My Aged Eggnog Recipe

My Aged Eggnog Recipe


The word nog was an Old English term for ale, and a noggin was the cup from whence it was drunk.

Although most Americans think of eggnog as something they get out of a milk carton during the two-week period leading up to Christmas, eggnog descends from sack posset, a strong, thick English beverage built upon eggs, milk and either a fortified wine (like Madeira) or ale. It was a highly alcoholic beverage, often served so thick it could be scooped. It was also very much an upper-class tipple, as rich folks were usually the only ones who could procure the proper ingredients.

Yeah, this recipe has a lot of booze in it, but the longer the nog ages, the more mellow it will get. I’m also super picky about the texture of my eggnog and find that the combination of listed dairy gets me what I’m looking for.

AGED EGGNOG
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Ingredients
  1. 12 large eggs (pasteurized if you need peace of mind)
  2. 1 pound sugar
  3. 1 pint half-n-half
  4. 1 pint whole milk
  5. 1 pint heavy cream
  6. 1 cup Jamaican rum
  7. 1 cup cognac
  8. 1 cup bourbon
  9. 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (plus more for serving)
  10. 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Separate the eggs and store the whites for another purpose.
  2. Beat the yolks with the sugar and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl until the mixture lightens in color and falls off the whisk in a solid "ribbon."
  3. Combine dairy, booze and salt in a second bowl or pitcher and then slowly beat into the egg mixture.
  4. Move to a large glass jar (or a couple of smaller ones) and store in the fridge for a minimum of 2 weeks. A month would be better, and two better still. In fact, there's nothing that says you couldn't age it a year, but I've just never been able to wait that long. (And yes, you can also drink it right away.)
  5. Serve in mugs or cups topped with a little extra nutmeg grated right on top.
ALTON BROWN http://altonbrown.com/

315 Comments

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  1. 3
    Lannie

    I must have done something wrong! I followed the directions, used the brands recommended in some of the comments and have sipped a thimble of it on occasion since I made it six weeks ago. It has mellowed a little bit but it mostly tastes like Eggnog mixed with paint thinner! I have five expensive pint jars in the bottom of my refrigerator. Guess I’ll have to “forget” it for another year.

  2. 4
    Tim

    Made my batch about two weeks ago and have not opened it but occasionally give it a shake. Some folks here are shaking and stirring and then there’s the warning about Botulism and not shaking or stirring, so which is correct?

  3. 5
    Henry

    I made this last December (2015), and just popped my last bottle. DAMN. This stuff is amazing a year later! If you can put a bottle in the back of the fridge and “forget” about it enough, it is WELL worth the wait.

    • 7
      Ines

      I have to admit that it amazes me that after a year the egg nog is still safe to drink. I made a batch for this Christmas. I wanted to save a jar for next year.

    • 12
      Carlos

      Sarah, Stirring or shaking is NOT recommended. That can actually lead to botulism. While shaking and/or stirring some of the nog can stick to the lid/top of the bottle leaving it exposed to air. Which could be problematic.

  4. 18
    Justin

    Does anyone know the science behind why this concoction does not spoil? I can assume it has something to do with the alcohol, but booze or no booze, milk and egg products both spoil. I made a batch a little over a week ago. I am going to agent for a little more than a month. A year seems crazy!

    • 19
      Trevor

      Alcohol is a natural antiseptic, and also a preservative. It’s why it is used in wound care when disinfecting a wound. Not to mention, alcohol was historically made because it was safer to consume than water. Most alcohols were even used as medicine (like absinthe). The thought process is that with how much alcohol you are using (most of those liquors are around 90 proof, so right around 45% ABV per liquor), the alcohol will kill just about any bacteria that you don’t want (and maybe even some you do). Milk and eggs will spoil, but not with that much preservative, and especially if kept cold, it shouldn’t really ever. Although I don’t know if I’d want to age longer than a year.

      • 20
        Albert Valencia

        Love your answer! I think, like most people who are making this, that the alcohol did the job of killing bacteria. Your answer was great! Thanks

  5. 21
    Martha

    For the people asking about egg whites, may I suggest divinity? That’s my go to Christmas candy. And if you’re making this in November or December, your friends will enjoy the candy in season.

  6. 22
    Thom Pierce

    Made this last December (2015)…. Hid it in the fridge until today, and I must say it is still amazing! A little softer, but still has quite the kick.

  7. 29
    Mike

    I made a batch 3 weeks ago to serve on Thanksgiving but forgot to break it out for the crowd. Oh well, that just means I’ll have it aging for nearly 8 weeks when I break it out for Christmas Eve. I used Demarest sugar as opposed to plain white sugar and am waiting to see the results.

  8. 30
    Justin

    I live in China where the eggs are farm fresh (so fresh that you gotta rinse off the eggs before you crack them open because they still have the crud on them, if you know what I mean.) I just had my first taste last night, and wow! So yummy! Farm fresh is perfectly safe! I did not get sick.

  9. 31
    Sharon Waterson

    Made this last week for the first time. Had my first taste yesterday and absolutely love it. I am going to make another batch today as we are having a party for Christmas and I am sure it will not last long. Thank you for the recipe. It will be cherished for years to come.

  10. 35
    Bob

    Just took ours out of the fridge. We made it sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year. I just had a “trial” cup…and WOW! Needless to say, we where kinda apprehensive about tasting it, almost a year after making it.

    Don’t hesitate, just make it!! Thanks Alton!!

  11. 36
    Nicole

    Anyone use farm fresh eggs instead of one’s from the grocery store? I’ve got a dozen still on the counter that I was going to use for this recipe, but I would hate to get my in-laws sick!

  12. 42
    Madeleine

    I made a double batch Friday, just checked on it in my basement fridge and there was a small amount of separation in the bottom of each jar? Can any of you verterans advise if this is normal? Also, should I give a gentle shake now and then?

