Rich, thick, and sweet, this cinnamon-and-vanilla-flavored milk liqueur is a delicious alternative to store-bought eggnog during the holidays. When reducing the milk, use the tallest pot you have on hand to prevent the milk from accidentally boiling over.

Yield: makes 1 Quart


  • 4 cups milk
  • 34 cup sugar
  • 1 stick cinnamon, preferably Mexican canela
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 23 cup light or golden rum
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract, preferably Mexican


  1. In a tall 4-qt. nonreactive pot, stir together milk, sugar, and cinnamon. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Do not stir the milk, but use a spoon to skim off and discard any skin that forms on the surface of the liquid. Boil until the mixture is reduced to about 2 3⁄4 cups, 25–30 minutes. Remove and discard the cinnamon.
  2. Whisk egg yolks in a medium metal bowl. While whisking yolks constantly, slowly drizzle in the hot milk mixture. Set the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water, and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon or until it reaches 175° on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes. Immediately place the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water and let cool, stirring frequently. Whisk in the rum and vanilla.
  3. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a 1-qt. jar or bottle. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight to allow flavors to meld. Serve chilled.