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.

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 https://altonbrown.com/

719 Comments

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  1. 1
    Blake Smith

    This is the 4th year that I’ve made this recipe. I make a fresh batch every year just before Christmas, so it is a full year old when I drink it. I’ve never shaken it if I think about it I may give it a few gentle rocks back and forth, but never a vigorous shake. It will form a thick, heavy cap of cream, and if you are lucky you will get a bean sized lump of that intensely flavored congealed cream in your glass. It is the ambrosia of the Gods! One thing that I did do after the first year was to double up on the cream and leave out the whole milk. I like mine thicker…….Dadgumit man! I’m going to have to go sample a bit now.

  2. 2
    Mike

    I’m starting to plan the making of my batches this year and I like the suggestions from Ryan as well. For what it’s worth, as much as you think you will need, you’ll always be short. I made a triple batch last year (made in Summer, served at Christmas) and I’m looking at making 6x batch this year so that I have enough to share with everyone that wanted some to take home after our annual party.

  3. 3
    Ines

    Ryan, I have been preparing this recipe for two years. Last Christmas, I served a batch I made the year before. It was delicious! I keep my nog in the bottom shelf of the fridge, probably giving it a shake every couple of months since the nutmeg settles on the bottom.
    Love the combinations of ingredients that you added. Let us know how your recipes turn out.

  4. 4
    Ryan

    Just prepped two batches of this yesterday. Used a pint (actually 375 mL) of bourbon and a pint of spiced rum in each batch. Also subbed out the milk for more heavy cream. In the first batch I used white sugar and nutmeg. In the second batch I subbed in light brown sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice. I also added a teaspoon of vanilla.

    Question for anyone who has made this before: Once its bottled/jarred and in the fridge, do I need to stir or shake the bottles/jars periodically? Should I open the containers to stir them or just shake the sealed containers? Not sure if there is a right or wrong way, I just don’t want to screw anything up. I’m going to try and let them sit in the fridge until Christmas, so any insight anyone may be able to provide is appreciated!

  5. 5
    Steve

    Im not sure the recipe will result in 20% alcohol by volume. That would be 40 proof. Starting with 80 proof liquor you would need a 1:1 ratio of liquor to everything else. Assuming each egg yolk is half an ounce you have six oz there, plus 3 x 16oz of cream, half n half and milk. Total non-alcoholic liquid volume is 54 oz. So you would need 54 oz of 80 proof liquor to make a 20% (or 40 proof) nog. Three cups = 24 oz. So you’ve really got approx 10%. ABV….not counting the additional volume of the sugar, which will reduce the %age even more.

    Perhaps Alton meant 20 proof instead of 20%?

  6. 6
    LB

    Alton, can you explain please why the 3 types of dairy? Could you use 1.5 pints of whole milk & 1.5 pints of heavy cream for the same average fat content? Is there a textural or other reason to use Milk, cream, and also half-and-half? THank you!

  7. 7
    JennySue

    My goodness – this is a great recipe. Made mine at the end of October and it was prime for the holidays. First taste was after Thanksgiving dinner of another perfectly brined turkey from AB’s recipe. When I made my nog I froze the egg whites and thawed them to use for our Christmas pavlova. Was worried – but that worked out fine, didn’t notice any difference from fresh whites. Thanks to Mr. A. Brown for another excellent recipe.

    • 9
      Ines

      I have made this Alton’s recipe for the last two years. I love to experiment. I have used different flavors than are suggested in the recipe with great success. In one of my batches (I prepare at least three), I used the Captain Morgan Pumpkin Spice Rum as one of the ingredients. It turned out delicious.

  8. 11
    Bruce

    Got rave reviews this past Christmas and will definitely make it again. Make twice what you think you need as you will need tastes along the way. Now saving 1 pint until…who knows. Just to see how long it will age. Maybe eggnog on the fourth of July.

    • 12
      Blake Smith

      I’ve made it for the last three years. I opened up a bottle that was 18 months old New Years and it was great. After the first year I started double batching. I’ve found that mixing about 50/50 last years with this years gives me the flavor and viscosity that I like. After the first year, i replaced the milk with either half and half or doubled the cream, because i like it better thicker.

  9. 15
    Dennis

    A friend shared a small jar of eggnog as a gift for Christmas. My wife and I LOVED it! So we had to have the recipe, which my friend directed me to your site. It is the BEST eggnog we’ve ever tasted. I plan to make it myself, however I don’t know that I can wait a full year… maybe after 6 months we’ll have Christmas eggnog on the first day of summer!

    • 16
      Albert Valencia

      Dennis, this is seriously awesome any time of the year! I’ve still got a quart that I’ve been saving for a year and a half, to start for next year. It’s killing me, every time I open the garage fridge. Lol.

  10. 19
    Melissa Pollard

    I made this eggnog in December 2016. I put it in the garage fridge and shook this eggnog once a month. I served it at Thanksgiving (2017) and the rest this Christmas. The flavors are amazing! Yes, a year old!
    I’m planning on making more next month to have for Christmas NEXT year. Thank you, Alton!

  11. 20
    Beverley

    My husband and I have just finished a good sized glass of your aged eggnogg. It was amazing and neither of us want a glass of wine after that. I will most definitely be making next years supply within the next few weeks.
    I too need to make extra for quality control.

  12. 21
    Paul G Bateman

    My wife and I made this recipe about 7 . months ago and it is absolutely amazing. It has mellowed so much and is smooth and delicious. It is deceptively potent as well. This year for New Year’s we will make our Nog for next Christmas season with one jug for sipping all year as quality control. We are also using your cinnamon bun recipe but substituting the Nog for all milks as suggested in the comments by a wise soul. Thanks for the superb recipes Alton.

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