  13. 46
    Kirby M Milton JR

    I’m using Grolsch type caps on liter bottles, which I normally use for hard cider. Woodford Reserve, Mt. Gay Eclipse rum, and Courvoisier VS for my first attempt.

    • 48
      Albert Valencia

      Sherry, the smooth, mellow taste of good Cognac, Rum and Bourbon might contrast with the slightly harsh taste of moonshine, in my humble opinion. You’ll love Altons recipe!

  14. 49
    Justin

    I have my first batch of this in the fridge now getting ready for Christmas, should I leave them alone until then or is it a good idea to shake/swirl them every few days or so?

  15. 50
    Olivia Fox

    This recipe is a total winner. Last year, I made 3-4 batches, and took them with me to various holiday parties. It was universally a hit. One note: use good booze – if you put cheap, nasty stuff in, it will taste like slightly-less cheap nasty stuff coming out. I used Myers dark rum, Maker’s mark bourbon, and Hennessey black cognac. Not ultra-high quality stuff, but still good stuff. Delicious. I need to remember to put a reminder on my calendar to make it in September! Last year, my batches were only aged a week or two, and were still very tasty.

    • 53
      Carlos

      Regular sugar. There will be a little sediment at first but it’ll all liquefy after awhile. Especially if you’re aging for the min 2 weeks recommended.

  16. 55
    Philip Watson

    I made this tonight. I used Bulleit Bourbon, Flor de Caña Añejo rum, and Courvoisier VS Cognac. It tasted delicious and not as boozy as you would think. It’s aging peacefully now in my basement refrigerator and I look forward to sampling it as it ages. I have not traditionally liked eggnog, but I made AB’s original several years ago and liked it and this looked too good not to try.

  17. 59
    Torsha

    Just made my first batch of this and I am so excited. For those of you who have done this before, does the eggnog thicken as it ages or does it stay fairly runny? I’m curious about the texture of the finished product.

    • 60
      James

      As it sits, the alcohol will “cook” the eggs, thickening it over time. I typically reserve a portion of my batch each year to use as a flavor for the next year’s batch, and by that time it’s almost as thick as frozen yogurt.

        • 62
          James

          I usually make my eggnog in five-gallon batches and store it in the garage where it’s cold. After Christmas, I save about two quarts and put them in the back of the fridge. The next year, I make the full recipe, then add the two quarts in as well. I’ve found it adds a nice bit of flavor and tends to make the nog taste a little bit less “raw” during the early drinking sessions. Sort of like pre-aging or pre-seasoning the batch.

          • 63
            Ines

            Thank you so much! This information is helpful! I’m going to try the recipe for the first time this year and will take your advice for next year’s batch!

          • 65
            James

            I make a lot because it makes for fabulous Christmas gifts for my neighbors and friends. I find it pairs really well with the River Rat cheese made by Gold Cup Farms. I definitely suggest checking them out too. Their XXX 3 year sharp white cheddar is not to be missed.

  18. 66
    Mrs. H.

    Stirred up my batch this evening. Thank goodness for my very old one-gallon pickle jar from a Girl Scout project that had turned it into a cookie jar – it even had its original lid! Just had to drop a shelf down one notch in the downstairs refrigerator so it would fit! Can’t wait to serve it for Christmas!

    • 67
      Albert Valencia

      So… I made my batch 3 days ago, then tasted it. I just made another batch because it’s just the best I’ve ever tasted! By the way, my kids LOVE the egg white omelettes, with green onion and chopped ham! Thanks again, Alton!

  19. 69
    Kathy W.

    I debated for a long time whether to make this. Even though it sounds great, that’s a lot of eggs and liquor if I don’t like it. This morning, I took the plunge. WOW! It made three quart jars with about a cup extra. I took a sip and knew I had a Christmas hit on my hands. Then I took another sip, and realized I’d better not drink the rest of that extra cup or I’d be smashed by 10:00 a.m. I can’t wait to see what this tastes like in a month or two!

    • 71
      Diana Crane

      Just realized I screwed up the recipe and forgot the half & half! I just poured it all into a pitcher, added the missing dairy, and poured it back into jars. Took a taste and it is so good. I can still hardly wait until Thanksgiving!

  20. 72
    Shannon

    One recipe makes just shy of 3 quarts. I doubled my first batch and got 5 quarts plus about a cup. My final batch I halved, it made 3 pints. I now have 18.5 quarts total of yummy eggnog aging in my fridge for the holidays!

  21. 73
    Annelyse

    I am not a fan of eggnog…. at all. It’s 1 of about 2 things I do not like the taste of. Yet I still try it every year just to make sure I still hate it. I saw this recipe and thought, what the heck…lets make it and give it as a gift to my boozy friends that like nog. I made a double batch and before bottling up every drop I did what every good cook should do, I tried it AND to my surprise actually kind of enjoyed it. It did not taste eggy at all. I’m looking forward to re-tasting it in a few weeks! Thanks for the recipe! <3

  22. 74
    Albert Valencia

    You’re killing me, Alton! As with most of your recipes, I can’t wait to make, then try them. I made a batch of your Aged Eggnog and placed it in the refrigerator downstairs… so that I wouldn’t be tempted before Christmas. 2 days later I just had to make another “tasting” batch. Holy cow!!! I only had a shot glass full, but I can’t wait to enjoy a small glass every week, to “see how well the aging process works…”. Yeah, right… I love it! Well done, sir!

  23. 75
    Cathy

    I just made this; about a week later than I want to, but still should be fine by Christmas. It was pretty tasty even without the aging, although the alcohol is strong. If that part mellows out a bit, I think it will be a big hit. I can’t wait to try it!

  24. 76
    Shelby

    Just started ours today (much later than I wanted, but at least it’ll still have about a month and a half). We doubled the recipe and filled 3 quart-sized airtight containers, with about 1 cup to spare. Smells heavenly – I can hardly wait!

