Photo by Donna, cooked eggnog with meringue and nutmeg

Cooked eggnog with meringue and nutmeg. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman

Plan ahead!

Not long after I began this blog in 2006, I wrote about and made aged eggnog upon reading about it at CHOW. Two years later Donna photographed it. A year after that, we finished the batch. It was a little funky and that was part of its deliciousness.

I’m writing about it now so that you can, if you plan ahead, make it this weekend or next, for this holiday season, and the next, and, if you have the discipline, for December 2015. It needs at least 30 days for the aged flavor and for the alcohol to take care of any bacteria. After that it will keep for a long long time.

Jonathon Sawyer liked it so much he began experimenting with different whiskeys. Last one I tried he’d use Oban, an excellent single malt that pairs well with cream.

Thus the Friday cocktail is a good whiskey, on the rocks, to enjoy after you make next year’s batch of aged eggnog.

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© 2013 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.

30-Day Eggnog

If you have room in the fridge, make a double batch, and hold some back for text year to see if the aging is worth it.
Prep Time15 mins
Fridge set up time30 d
Total Time30 d 15 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: christmas, cocktail, drink, eggnog, holiday
Servings: 6
Author: Michael Ruhlman
Cost: $22

Equipment

  • 1 gallon glass jar

Ingredients

  • 12 Egg Yolks save whites for angel food cake!
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 liter bourbon
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup Cognac or brandy
  • 1/2 cup Meyer's dark rum
  • 1 pinch Kosher Salt

Instructions

  • Combine the yolks and sugar in a large bowl and whisk until well blended and creamy.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Transfer the mixture to a 1-gallon glass jar and tightly seal the lid. (Alternatively, you can bottle it.) Place in the refrigerator for 30 days. (But you'd better try a couple glasses the day after making it just to make sure it's got the right balance, don't you think?)
  • Serve topped with sweet meringue and nutmeg if you wish.

Notes

This recipe is pretty boozy—feel free to reduce the alcohol to 1 liter total, or to taste. I like the mix of boozes for flavor but anything goes here. If you’re feeling super-flush and want to make it very special, try using Oban single-malt, a whiskey that goes particularly well with cream, as this cocktail post, announcing a new cocktail, The Major Award, notes.
How can you keep dairy and eggs in your fridge for a year or three? The alcohol kills the bacteria that cause food to spoil (not to mention salmonella that might be in raw egg). This is a good thing to remember if you need to leave town and find you have a lot of dairy and eggs that will go bad–just ad 20 percent booze by weight and it will keep. Kenji, in his post above, says it pasturizes the liquid in 24 hours, but studies I read said it could take as long as 30 days to eliminate 100 percent of the bacteria.