My friend Erin drinks more eggnog than just about anyone I know.


Earlier this month, she texted a photo of an empty carton with a message: "Second one of the season."


I’m content to enjoy a glass, maybe two, over the entire holiday, but that’s not enough for many of you. Last Christmas, I asked readers to share their favorite eggnog recipes and tips, and a number of you answered the call to celebrate this festive spiced drink.


RELATED: What else can you make with eggnog? Biscuits, smoothies, fudge and more


Austin’s best bet for eggnog this year is at downtown absinthe bar


Austinite Phyllis Dolich says her love of eggnog has been forever changed since she started mixing it with Pernod, an anise-flavored liqueur that she bought for a recipe for butternut squash soup. "Pernod comes from France and is a bit pricey, but a little goes a long way. Then, I sprinkled on a bit of pumpkin pie spice," she writes. "Now, I can’t imagine eggnog without both additions."


In a taste test a year ago, you’ll remember that we designated Organic Valley eggnog as the tastiest commercial eggnog on the market, but Mark and Cathy Jo Jackson not only make theirs from scratch every year, they make Michael Ruhlman’s extra boozy version, which is intended to be aged in a jar in the fridge.


This year, they have been sipping on both the 2017 and 2018 vintages, and they made another batch to add to the ongoing experiment. "It really starts to mellow over time," Cathy Jo Jackson says.


Here are a few other suggestions from readers, as well as a couple of recipes from cookbooks I found this year.



Homemade Eggnog


You will never want to taste store-bought eggnog again after you have made this. I was given this recipe ages ago. I have served this even to people who vowed that they hate eggnog and seen them scrape out their glasses. I got this recipe in Holland from a neighbor some 60 years ago. It is the airiest eggnog you shall ever taste. I promise.


— Molly Shannon, Austin


1 dozen eggs


1 1/2 cup fine sugar


1 pint bourbon


1 quart whipping cream, beaten


Separate eggs. Put the white in one bowl and the yolks in another. Add sugar to the yolks and beat until creamy. Slowly add bourbon, then add the whipped cream and stir well. Discard half of the egg whites, and whisk the other half until they reach stiff peaks and then carefully fold in the yolk mixture. Chill well. (Note: If you have a compromised immune system, be sure to use pasteurized eggs.)


— Molly Shannon


Eggnog Bread Pudding


Austinite Frances Dallen says she buys eggnog just for this recipe. It’s a boozy bread pudding that you can make with torn pieces of bread or fresh breadcrumbs, depending on your preference.


— Addie Broyles


4 cups packed fresh breadcrumbs


1 pint eggnog


1 large apple, peeled and diced


1 egg, beaten


1/2 cup butter, melted


1/2 cup raisins


1 teaspoon vanilla


3/4 cup sugar


1/4 teaspoon salt


1/2 cup brandy


1/2 cup rum


1 teaspoon cinnamon


1 teaspoon nutmeg


1 teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm water


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Soak breadcrumbs in eggnog for a few minutes. Add other ingredients and mix well. Turn batter into oiled Bundt pan or tube pan and bake for 10 minutes, then at 300 degrees for 1 hour.


Cool thoroughly, remove from pan, wrap well and refrigerate. This cake improves with age and will keep for several weeks. (But not in my fridge!) Serve plain or with whipped cream.


— Frances Dallen


Holiday Eggnog Custard Pie


For a delicious eggnog, three elements need to be in perfect balance: sweetness, richness and the amount of alcohol. We wanted to strike that balance in a custard pie for a new take on this classic holiday drink. Adding cinnamon and nutmeg to our custard base gave it a subtle hint of spice, but in our opinion it wasn't truly eggnog without a little booze — just 2 tablespoons of dark rum added plenty of depth to our pie without overpowering it. To preserve the rum's flavor, we stirred it into the filling after heating and straining the custard. To top off our eggnog pie, we whipped up our Brown Sugar and Bourbon Whipped Cream. If you prefer your pie with a boozier punch, increase the rum to 1/4 cup; if you prefer a nonalcoholic eggnog, you can omit the rum altogether and use regular whipped cream. If you have leftover eggnog from the holidays, you can use it in place of the milk and cream. The egg and cornstarch will thicken the eggnog into a custard.