    • 77
      Shannon

      Thank you for telling how much a double recipe makes. I am starting it today to give out to my family for Christmas so I was wondering how big of a batch I would need.

  25. 78
    mrLou

    I’ve made this 4 years in a row now. I ALWAYS save a bottle for “next” year. It’s SO GOOD! It ages so well. A year sounds scary but trust me. I kept a bottle (720 ml) in the back of my fridge and thats my “private reserve” everyone else gets the month aged stuff. Also, the recipe sounds like a lot but you will want to drink a gallon of it yourself.

  26. 79
    Jennifer

    There’s no way we’d use that much nog, I’m quartering the recipe, I think it’ll make just under a quart. I also have a tiny (RV living) fridge.

  27. 80
    Lizzy

    1) How secure/airtight does the lid of the jar need to be? I’m worried about mold and rot. I’ve had super strong mixed drinks that I’ve forgotten in a red solo cup in the fridge still develop mold.
    2) Any tips on making sure it’s super airtight if needed? A layer of clingfilm maybe?

    Note: My gallon mason jar has a push on top rather than a screw top.

    Thank you so much!

    • 81
      Simon

      I haven’t made this recipe myself, but i do have a degree in biology and am a food safety manager by profession. To answer your first question probably pretty air tight. I think your issue with your solo cup growing mold is that it was an open solo cup in your fridge. Since the solo cup was open microbes can settle and start multiplying especially if you frequently open the door. If your push on top isn’t secure you can use a few layers of plastic wrap and a rubber band.
      That being said, if you get pasteurized eggs and work in a sanitary manner then I don’t see why it couldn’t sit in your fridge 2 weeks easily. Think about it as if you opened a bottle of white wine and put it back into the fridge with the cork put back on. Bet it would still be fine to drink a month from now.

  28. 82
    Cory

    Just curious, do you think that it truly has to be ‘Jamaican Rum’? I’ve got plenty of Bacardi in my liquor cabinet. I also have tons of Jack Daniels, I wish I could get away with using that, but I’m nervous that the distinct Jack flavor (that comes from the charcoal, right?) might not blend well. I think that I’m going to use a Pendleton Whisky that I have instead of the ‘Bourbon’. Then I’ll only have to buy one liquor and make a dent in these that are currently just sitting and not getting used.

  29. 85
    Adrian

    Those of you that don’t want to do this with booze, the Southern Comfort Traditional Eggnog (M. W. Heron’s) is really good. I was surprised as I haven’t like the store bought stuff before. Just made my first batch of AB’s nog… So now we wait.

    • 86
      Andrew Layne

      I am with you on the Southern comfort!. Was thinking of adding just rum and then heating the alcohol out of it. Perhaps the best option.

  30. 91
    Tammy Magill

    Any suggestions for those of us who are lactose intolerant? Will we get the same results (or at least close to the same results) using almond milk or goat’s milk or sheep’s milk? Would love to try it, I miss being able to eat dairy products… Thanks for your help..

    • 92
      Chris

      I also am lactose intolerant, if you use the goats milk in place of whole milk it should help out. I make home made ice cream using 1/2 whipping cream and half goats milk with no repocutions! I will be trying it out!

    • 93
      Andy Sidloski

      Grocery store in town here sells lactose free milk and cream of various varieties. Brings the cost of this up, as lactose free cream is often 2-6x the cost of the milk (volume accounted for) but I just made my first batch tonight. the sampler glass I had was pretty great, and I’m quite excited to see how a month or so will treat this concoction.

  31. 94
    James

    Over the years, I’ve made eggnog many times, and AB’s recipe is fairly close to my own family stuff dating back to the turn of the century. I don’t do cognac, and instead just go heavy-handed on bourbon (I like Jim Beam for this) and rum (Cracken Black Rum is wonderful after it’s aged). I also always reserve a quart of my batch to sit for a year, and use it as the starter for the next batch each Christmas.

  32. 95
    Joanna

    What brands of the alcohol would be recommended for this? I don’t want to get anything that isn’t able to compliment each other but I dont know much about these liquors.

    • 96
      Jennifer Savage

      When I went to the store I said, “I am making Alton Brown’s eggnog.” The gal asked me if he listed specific brands and I told her the alcoholic ingredients were only listed as bourbon, cognac and Jamaican rum. (She thought it was strange he wasn’t specific about what to buy. She commented, “I thought he was usually really particular about these things.”) She chose Jim Beam as my bourbon, Ansac VS as my cognac, and told me to pick out any Jamaican rum I wanted, which there were only four from which to choose, so I picked up the least expensive which was the Myers’s Original Dark (no that isn’t a typo). I won’t be able to tell you if these were good decisions until Christmas, so use at your own risk, lol.

  33. 98
    Heather Wood

    is it necessary to use all 3 types of alcohol, or could one increase the measure of the other ones to equal 3 cups?
    I’m not sure I want to buy a whole bottle of cognac just for 1 cup. Thanks for your help.

    • 100
      Matthew

      I only used bourbon and rum last year and it was still really tasty. I will be using all three this year just to see what the difference is. When shopping at my local liquor megamart I was told since the spirits were essentially going in a big mixed drink, lower to medium quality booze would be just fine. The finer points of top shelf stuff would lost in translation.

  34. 102
    Jennifer Savage

    I just made a half batch to serve this Christmas. For those wondering what it is like straight out of the mixing bowl the alcohol is strong and the consistency is thin. As for quantity, a half batch made 5 1/2 fluid cups (44 fluid ounces) and I was able to put all of the mixture into three pint size mason jars. I will come back around Christmastime and let you know what the gang thought of it!

  35. 103
    Joanne

    I hate eggnog so I’m making this as a gift. My stupid question is: how does it not spoil over time with all the milk products in it? Does the liquor somehow ferment the milk products or something?

