This is a recipe I’ve been making for a few years. It’s still a work in progress but people have been asking me for it so here it is. Give me feedback and I will try to improve this recipe. Past versions will be available here.

You need a thermometer for this recipe, preferably a candy thermometer. Unless someone has a trick for telling when milk reaches 160 degrees fahrenheit.

Both alcoholic and non alcoholic versions are possible. However, the non-alcoholic version needs to be served within a couple days of making.


The base

  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 vanilla bean split (or 2 tbsp vanilla extract)
  • 2 sticks cinnamon (or 2 tsp ground cinnamon)
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 whole cloves (1/4 tsp ground cloves)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 12 large eggs yolks (reserve the whites)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  • 2 cups of whisky, dark rum, brandy, or sherry (I like 1/2 whisky, and 1/2 dark rum)
  • 2 cups whipping cream

To serve

  • 12 reserved egg whites
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 tsp Freshly grated nutmeg


The base

  • Heat 4 cups milk, 4 cloves, 1 vanilla bean, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, and 2 sticks cinnamon over low heat until it reaches 160 F. Stir often. Turn off heat and cover to let steep.
  • Separate yoke from whites and set aside whites. Freeze whites if preparing final mixture more than a few days from now.
  • In mixer, whisk 12 egg yolks until light yellow. Slowly add 1 1/2 cup of sugar.
  • Temper milk mixture into eggs then transfer everything back to the sauce pan.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for no more than 3 minutes. Do not allow mixture to boil.
  • Let cool for about one hour then add alcohol, and whipping cream.
  • Refrigerate overnight or for up to 3 weeks before serving.

To serve

  • Thaw frozen egg whites overnight the day before serving.
  • Let the egg whites come to room temperature (~30 min) and Whip into stiff peaks. Make sure the bowl is clean! Transfer to serving bowl.
  • Whip the cream into medium-firm peaks. Transfer to serving bowl.
  • Pore base into serving bowl and gently combine the egg whites, whipped cream and base with a whisk. Do not over-mix.

Serve in punch glasses with a dusting of nutmeg for a beautiful and frothy holiday drink.

Rescue tips

There are a lot of things that can go wrong with this recipe.

When you tempered the eggs did they curdle?

Blender the mixture in batches on high for a minute or two without the vanilla been, cinnamon sticks, or cloves. Usually this will do the trick.

Forgot to thaw the egg whites?

Pick up a carton of egg whites from your grocery store and use them instead. You need about 400g (1.5 cups) but as little as 250g (1 cup) is fine.