We have heard about how wine tastes better when aged, yes? Well, aged eggnog is no exception, and we have the best recipe to make it. So try this best aged eggnog cocktail recipe and you’ll see we are not lying.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Most eggnog recipes are unbalanced and so it’s hard to take more than a few sips. But then there’s this aged eggnog recipe, which is unlike any other you’ve ever sipped. The key is aging the eggnog, which makes the flavors mellow and meld together.
The result is that, instead of the overly sweet, booze-filled stuff you’ve tried before, this eggnog is balanced and flavorful but still with a decent boozy kick. And the addition of whipped egg whites and whipped cream just before serving? Well, that makes it also seem lighter and less intense than the eggnog you get in the carton at the store.
The ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe are:
- Very fresh large eggs
- Unrefined cane sugar
- Whole milk
- Heavy cream
- Whisky or Bourbon
- Dark Rum
- Cognac or Brandy
How To Make This Recipe
You’ll need to make this recipe at least 10 days ahead of when you want to serve it. Here are the steps:
- Sterilize Everything: You’ll want to rinse everything out and sterilize it in order to be as safe as possible.
- Separate The Eggs: First, you’ll need to separate the egg whites from egg yolks. Once this is done, you’ll freeze the egg whites.
- Whip The Eggnog Base: Next combine the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whip until it’s light in color, creamy, and leaves a ribbon behind.
- Add The Milk and Cream: Add in the milk and cream and then you’ll whisk it until evenly combined. Then add the alcohol and mix well.
- Age The Eggnog: Place the eggnog base in sterilized jars, close tightly, and age for at least three weeks in the refrigerator.
- Defrost The Egg Whites: The night before serving, defrost the egg whites.
- Whip The Egg Whites And Cream: You’ll then whip the egg whites and heavy cream until they’re both airy, light, and doubled in volume.
- Fold In The Egg Whites And Cream: Combine the aged eggnog base with the whipped egg whites and cream in a punch bowl and fold gently to combine.
- Serve: Serve the eggnog over ice with a dust of nutmeg.
Frequently Asked Questions
Aged eggnog is a traditional holiday drink that's made by combining eggs, sugar, dairy (like milk or cream), and spirits (such as rum, brandy, or bourbon), and then allowing the mixture to age for a period of time, often several weeks to months. This aging process helps to develop a richer, more complex flavor.
Yes, when properly prepared and stored, aged eggnog is safe to drink. The alcohol content in the eggnog acts as a preservative, inhibiting bacterial growth. However, it's important to use fresh, high-quality ingredients and maintain proper refrigeration throughout the aging process.
The best spirits for aged eggnog are typically dark liquors like bourbon, brandy, or dark rum. These spirits complement the rich flavors of the eggnog. Some recipes may use a combination of different spirits for added depth and complexity. We like to use Ron Zacapa rum, High West Whiskey, and St. George Spirits Pear Liqueur in our recipee.
We know this recipe sounds sketchier than an email banking scam, but it’s anything but. It is our very best aged eggnog! Our Editor In Chief, Aida, first came across this aged eggnog recipe back when she ran the Test Kitchen at CHOW magazine, and she was immediately intrigued.
She didn’t grow up in a family that served eggnog during the holiday season and had certainly never made eggnog from scratch. Never mind an aged eggnog recipe where the eggnog base rests for weeks (or months!).
How Far Advance Can You Make Aged Eggnog?
We’ve heard of people aging eggnog for years, but the longest we’ve gone is one year. And, to be clear, that was one year where the eggnog was in a sealed container and at a constant state of 40°F or colder.
The result is distinct, an acquired taste as it ups the “eggnog” flavors, and the booze is almost undetectable.
We like it best when it has aged between 2 1/2 weeks up to one month. Our go-to schedule is to make a batch the weekend after Thanksgiving and let it age until Christmas Eve.
That few week seems to be the perfect amount of time to mellow it out so that it’s creamy, a bit sweet, and boozy, but not too much of anything.
How To Safely Make Aged Eggnog
Speaking of keeping things cold and safe, we have a few tips for you to make this eggnog safely.
Use Very Clean Equipment
Make sure everything you use, from the measuring cups and mixing bowl to the storage containers, is impeccably clean. The easiest way to do this is to clean everything in hot soapy water before you get going and then rinse it quickly with white vinegar, eliminating any grease and stabilizing the egg whites so they hold together better!