    • 104
      leinani45

      Any type of aging or fermentation is (at the basic level) a “controlled spoiling” of food. You do have it partially right through. The high alcohol content essentially “cooks” the egg and dairy over time (thus the thickening), and it will also keep it from completely spoiling (i.e. rendering it inedible…as long as it is kept refrigerated).

    • 105
      Matthew

      The high alcohol content and refrigeration will stifle any bacterial goings on in the egg nog. I made this last year and it sat in the back of the fridge for over a month and a half. It thickened and it’s alcohol edge mellowed out pretty well.

  36. 108
    Vera

    I cannot wait to try this. How many ounces are in an American pint? I know they’re smaller than the Imperial. Metric measurements would be fantastic for those of who do not live in the US! Thanks AB.

    • 115
      Ines

      Did you fill your jars all the way to the top? Didn’t see it in the instructions. As for the salt, I think that if it’s on the list, you should add it. It may effect the flavor if left out.

      • 116
        Megan

        I did. I had just enough mix to fill one 2L and one 1L jar (I used Ikea’s glass jars with lids) plus a glass to drink now. It’s pretty delicious now, so I’m super excited to taste it at Christmas!

      • 117
        Megan

        I’d think with such a small amount of salt it’s there more for some kind of scientific reason than for flavor. Anybody know for sure?

        • 118
          Chris

          Usually when salt is added to sweets, it’s to bring out the flavor of the sweet (except in things like salted caramel stuff where the salt itself is a featured flavor). It’s very subtle though.

  37. 121
    Ines

    I have to ask (hope this has not been answered yet), is it necessary to fill each jar to the top? I just recall one person asking and didn’t see a response.

  38. 122
    Donald Hartman

    I used a similar recipe last year but instead of whole milk, heavy cream and half n half, I just used raw milk, which has about 3-4 inches of pure cream on the top..

    • 127
      Renee

      I made this last year with half the liquid almond milk and the other half full-fat canned coconut milk. It was DIVINE! Doing that again this year 🙂 Hope this helps!

    • 129
      Trevor

      You could potentially boil out the alcohol in each liquor, so you still have the flavor. But You’ll never have it be quite the same. Just be careful when you cook the alcohol out of the liquor. Reduce it too much, and you’ll have a syrup that you don’t want.

      • 130
        D Neely

        Some of us would love to be able to try this, but for reasons like alcoholism, can’t get near that amount of booze. It is a shame because I’d love to have some. I may or may not try cooking out the actual alcohol but would be wary of it not “aging” well.

  39. 131
    Krzzie

    Made this over Labor Day weekend, and just pulled it out for a taste test. OMG. This is soooo good. Nicely mellow (I’m not a big drinker) and so noggy. I would say don’t wait any later than early November if you want this for Christmas.

  40. 132
    Mick

    Follow up on that question. If I double the recipe, do I follow the same cooking philosophy to not double the salt? Anyone have experience with this?

  41. 137
    Andy Short

    Just made batch number 5 for the upcoming holidays. My first batch from back in January tastes amazing (7 months old) – so much better than the one that only aged two weeks that we demolished this past Christmas! I would suggest if you are thinking you might want to try this recipe out this coming holiday season that you make it now and let it rest in that garage refrigerator until then.

    • 138
      Andy Short

      Batch 6 made – that’s 4 gallons now peacefully aging in the garage refrigerator. It’s going to be a happy-happy Christmas!

  42. 139
    Patrick

    I made a batch last December 2015 and sampled it every few months. It just now all melded together, it’s absolutely delicious! Definitely need to make some more! I know the recipe calls for one pound of sugar, how many cups is that? I’ve read different answers depending on the type of sugar (granulated, powdered, brown). Is it 2 cups or 2 1/4 cup? I think for my first batch I just did 2 cups figuring 16oz of sugar is 1 pound. Cheers!

  43. 141
    KG

    It’s a chilly day here in the PNW, and a jar of this sounds fantastic. I’m going to make tonight, but must… let… it age…

  44. 142
    Ida

    Most eggnog recipes call for some whipped eggwhites to be added. That would thicken it up. You would only need about 4 or 5 whipped to stiff peaks. Just fold in gently after everything else. I am not sure about using the egg whites if you are going to age it. Better drink it all right away!

  45. 143
    Jeff t

    I made this just after thanksgiving and gave t a taste this evening. It has a delicious I flavor, but the drink is very thin. How can I thicken it up before New Year’s Eve?

    • 144
      Trevor

      By letting it sit the 2 weeks, the alcohol will essentially “cook” the custard base, causing it to thicken. The longer it ages, the thicker, and more like original nog it will become.

  46. 145
    Connor

    Just got done making this. Tastes good unaged. I added up the total cost for the ingredients for this recipe, and wow,It costs a pretty penny for just about 6 pints of this stuff. I hope it’s a thousand times better in two weeks than the store bought stuff, or I may just have to stick to adding a little rum to the store bought stuff for a tenth of the price. Love AB, but definitely not the cheapest recipe.

    • 146
      Rob Bos

      I get the alcohol in 750ml batches, so that’s enough for three batches. If you amortize the cost over three batches, it starts to look better. Assuming you spend $50/bottle on the alcohol and $30 on the milk, you get $60 per batch and thus $20 per bottle.

      • 147
        Trevor

        That is some expensive liquor, my friend! I can get decent bourbon for $20-30, and I’ve seen cheap cognac for about the same. My bottle of rum cost me $28. You don’t need high end liquor for this. Especially since it is aging.

  47. 148
    Erika

    Made this last year and kind of forgot about it in the fridge for awhile. Decided to keep it until this year, and we just drank it. Holy Crap, that’s fantastic. Going to make it again in a few months to have for next Christmas!

    • 150
      Travis

      Cream has to be 18% fat but ‘Heavy Cream’ doesn’t have a definition beyond that. Half-n-Half & Whole Milk may be a way to average out the unknown fat content in Heavy Cream.

