Aged Eggnog


Aged eggnog?!  WTF is that?  I had never heard of such a thing until I stumbled across a recipe for it on Alton Brown’s web site.  As it turns out, it is indeed a real, if arcane, preparation, even covered by Cook’s Illustrated, which researches all things food.  The idea is that the nog ages for at least two weeks, and up to a year.   One benefit of aging is that after three weeks, the alcohol renders the eggnog completely sterile.  Some writers suggest that is plenty of time; longer aging means that the nog loses its eggy freshness and becomes aggressively boozy.  I don’t think I will be able to confirm that.  I expect the batch I made to only last a month or so.

Alton Brown is a cook, author, TV personality, and blogger.  He is perhaps best known for I‘m Just Here for the Food and Good Eats TV series and their accompanying cookbooks, and host of Iron Chef America.  At the start of the pandemic, he and his wife Elizabeth started a Youtube channel called Quarantine Quitchen, now known simply as QQ.  Each (usually) weekly episode is the two of them making a cocktail and preparing a sometimes straightforward, sometimes bizarre dinner, which they eat standing at their kitchen counter.  The show isn’t for everyone, but I highly enjoy it.

Alton Brown’s Aged Eggnog

This recipe will make about a gallon.

  • 12 large eggs, pasteurized if you need peace of mind
  • 1 pound sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg*
  • 1 pint half-and-half
  • 1 pint whole milk
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 cup Jamaican rum
  • 1 cup cognac
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    1. Separate the eggs and store the whites for another application.  (I made a delicious angel food cake from Rombauer’s Joy of Cooking.)
    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. Slowly beat dairy, booze, and salt 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 two weeks. [According to Brown, “A month would be better, and two  better still. In fact, there’s nothing that says you couldn’t age it a year.”]  And yes, you can also drink it right away.  The ABV is about 11%.

Serve in mugs or cups topped with a little extra nutmeg grated on top.

* I highly recommend that you buy whole nutmeg and grate it as needed.  Much better than the pre-ground stuff.

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