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 safety is always first and you’ll want at least 20 percent alcohol by volume to stamp out any microbial baddies the raw eggs might have brought on board. I also think the various natural flavorants in the spirits provide a fantastic complexity as the nog ages, with my peak target generally being between 4 and 6 months.

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  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
  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.


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  1. 2
    Jay Jerome

    Just to be clear… We’re not folding in those separated egg whites? This is the only recipe I’ve found that doesn’t call for that.

    Also, that cheese that forms on top, will shaking it up AFTER it forms, cause the nog to become permanently infused with cheese chunks? Will removing the cheese instead of shaking it screw up the formula? If I remove the cheese, will more form later?


  2. 3

    Just getting around to making this years batch, it is so much better aged longer, 6 months is perfect. But on the bright side, I do have 1 qt left from last year. Still good! I would have had more but I tell you, add some ice & blend it. Egg Nog slushies are just too good on a hot summer day. That reminds me, I’ll have to make another batch to save for July!

  3. 4

    Made my first batch last week and went to shake it a bit today and it seems to have lost some volume. I had 3 nearly full quarts and it looks like each one is down 1/2-1 cup. I assume this is normal? Wondering if I should add a little more cream.

  4. 6
    Nathaniel Ingersoll

    @Becca – if you don’t have the fat in it, the texture will be much lighter, unless you find a way to give it a subtle texture like what the cream give – I’d avoid gums as many people have issues with them, but possibly mixing some tapioca starch/flour into milk and heating it – perhaps a teaspoon or two for the whole recipe; basically make a very runny pudding out of the milk, and then let it cool before mixing with the eggs and everything else.
    Another thing to consider if you just use three pints of reduced-fat milk, is that reduced-fat milks are considerably sweeter than whole milk (and that much sweeter than creams) so you may need to reduce sugar slightly. I’m of the opinion that I’d prefer to go whole hog on the recipe, and then just have a little bit, than to sacrifice flavor so that I can have a lot, but that’s a personal decision.

  5. 7

    Just made a big old batch and it filled 6 pint mason jars (perfect gift size!) plus a bit more besides… you know… for taste testing. Ahem. It is quite delicious, even on day one. I can’t wait to try it after it has aged a bit. Next year I will make double the recipe to have extra to give to friends as well as family. I may actually go ahead and make another batch tomorrow.

  6. 9

    Just made it for the first time. I used Bacardi coconut rum instead of just rum. Tastes good already. Will try it again in 1-2 weeks after flavors meld.

  7. 10
    sherry l nawrocki

    Making a third batch today – God, this is great stuff. Our first batch was 100% Alton’s recipe. Batch #2 I added 1 teaspoon of good cinnamon from Penzeys. I have taken it to blind tastings and the batch with cinnamon has won hands down. I prefer it because I grew up on eggnog made with cinnamon – however, it is personal preference and both are absolutely delicious. I only wish I had found this recipe 40 years ago!! I now have people asking to buy it for Christmas.
    bourbon – Buffalo Trace or Evan Williams single barrel
    cognac – Hennessey rum – Appleton

  8. 11
    JJ Fos

    I just made two batches for an Xmas party on Dec 8th. I wish I would of made this at the end of summer. Oh well, it’s Nov 10th and there’s snow on my back porch and I was listening to The Felice Brothers while I made it. Could get much more perfect than that. Dec 8th can’t get here soon enough.

    For my liquor:
    Wild Turkey 101 – 101 proof
    Hamilton Rum Jamaican Pot Still Black – 93 proof
    Christian Brothers Sacred Bond – 100 proof

  9. 14
    Blake Smith

    This will be my fourth year of making this eggnog. I wait all year for the holidays to open that first bottle or jar. That thick cap that forms on top is my favorite part. I remove it and consume it separately. There is nothing like letting a big lump of that intensely flavored cap melt in your mouth. Or a dollop of it on Ultimate Fruitcake. Manna from heaven.

  10. 15
    Nathaniel Ingersoll

    I’ve found that this egg nog makes for a very healthy dessert, compared to ice cream… primarily because instead of eating an entire pint of B&J’s, I’m more than happy taking very small sips of this very intensely flavored eggnog, so I’m happy having perhaps three ounces of it over a period of 10-15 minutes — the net result being probably one quarter the calories!

    To answer a couple other questions I’ve seen – shaking the stored eggnog periodically helps keeping deposits from forming (“cheese”). Everything in the bottle is edible due to the alcohol’s pickling/preservative effect. I bottled mine in well-cleaned Belgian Ale ceramic bottles with snap tops this year; last year I used glass milk quart bottles with plastic wrap bolstering the plastic caps that came with them (that worked fine as well but I think it’s more permeable than this year’s sealing).

    I don’t think there’s any concern about drinking too much at once because it’s so intense that you’re unlikely to do more than take little sips. It’s only 10%ABV, but it tastes *much* more alcoholic – in flavor it’s similarly concentrated as Kahlua (20%ABV).

  11. 17
    Belinda Brooks

    SJ, when did you get started? For safety reasons, does it need to have a longer “fermentation” (for lack of a better term) time? Thank you.

  12. 19

    The only thing I know about “keto” is that I was getting spam about it dozens of times a day until I added a filter that anything with that word in the subject line would get deleted immediately.

  13. 21

    I’m always amused at people who want to change one ingredient to make this “healthy”. Look at the list up there, the only thing that could make it worse for you would be to add bacon. With 12 egg yolks, almost an entire bottle of booze, and two cows worth of butterfat are you really worried about the kind of sugar you’re using?

    At a certain point you need to ask yourself whether you should just find something else to have with your holiday festivities.

  14. 22

    I’d love to know about the monk fruit/ etythritol substitution idea as well. I’m planning on trying it, but won’t be able to report back until after Christmas.

    My only real concern is gastrointestinal “issues” from consuming so much at one time while enjoying the egg nog. But if it’s made this way, it’s very keto friendly.

  15. 23

    12 half-pint jars are resting comfortably in the fridge and will be ready for all the holiday festivities. Hostess gifts, eggnog tasting flights, cozy nights by the fire with the Griswolds or the Grinch, we’re covered. Thank you sir!

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