  48. 151
    Adam

    I would really like to make this and use it as Christmas gifts for next year but I’m worried about finding containers to store it in for that long. I understand they need to be airtight but what kind of containers or jars would anyone recommend. Also when put in the jars or containers would they need to be filled to the top for the airtight seal to work properly?

  49. 154
    Erik Icenhour

    Made this last year right after Thanksgiving, drank some of it then, and have been aging the rest now for over a year. Just cracked it open and it is DEVINE! Oh my gosh is this some good stuff!!

  50. 155
    Mark

    Alton Brown, you are a genius! Wow, is this good – and it hasn’t even aged, yet (I honestly don’t think it’s going to get the chance to age)!!!

  51. 156
    Mike

    Will it be an issue if its not air tight sealed? Made a triple batch and storing in a 2 gallon glass jar with a lid but its not going to be air tight

    • 157
      Wesker

      Oxidation could become a big problem if your container isn’t airtight. That will happen independent of any bacterial growth; no amount of alcohol will prevent it.

    • 159
      Patrick Burroughs (Celti)

      Nog should always be kept in airtight containers at around 40°F for maximum freshness. While if you put enough tipple in it it might technically stay drinkable at higher temperatures, I’d expect things like separation and souring to occur.

  52. 160
    Mary

    What should I do… I made a batch of this with unpasteurized eggs! Stupid oversight at grocery store. Used high-end liquor. Ugh!
    Do I through it out?

    • 161
      klvinci

      It should be fine, if you used the stated levels of alcohol odds are nothing harmful will be able to live in it for very long. Let it age a bit and enjoy. (We use unpasteurized eggs for things, and so far it’s never bitten us.)

    • 163
      Wesker

      You shouldn’t have any issues. I have used unpasteurized eggs in my eggnog for many years. Modern agricultural methods have all but eliminated any risk of contracting salmonella from raw eggs. Additionally, the alcohol level of this recipe is quite antiseptic, to say the least. Please don’t throw out the eggnog you made, especially if you put good liquor in it – it would be an unnecessary waste.

    • 165
      Alex

      I had the same experience with the reduction in volume after a week. I topped the bottles off with eggnog to fill the gap. (I used 13.5 oz glass bottles from Argo iced tea to store the eggnog.) I have six full bottles in the refrigerator, or about 12 servings.

      • 166
        Rita K

        I had the same thing happen — mine has deflated & separated; it’s been 3 weeks & it has not mellowed at all, tasted better the first day actually; I’m wondering if mine is ‘soured’ or spoiled? I used glass bottles that had yogurt with snap on plastic tops; maybe they weren’t airtight? I am thinking mine is ruined , 3 qts, with recommended spirits that were not cheap :/

  53. 167
    Sondra

    I will attempt to age this for a year. I LARP and for crafting events there is a food and sometimes alcoholic category, the more authentic, the better ^_^ and no one thinks to make aged eggnog.

    My only question is, what can I do with all of the leftover egg whites? I never use them and with this much, i’d rather try and make something. Any ideas?

  54. 170
    Amy

    Oh my! I just made a double batch, and it’s been aging for about a week and a half. I’ve been sneaking sips and it’s definitely mellowing out with age. I cut my sugar to 3/4 that the recipe calls for though. My first batch was way too sweet, so I went half on the sugar the second time and redistributed the contents between the two batches to even it all out.

    Going to have to figure out how to not drink it all over the next two weeks before Christmas dinner!

    • 171
      Joshua

      We are waiting till next Christmas to open up our 3 quarts we made 2 weeks ago, and hopefully keeping the rotation going every year… this will be hard, but I think very worth it!

      • 172
        Mere

        I’m gonna make a few batches and age them a year and give them out at Christmas time next year. Glad to know I’m not the only one who is going to let it age that long.

    • 174
      Rosaline

      Cold. Hot eggnog does not sound good at all. Plus, you could run the risk of cooking the eggs at that point, although the alcohol would probably keep that from happening.

  55. 175
    William Lynt III

    I’ve had store-bought Egg Nog and could not for the life of me understand why people like it. But, I love the thought of Egg Nog AND soooo many people seem to really like it AND I’m a huge AB fan, so I tried this recipe. It has got to be one of the best things I ever tasted! I mixed it, tasted it right after and loved it! It is presently aging in my fridge and I can’t wait to sip on it more after a couple weeks! The biggest thing I’m wrestling with now is do I bring some to my office party or keep it all for myself?!?

    • 178
      Meghan

      Pint is a liquid volume measurement – approx 473 ml if converted to metric.
      Half-n-half is a dairy product, also known as “half cream” in the UK, butterfat content is approx 12.5%.

    • 179
      Stacey McGovern

      In Canada and the United States, half and half (known as “half cream” in the United Kingdom) almost always refers to a light cream typically used in coffee. The name refers to the liquid’s content of half milk and half cream. Its butterfat content is 12.5%.[5] It is widely available in the United States, both in individual-serving containers and in bulk. It is also used to make ice cream. Non-fat versions of the product are also available, containing corn syrup and other ingredients.[6]

  56. 180
    Lyle

    This is delicious! Foir those that think it’s a bit thin I’ve found that giving the jar a good shaking before serving the eggnog will thicken it up a bit.

  57. 181
    April

    @Josh, sorry but that sounds kind of… Not good. Sorry I’ve never tried it any other way, This recipe is perfect! I use Rum, Brandy, and Whiskey…. Tonight it was Kentucky bourbon whiskey. Enjoy!

  58. 182
    Michelle

    I am so excited to get to make this tonight. I went out today to buy supplies. I didn’t buy the run because I still had a bottle left of run we bought when we got married in Jamiaca. When I started measuring everything out I realized I had less run than I thought I did. U forgot about a year and a half ago I decided since we don’t drink much to make my own vanilla with a stash of vanilla beans we had. I was half a cup short of run so I used a blend of half cup rum, half cup of vanilla rum. The whole blend smells incredible and the flecks of vanilla bean are pretty. You are right. I am gonna have a hard time not “testing” this.