Use Uber Fresh High-Quality Eggs
This is still a drink made with raw eggs, so you should buy the freshest eggs and be extra clean when handling all the raw ingredients.
Don’t Serve Raw Eggs To Anyone Of Compromised Health
This a little reminder that raw eggs are never a good idea for pregnant women, the elderly, little ones (who, of course, shouldn’t be tippling on the eggnog in the first place), or anyone else whose health is compromised.
The good news is that eggnog has so much alcohol that the risk for contamination is minimal, and, yes, the alcohol also helps to make aging the eggnog safe.
Keep The Sugar And Alcohol As-Is
Finally, do not change the total amounts of sugar or alcohol in this recipe as they are the key to keeping it food safe.
We have found that this recipe needs to stay above 20% ABV, which works out to just over 5 cups of total alcohol for these types of liquor.
If you want to lower the sugar and alcohol, you’ll have to use pasteurized eggs or cook the base (by constantly stirring as you cook it over a double boiler until it reaches 180°F) to ensure it’s super safe!
Keep It Cold
As you let it age, you’ll want to tuck it into the back corner of your fridge where it’s cold but not frozen. If you have a refrigerator thermometer, keep it near the eggnog and make sure your refrigerator stays nice and cool (say 35°F to 38°F).
How To Serve Best Aged Eggnog
We like to serve this in a punch bowl with a big block of ice as part of our annual holiday party. Some guests like to drink it the whole night, while others have it as a liquid dessert.
How To Make An Ice Block
At least one day before serving the punch, arrange some spices like cinnamon sticks, star anise, and maybe apple rings (remember, whatever you add to the ice block will eventually melt and end up in the eggnog) in a small loaf pan, bundt pan, or baking pan.
Fill with filtered water to cover the fruit and then freeze until solid. Plan to make the ice block at least a day ahead, so it has plenty of time to set.
Other Recipes You’ll Like
Here are a few other holiday cocktails you may want to make and our most popular cocktail party appetizers if you plan to serve this at your next holiday party.
- Tequila Spiked Horchata Cocktail Recipe
- Spiced Cranberry Whiskey Sour Cocktail Recipe
- Pomegranate Ginger Apple Cider Punch Recipe
Best Aged Eggnog Cocktail Recipe
For The Eggnog Base:
- 12 large eggs very fresh and high-quality
- 1 3/4 cup unrefined cane sugar
- 1 quart whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 cups Irish whisky or Bourbon
- 2 cups dark rum
- 1 cup Cognac Armagnac or Spiced Pear Liqueur also works
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ice for serving
- nutmeg freshly grated for garnish
For The Aged Eggnog Base:
- Separate the egg yolks and whites, then place the egg whites in a clean and airtight container and freeze until the eggnog is ready to serve. Combine the egg yolks and sugar in the very clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk until well blended, thickened, light yellow, and creamy, at least one to two minutes (the mixture should leave a ribbon behind when the whisk is pulled out of the bowl .Whisk in all the milk and 1 cup of the cream until well mixed. Whisk in all the alcohol and a pinch of salt, then transfer to a 1-gallon glass jar and tightly seal the lid.
Age The Eggnog:
- Place the eggnog at the coldest part of your refrigerator and check on it every day or two. Stir it or carefully turn the bottle a few times to mix everything well. Let it age for at least 3 weeks.
The Night Before Serving The Aged Eggnog:
- Make the ice block if you plan to use it and place the frozen egg whites in the refrigerator to thaw. To do so, place water in a loaf pan and freeze it.
How To Serve The Aged Eggnog:
- Before serving, let the egg whites come to room temperature for at least 20 minutes. Place the egg whites in the spotless bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to a large, clean punch bowl.Place the remaining 1 cup cream in the stand mixer bowl (no need to wash the bowl) and whisk on high speed until medium peaks form about 1 minute. Remove to the punch bowl. Stir the eggnog base with a rubber spatula to re-combine, then add it to the punch bowl.Gently whisk the cream and egg whites into the eggnog until just combined and no large pockets of whites or cream remain (do not over whisk, or you'll deflate the eggnog). Serve in punch cups over ice, if desired, and garnished with grated nutmeg.