— America's Test Kitchen editors


1 recipe single-crust pie dough


2/3 cup sugar


3 large eggs


3 tablespoons cornstarch


1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided


1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg


1/8 teaspoon table salt


2 cups whole milk


1 cup heavy cream


2 tablespoons dark rum


Brown sugar and bourbon whipped cream, for topping


Roll dough into 12-inch circle on floured counter. Loosely roll dough around rolling pin and gently unroll it onto 9-inch pie plate, letting excess dough hang over edge. Ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with your hand while pressing into plate bottom with your other hand.


Trim overhang to 1/2 inch beyond lip of plate. Tuck overhang under itself; folded edge should be flush with edge of plate. Crimp dough evenly around edge of plate. Wrap dough-lined plate loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.


Line chilled pie shell with double layer of aluminum foil, covering edges to prevent burning, and fill with pie weights. Bake on foil-lined rimmed baking sheet until edges are set and just beginning to turn golden, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Remove foil and weights, rotate sheet, and continue to bake crust until golden brown and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Transfer sheet to wire rack. (Crust must still be warm when filling is added.)


While crust bakes, whisk sugar, eggs, cornstarch, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together in bowl. Bring milk and cream to simmer in large saucepan over medium heat. Slowly whisk 1 cup of hot milk mixture into egg mixture to temper, then slowly whisk tempered egg mixture into remaining milk in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened, bubbling and registers 180 degrees, 30 to 90 seconds (custard should have consistency of thick pudding). Strain mixture through fine-mesh strainer into clean bowl, then stir in rum.


With pie still on sheet, pour custard into warm crust, smoothing top with clean spatula into even layer. Bake until center of pie registers 160 degrees, 14 to 18 minutes. Let pie cool completely on wire rack, about 4 hours. Spread whipped cream attractively over pie and dust with remaining 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon. Serves 8.


— From "The Perfect Pie: Your Ultimate Guide to Classic and Modern Pies, Tarts, Galettes and More" by America's Test Kitchen (America's Test Kitchen, $35)


Brown Sugar and Bourbon Whipped Cream


Whipped cream may be a simple topping, but it’s often just the right addition to a slice of pie. Whipping the ingredients on medium-low speed to start ensured the sugar, vanilla and salt were evenly dispersed in the cream before we increased the mixer speed to achieve soft peaks (our preference for a decadent dollop).


— America's Test Kitchen


1/2 cup packed light brown sugar


1/8 teaspoon table salt


1/2 cup sour cream


2 teaspoons bourbon


1 cup heavy cream, chilled


Whisk all ingredients together in bowl of stand mixer, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Whisk to combine before whipping on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to high and whip until soft peaks form, 1 to 3 minutes. Whipped cream can be refrigerated in fine-mesh strainer set over small bowl and covered with plastic wrap for up to 8 hours.


— From "The Perfect Pie: Your Ultimate Guide to Classic and Modern Pies, Tarts, Galettes and More" by America's Test Kitchen (America's Test Kitchen, $35)


Eggnog Cookies


Around Christmastime every year, all of my boys enjoy indulging in eggnog. If you were to describe the drink to me, I would tell you it sounds fantastic. But when I take an actual sip, I don’t love it. I was hesitant to turn it into a cookie for this reason but was so pleasantly surprised to discover that the cookie version of the creamy holiday beverage is totally irresistible.


— Megan Porta


For the cookies:


3/4 cup salted butter, softened


1 cup light brown sugar


1/2 cup granulated sugar


1 large egg


1 teaspoon vanilla extract


2 teaspoons rum extract


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


1 teaspoon baking soda


1/2 teaspoon baking powder


1 teaspoon fine sea salt


1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


1/2 cup eggnog


For the frosting:


1/2 cup salted butter, softened


3 cups powdered sugar


3 to 6 tablespoons eggnog


Ground cinnamon and/or nutmeg, for topping


Heat the oven to 350 degrees and line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer), combine the butter, brown and granulated sugar, egg, vanilla and rum extract and beat on medium speed until creamy and free of lumps.


In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and nutmeg. Mix well. Gradually add to the butter mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.


Scoop out tablespoon-size chunks of batter and form balls, using your hands. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.


Bake in the heated oven for 9 to 11 minutes, or until golden brown around the bottom edges with no uncooked dough in the centers. Remove from the oven, transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool.


Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer), combine the butter, powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons of eggnog. Add additional eggnog 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.


Spread the frosting on the cookies and sprinkle each cookie with cinnamon and/or nutmeg. Makes 44 cookies.


— From "Cookie Remix: An Incredible Collection of Treats Inspired By Sodas, Candies, Ice Creams, Donuts and More" by Megan Porta (Page Street Publishing, $19.99)