  59. 184
    Joshua

    The seemingly perfect way to store this is with our quart milk bottles from our local dairy farm, but they come with snap-on plastic caps… does anybody know if this is considered airtight?

  60. 188
    S

    Now I know what to do with the egg yolks left from making Angel Food cake : ) The whites could also be used for omelets, meringues, or macaroons.

  61. 190
    Mike

    I am going to be making this over the weekend. My question is: is it too late? By christmas it will just be a little over the 2 weeks. Will the alcohol be too overpowering?

  62. 191
    Eric T

    I’d considered going with a dark rum, but with the cognac and bourbon I realized a white would be fine here and stuck with Wray & Nephew

  63. 198
    foodgirldc

    I quickly scanned through the other comments and didn’t see an answer – how many servings does this make? I want to make it for Christmas this year (will start now) but need to know if I need to double it. Thanks.

    • 205
      Latisha

      AB has a quick egg no recipe that has some bourbon in it, but I leave it out with no worries. I cannot wait to try this one! His other egg nog is also the recipe for egg nog ice cream!

    • 206
      Carole Gregory

      In the 60s my mom made us kids alcohol free eggnog every Christmas and it is delicious. Nothing at all like the store bought kind which I find disgusting. I’ve made it myself; don’t recall the recipe but I’m sure you can find one via google. It’s basically whipped eggs, sugar and heavy cream. This version is meant to be drank right away as it doesn’t have a long shelf life. The aging process in AB’s recipe is for the alcohol to meld.

  64. 212
    Aaron

    Alton! How can you leave us hanging on what KIND of cognac and bourbon? Yes, yes, I’m sure that’s another whole barrel (or few) of posts and controversy. But when have you ever shied away from settling controversy with the way you’d do it in your kitchen?

  65. 213
    Lawrence

    Are you familiar with the Joy Of Cooking eggnog recipe? I’ve made it. Several times. You will need a bigger bowl. And it is sublime. And it would anesthetize a moose.

    • 215
      Laurel

      My guess is that 1) The texture will be much thinner than Alton’s combo, and 2) It might not age well, since who knows what the sugar-sub would do? Do they break down chemically, etc…? BUT, it would probably be fairly tasty if you drank it straight away.

    • 216
      HollyMolly

      Probably not great. Lower fat dairy and you’re going to miss out on creaminess, sugar substitutes aren’t going to offer the same taste, and you’ve got the alcohol in there anyway so you’re still getting sugars. If you’re avoiding sugar for health reasons (like diabetes) you’re not supposed to drink liquor either for that reason. It’s honestly probably better to make it full fat, full sugar and just not drink as much of you’re counting calories and opt for something else entirely if you’re diabetic.

    • 217
      Ryan

      I have a Splenda cookbook and it contains a recipe for sugar-free egg nog. The recipe uses Splenda, vanilla, milk, half and half, corn starch and nutmeg. You cook the egg-nog base (eggs, Splenda, and cream) in a double boiler until it gets hot. Then you add the corn starch. Whisk (I use a stick blender) until it gets thick and creamy. Then add it to the milk and whisk some more (I pour it through a metal strainer then use a stick blender). Add the vanilla and nutmeg, chill, and serve. Can’t tell the difference! So you can make a sugar-free version. But the preparation is a bit different since it relies on cooking it and adding cornstarch. I believe the cookbook I use is called the Splenda Cookbook. I’ve also used full sugar in place of Splenda and comes out just as good. I believe Alton’s recipe is using the alcohol to denature the egg proteins whereas mine uses heat.

  66. 219
    Chuck Lutz

    I’m definitely making this for New Years. Alton Brown’s recipes are always top notch. What’s the deal with the accompanying photo with this recipe? If yolk based, how is it white and frothy? And if you wanted it to be couldn’t you fold in “fresh”, whipped egg whites into the nog before serving? Curious.

    • 220
      pastry chef

      Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until it gets lighter in color and doubles or triples in volume. This ensures for a smooth and thick texture in the end. I would not at all add whipped egg whites (merengue) to this recipe. It will throw off taste, texture, and it might curdle and separate adding a watery layer during storage.

  67. 221
    Jim Carter

    I have made this eggnog ever since Alton’s article appeared in Mental Floss about three years ago. It is amazing. I agree with anyone who commented about the aging process for this drink. The longer it sits, the less “boozy” the flavor will be. I always air on the side of caution with the alcohol in terms of killing any pathogens that might exist in the dairy. So I double up on the spirits. Again the longer it sits the more of the alcohol taste mellows. Last year I sat a quart in the back of my basement fridge for “aging” purposes. I broke it out recently and was blown away by the taste! Thanks Alton for inspiring a tradition in my family!

  68. 223
    Max

    I tried making a double batch and it is coming out super thin. My yolks seemed kind of small so that may have been a factor. At this point it tastes like sugary booze milk. Will it thicken with time?

  69. 225
    Daniel Zehner

    I didn’t think I could do it, but I still officially have some nog left over from this recipe last year. When the calendar flips over to December I’m going to try it!

  70. 228
    Mangar

    I made this last year, and came back to get the recipe again. I felt the need to make a quick comment, because I really enjoyed this. It was a big hit, I loved it, everyone “who hated egg nog” loved it. It just really turned out fantastic.

    I don’t have much insight to offer on any variations. However, I can offer some first hand thoughts on the aging. When I made it, it was slightly over the “minimum” of two weeks. It was great, and well received on Christmas day. I had some left over still, and it sat in my fridge till roughly mid-January(closer to the end) and I broke it out when I had some people over. During this time it obviously aged more, and the difference in flavour was VERY noticable. It was absolutely amazing, maybe one of the best alcoholic drinks I’ve ever had. Thus I would suggest to make this NOW! I can’t overstate how important and how much of a difference the extra aging made to this.

