Dwight Eisenhower’s Holiday Eggnog Recipe

Did you ever wonder what the recipe was for holiday eggnog? Dwight Eisenhower did, and he had it posted in his kitchen. The ingredients include milk, sugar, rum extract, vanilla extract and nutmeg.

Dwight Eisenhower’s Holiday Eggnog Recipe is a traditional holiday drink that can be prepared in many different ways. This recipe is perfect for Christmas Eve. The ingredients are simple, and it only takes about 30 minutes to make.

Note from the editor: This is a guest post by author Jonathan W. Jordan.

Dwight D. Eisenhower grew up with typical Midwestern sensibilities before commanding Europe’s liberation and leading the country through the Cold War’s peak. He rejected down gourmet meals served by his designated chef in England in favor of fried steak, corn pudding, chicken soup, and other delicacies reminiscent of his Kansas youth. Ike would periodically ease the nearly unbearable tension of the coming D-Day assault by making his own breakfast and even washing his own dishes as the strain of the imminent D-Day invasion rose in the spring of 1944.

Ike was proud of his down-home cooking skills, and as president, he compiled a collection of his favorite recipes in a White House dossier. One, which may be located in the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, was a particular favorite of Ike’s over the holidays. President Eisenhower preserved a declassified recipe for bourbon eggnog in his Presidential Papers under the heading “Beverages.” Ike worked in an Abilene creamery as a kid, and his recipe, like Eisenhower the President’s, takes the “middle road,” blending the sweet wholesomeness of postwar America with the bourbon-backed strength Ike believed in.

After studying my book Brothers Rivals Victors, I created Ike’s 5-star recipe and found his holiday drink to be amazing. If you’re having a glass of nog for the holidays, this recipe is just as wonderful as anything you’ll buy in shops. It’s quick and easy to prepare, and you can use your own rum or brandy instead of the General’s beloved bourbon.

How to Make Eisenhower’s Eggnog at Home


Putting Your Forces Together


The Eisenhower plan of attack begins with a well-trained, disciplined army made up of readily available materials:

  1. a pound of egg yolks Purchase a dozen eggs, carefully break them, and pass the yolk back and forth between the egg shells until the transparent liquid is gone and the heavier yolk remains. As you finish the dozen, place them in a separate dish.
  2. One pound of sugar granules Simple white sugar will suffice.
  3. One gallon of bourbon You don’t need a high-end small batch or a pricey Pappy Van Winkle bottle. The sherry barrel wood and smokey tastes of top-shelf bourbon won’t be discernible when mixed with the other components, so use your favorite weekend brand. I used a $24 Evan Williams bottle, and it worked well. Rum and brandy work well as alternatives and may provide a Caribbean or European flair to your eggnog.
  4. a quart of coffee cream I bought half-and-half at my neighborhood supermarket.
  5. 1 gallon whipped cream The finest cream to use is heavy whipping cream.
  6. Nutmeg. I used whole nutmeg and a grater, but you may use store-bought ground nutmeg instead. There won’t be much of it.

A normal electric mixing bowl will serve as your base of operations for your expedition.

The Battle Order


Put the egg yolks in the mixer and combine for a few seconds. The sugar is then gradually added until the egg-sugar combination has a semi-gloss, light yellow look. Maintain strict military discipline as you gradually add the bourbon to the mixture, letting it absorb the bourbon reinforcements before adding more. (“Very carefully,” Ike instructs, noting that “the procedure up to this point would ordinarily take at least 30 minutes — with a decent mixer.”) Ike was being cautious here; in my experience, 15-20 minutes should plenty.)


The coffee creamer follows next, which may be added a bit quicker. When everything is in order, place the bowl in the refrigerator (“icebox” in early 20th century terminology) to chill for approximately 30 minutes before serving. Refrigeration for a few to several hours is ideal; in my case, I kept it in overnight.

Take to the Beaches


Pour the whipping cream into a separate dish and whisk it until it is “moderately thick” about 30 minutes to H-Hour. Ike grants his on-the-ground commander considerable discretion in this sequence. Make it aerated, but not meringue-thick, to make it run a bit slower. Slowly and gently fold the whipped cream into the chilled mixture, then pour it into the serving basin. Get out the cups and ladle, then top with powdered or grated nutmeg.



Ike’s eggnog makes roughly one gallon, allowing for spillage and taste-testing (enough for about 30 good-sized glasses). It lacks the punch that a meal created with a quart of bourbon should have. It’s sweet, but not overwhelmingly so, and it’s a balanced blend, with sugar and cream working together like Patton and Bradley, in line with Ike’s moderation. (Actually, it goes together better than those two brash generals in Sicily.)

What is the Cost of Victory?

This is hardly a low-calorie delicacy, as you can see from the ingredients. Toast the holidays, revel in your culinary triumph, and have your aide-de-camp remind you to do a few additional workouts later to prevent your waistline from succumbing to your festive assault.

This is hardly a low-calorie delicacy, as you can see from the ingredients. Toast the holidays, revel in your culinary triumph, and have your aide-de-camp remind you to do a few additional workouts later to prevent your waistline from succumbing to your festive assault.

Brothers Rivals Victors: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, and the Partnership That Drove the Allied Conquest in Europe is written by Jonathan W. Jordan. He discussed the book on the AoM Podcast Episode #463.



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