg-dusted whipped cream, this espresso bev is well worth getting out of bed for, especially on Christmas morning. Why not spike it with your spirit of choice on a lazy Sunday?

13. Santa’s Magic Potion

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, no cook

Who knew Saint Nick was so into Irish cream? We like that Baileys is the main alcohol here; it keeps the drink from tasting excessively boozy. Nevertheless, feel free to substitute (or add) RumChata, amaretto, cognac or bourbon to the mix.

14. Easy Keto Eggnog

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: low carb, keto-friendly, low sugar, crowd-pleaser

Yup, this typically sugary drink can be low-carb, so tell your keto-loving relatives to grab a mug. The key is using zero-calorie sweetener instead of sugar and trading dairy milk for unsweetened almond milk. The rest (heavy cream, eggs and spices) are already keto-friendly.

15. Naughty-Nice Hot Cocoa with Spiked Eggnog Marshmallows

  • Time Commitment: 8 hours and 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

We usually like our eggnog in liquid form, but these maple-vanilla marshmallows infused with coconut rum will do. The cocoa also includes coffee and hazelnut liqueurs. Bonus points for garnishing each glass with a sugar cookie and festive sprinkles.

16. Chai Eggnog

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes (plus chilling time)
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, one pot, beginner-friendly

Rum, brandy, bourbon or even smoky mezcal will taste divine in this dairy-free stunner, which is made with almond and coconut milks. Chai tea bags are steeped in the eggnog, so there’s maximum winter spice in every sip.

17. Boozy Pumpkin Pie Shooters

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser

Just look at those toasted meringue crowns. (We're suckers for the graham cracker crumb-coated rims, too.) In case you need more convincing, these shooters are made with vodka and real pumpkin purée.

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Taryn Pire is PureWow’s associate food editor. A former bartender and barista, she’s been writing about all things delicious since 2016, developing recipes, reviewing restaurants and investigating food trends at Food52, New Jersey Family Magazine and Taste Talks. When she isn’t testing TikTok’s latest viral recipe, she’s having popcorn for dinner and posting about it on Instagram @cookingwithpire.