  71. 229
    Jacob

    Even with eggs in the recipe, it will not make you sick! As long as you keep it chilled and in an airtight container nothing can go wrong. The alcohol ferments only in the absence of oxygen, keeping any bacteria from growing.

  72. 230
    Lorne

    I just made a batch, and it’s sitting in the fridge until Christmas.

    One concern: I used half the amount of alcohol called for (just to smooth it out a bit). Still used the same mix of 80 proofs called for. Will that be enough booze to keep it preserved for the next month and a half, or should I add more to be safe? The last thing I want is a green Christmas full of mold nog.

  73. 231
    Peter

    So I just made a double batch and my local dairy (glass bottles, hand written labels) messed up the labels and I ended up substituting the heavy cream with buttermilk. Any ideas as to what to do with it? I’ve got close to $100+ worth of ingredients, I don’t want to pour it down the drain.

    • 235
      Melissa

      Yolks do have all the cholesterol, and it is a lot, however it was recently discovered that the cholesterol you eat does not contribute to blood levels measured by doctors.

  74. 236
    Meg

    Seriously if you read it one batch has at least 9 cups of liquid – minimum not including the eggs etc… So
    I don’t know but do the math.

  75. 239
    Judith

    Can this be made in a stone crock?
    Also, I recall a family member made a crock-stored eggnog. It was left in the coolest room in the house and periodically more alcohol (I think it was rum) was added over the two months preceeding Christmas. No one got sick, but I was too young to remember the details. Is there a version of this process that’s safe?

  76. 241
    Zach

    I just made my batch today (10/4) for Christmas 2015. I’ve made it every year now for the past 3 years and it is amazing. I’ve always used pasteurized eggs (kinda hard to find but whole foods usually has them) and have never had issues with spoiling or people getting sick. The first year I made it I saved a mason jar of it in the back of the fridge for a whole extra year (so 14 months aging total)and it was amazing. Very smooth and the amount of booze was mellowed out quite a bit. But that’s hard to save it that long and people tend to not want to drink it (their loss). So now I usually make it the first weekend of oct, age it 2 months and it is great.

  77. 242
    Ryan

    Thank you for this recipe. I have one minor question: after putting it into the glass jar (or jars), do they need to be covered or do I leave it uncovered?

    • 243
      J. Scott Wilson

      You’ll definitely want to cover it. Even though it’s fairly thick, it will still lose moisture if left uncovered, and it can also pick up funky flavors from other stuff in the fridge.

  78. 244
    Mark Votaw

    Well, Mr. Brown, you can disregard my request for a recipe for aged eggnog. If I had looked around your website BEFORE I wrote that…….Love this recipe.

  79. 245
    Aaron

    Great recipe. Made a batch 2 days before Christmas, so it didn’t have a chance to age. It was still a big hit so I made a double batch the next weekend and have been sampling it regularly ever since. The flavors really developed some distinctive funk (in a good way) about a month out. It is now just over six months old now and the flavors have mellowed out beautifully. I need to make a new batch now and perhaps a double batch at Thanksgiving. Then for Christmas I can hold a blind tasting comparing the 1 and 6 month old versions.

  80. 247
    Tom

    Totally made this for next Christmas. I believe you that I can age it for a year… but I’m gonna crack it open mid-December and have some, just to be sure it won’t make anybody sick 🙂 Although, I may have to crack it open next month just to try it. When I made it, I made a 1/2 batch which filled a large wine bottle. The next day, it appeared to be separated which I figured out was the air that got mixed into the yolk mixture. I shook it up and there really was quite a bit of air cuz the head knocked down a couple inches from the top. Perhaps the fellow who is having separation didn’t mix the yolks enough?

  81. 248
    Andrew

    So i made a double batch of this recipe about a week ago and put it in 9 pint 1/2 mason jars. I plan on having one every month or so to find out at what time i enjoy it the most. I have notice that im getting a little bit of separation on the bottom of my jars, is that to be expected or was something done incorrectly ? I also have these jars on the top shelf of my refrigerator near the light, i feel foolish for asking but would that cause any issue with the eggnog (both proximity to the light and the top shelf being the coolest part)? please advise.

    • 249
      Diogenes

      I’m getting separation on my month-old double batch as well. Don’t know whether to shake ’em up once in a while, or to leave well enough alone. Alton (or his minions), please help us out!

      • 250
        Ryan

        I made a batch two weeks ago and like a couple other folks it appears to be separated in the fridge. There’s a thicker, darker liquid taking up a couple of inches at the bottom of my container. It seems to recombine if I shake it, but I’m worried I messed something up or it won’t be safe to drink come Christmas. Any ideas or help?

      • 251
        Jeff

        Ethanol is less dense than water, and water is less dense than nutmeg, so there will always be separation. It’s like a bottle of Italian salad dressing. Shake it every so often while aging and most certainly shaking it before serving

  82. 254
    ALP

    I contacted the county extension agency (SC – Clemson University) to ask about safeness of this. Their microbiologist said it would not make it to fermentation but will spoil first. Recommended not beyond 3 months to use. Not enough alcohol. I did not ask them how much alcohol is needed. But me, since it is in the refrig. I’ll let it go.

  83. 259
    Eloise

    Guys, here’s a simple one: 7 egg yolks, 2/3 cup of sugar (beat hell out of it), one whole little bottle of vanilla, and 16 ounces of vodka. Age it – six months is good. Sprinkle a little instant coffee on top – surprise! Don’t worry about the calories – you can only drink so much of this before the cup falls from your hand.

