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.


  • 12 large eggs (pasteurized if you need peace of mind)
  • 1 pound sugar
  • 1 pint half-n-half
  • 1 pint whole milk
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 cup Jamaican rum
  • 1 cup cognac
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (plus more for serving)
  • 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.


Add yours
  1. 1
    Aaron Kissinger

    I managed to save a quart of this recipe in a mason jar tucked away in the back of the fridge… for TWO YEARS! While trimming the tree we cracked it open, and my oh my it was amazing!!! Planning on repeating the process.

  2. 3

    If you’re buying actual Cognac I would just get the cheapest in the store. That’s what I do for this recipe as well as Sidecars and Vieux Carre’s. I’ve used Salignac, Martell VS, and right now I’ve got Cognac Park Carte Blanche VS that was on closeout.

  3. 7

    Yes you can make a non alcoholic egg nog, you can’t age it, just Google non alcoholic eggnog, or Alton Brown eggnog and follow the directions for cooked and dint add the booze

  4. 9

    Russell Early, it makes 3 Qts. Mine usually fills 6 pint jars with maybe a 1/4 of a jar extra (my taster during the aging process). Yes, you definitely want to keep this refrigerated all the way until you consume it. This is a great recipe, and I always give pints away at Christmas and make sure I make enough for myself too! I hav one pint left from last year’s batch and I am trying to keep it as long as I can before I make this year’s.

  5. 10
    Russell Early

    Probably stupid questions, but he says to age in a large jar, how large? How much does this make?
    2) does this require refrigeration in the aging process?

  6. 12
    Sherry Nawrocki

    Using a sugar substitute would alter the chemistry and have a negative effect on both consistency and flavor. You may be able to purchase a ready made sugar free eggnog if you’re unable to consume sugar.

  7. 18
    tyler s.

    Doing some math on the volume, i’d like to point out that the recipe recommends 20% by volume of spirits, not 20% alcohol. I was look at how much booze i was going to need to hit 40 proof (20% ABV) and thought that seemed too high…

  8. 19

    just mix until yolks lighten in color and the mixture is thick – “ribbon” doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone – it will be fine – I no longer look for a ribbon effect and have successfully made several batches now

  9. 20
    Joel Riggs

    I mixed the 12 large egg yolks with the nutmeg and the sugar in a kitchenaid for almost an hour but for some reason mine won’t ribbon. Any suggestions?

  10. 21

    Bad News: came down with Pneumonia at Christmas so I couldn’t drink the Eggnog. Good news: it aged an extra few weeks. Bad News: I am trying to lose weight for the New Year and this recipe is 12 points/ 4 oz for a popular program. Good News ; I was able to manage it, and it is AMAZING worth the extra workout!!!

  11. 22

    I’m here to report in after finishing off the batch that we made in January 2017 this year! Last year we decided to save 2 jars to try at the 2 year mark instead of 1 year. We cracked them open monday during our weekly D&D session. Not only did I not die, but my D&D group raved that it was the best eggnogg they’ve ever had. I’m a wuss when it comes to bitter alcohols. The 1 year mark is still a little boozy for my tastes to be honest, but 2 years is really good. I’m excited to try 3 years too, but that won’t be for another 2 years now! It’s honestly worth the wait. We give some of this away in jars now for Christmas gifts.

  12. 23
    Glenna Montgomery

    We just drank our batch made in 2017, November. It was fabulous! We just added a little grated nutmeg to the top and it was amazing.

  13. 24

    Hey Jamie

    I think if you look at the bourbon
    And where it says on the bottle 40%
    alcohol. I’m pretty sure that’s what he’s
    talking about. Not a 20% alcohol volume
    In the eggnog

  14. 25

    See earlier comments about ABV and read comments from those who have made numerous batches – add this to Alton Brown’s science degree and make an informed decision. It is quite tasty, but I would not make it much less consume if I were not comfortable. There are other recipes out there. We are on the third batch right now – oldest is 90 days aged.

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