  84. 261
    Laura

    Hello, all!
    I’m trying to get myself into the hair of staying up later, so I try to find busywork to obsess over whenever I start to feel sleepy.
    That said, I calculated the total number of calories in this recipe to be right around 6,800. Actual serving size varies – especially accounting for evaporation differences between eggnog consumed right away versus a six month wait – so each mixologist will need to portion it as they see fit.
    Cheers!

  85. 263
    Josh C

    Does anyone have any ideas on uses for the egg whites? I just made my first batch, and it is so amazing. We’re using this batch’s whites for stuffed bell peppers, but looking for other uses, because I’m totally making more tomorrow.

    • 270
      Alec

      Absolutely can. I ended up with 2 cups of bourbon and 1 cup of rum. I didn’t have any cognac. Using the different alcohols gives you different flavors. Even when I did it that way, It still tasted divine! I will be doing this next year with the appropriate types of alcohol.

  86. 271
    Turbs

    @Anthony: FWIW, I make a similar recipe and IMHO it is definitely scalable – up or down.
    @Diane: FWIW, I’m not a scientist but have aged these types of recipes for well over a year with no curdling or souring – the alcohol seems to proof it.

    For storing containers, I use (without any treatment) just-emptied liquor bottles or prior liquor bottles in which I’ve aged the eggnog. When using bottles I’ve previously aged eggnog in, I rinse out thoroughly in hot water and then boil the bottles and the screw tops for an hour. I’ve also stored larger quantities in a beer growler with the spring top closure with rubber gasket. To sterilize the growler, I pull out the rubber gasket and boil it, and for the glass growler I hot water soak/wash then bake 350f for two hours. Never had a problem with spoilage, contamination, etc.

    Many who aren’t used to drinking straight liquor find these concoctions too strong to drink right out of bottle. For a party, you can pour a batch into a punch bowl and fold in some beaten egg whites and whipped cream and serve like a punch or “cut” individual servings with a dollop of whipped cream and/or a little heavy or light cream or even whole milk.

    For booze, I’ve had great results with Evan Williams or Maker’s Mark bourbon, Remy VSOP cognac and Meyers Dark Rum.

    Try freshly grated nutmeg on top – significantly better than pre-ground IMHO.

  87. 272
    Anna

    OMG this tastes so good! But boy is it a lot of alcohol. Don’t make this before you have to drive anywhere. Even taste testing could be hazardous to your driving! 😉

  88. 274
    Dawn

    I made this a couple days ago with the knowledge that it would never have the chance to age. Didn’t have half and half, so I used half whole milk and half heavy cream. I also used a good spiced rum instead of the three suggested liquors because I can’t mix my liquors without getting sick. The end product was smooth and tasty, and very strong (no problem, because I like rum). I’ll probably use a bit more heavy cream next time. Great recipe. I plan to make it again in a few days.

  89. 276
    Chris Helms

    On Twitter today you posted that you wouldn’t put cognac in your eggnog and yet… Would you like to update your recipe or retract your post-it note?

  90. 278
    Dan B

    I just made this, and since I was able to find pasteurized eggs at the market for a change, I used them. I was wondering, though, at what alcohol concentration salmonella is no longer a concern. By my math, assuming 80-proof spirits, the end product is about 10-11% alcohol. I’ve made nog before with non-pasteurized eggs, and I probably will again, but it’d be nice to be able to say “nothing to worry about” if someone asks.

  91. 280
    Chris

    Curious, any alternatives to putting this in glass jars? I want to store it for a month, but wondered if I could put it in something else.

  92. 282
    Texas Gal

    I have a friend who makes eggnog very similar to this recipe. We always drink it right away – I didn’t know it could be aged. It’s quite tasty, but STRONG!

    • 287
      John Hawkins

      Jamaican rums are usually darker with more molasses flavor to them. Puerto Rican rums are typically lighter both in color and flavor. Either will work, but Jamaican will bring a stronger rum flavor. If you’re feeling particularly wealthy, try substituting a Demerara rum.

  93. 289
    @thinlinegirl

    You may not see my FB comment (and you may not see this one either) but WOOHOO! Thanks for posting this, it is exactly what I’ve been looking for. =o.~=

  94. 295
    Christine K

    Was just wondering if people though this would work with coconut cream and coconut milk? I’ve made similar substitutions before but wasn’t sure if the alcohol or “aging” would have any effect.

  95. 297
    Colt

    I would love to try to make this if the booze cost investment wasn’t so high. If you don’t already have those beverages on hand thats at least a $60 cost if you are getting anything that is of ok quality.

  96. 300
    Jaime

    It’s eggnog, not a kale smoothie, of course it’s full of calories! That’s the point! You just don’t drink the whole batch in one day. The alcohol and sugar will keep the dairy from spoiling. Don’t skimp.

    • 301
      Michelle

      I love you for being the voice of reason. Who thinks eggnog should be a diet drink? It is an occasional treat not to be guzzled down in an instant. Rather, it is to be savored slowly and enjoyed.

  97. 302
    Paul in NJ

    Sweet Jeezum Crow — I can’t even begin count the calories in this recipe! It may be nectar, but that’s way too much for me. Unless, of course, AB can level it down to, say, a two-egg recipe…

    • 303
      Chris

      You don’t drink the whole recipe on your own. I’d say a 1/2 cup serving is plenty and clocks in at around 300 Calories (if my estimate is correct).

  98. 304
    Doug R.

    This is very similar to the nog I’ve been making for years now, although we always drink it immediately and have never let it age (although once, some got pushed to the back of the fridge and GOT aged…).

    I may have to try this! Thanks yet again, Mr. B!

    • 307
      Dan

      Half and half is about 10% milkfat. Whole milk i think is 3-4%. Cream can be 30-40%. So mixing them equally won’t work out to the right percentage of milkfat.

  99. 315
    Tracy Eckertson

    I think this is going to be a necessity for this Christmas! I’m going to run with the “And yes, you can also drink it right away.” promise!

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