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The Best Eggnog Is Old Eggnog

Creamy, dreamy—and aged for weeks.
By Published Dec. 2, 2021

The usual approach to making eggnog is simple: Mix together eggs, sugar, and cream and fortify the dairy with your choice of booze. Then, bottoms up. But if you plan ahead, there’s a simple way to improve on this classic winter holiday cocktail: Simply let a batch of nog age for at least three weeks in the refrigerator before indulging. The rest period drives off the eggy taste while giving the other flavors a chance to meld. At the same time, the alcohol has a chance to kill any potential pathogens from the raw eggs.

The key is to use enough alcohol to properly sterilize the eggs during storage, and then temper the booze-egg base with dairy for serving. Alongside a fresh batch, which tastes comparatively eggy, boozy, and harsh, we found that this aged nog went down more smoothly.

Here’s how to make it:

  • Stir together a dozen beaten eggs, 1 1/2 cups of bourbon, 1/2 cup of cognac, and 1/3 cup of dark rum; add 1 1/2 cups of sugar. 
  • Refrigerate the 18-percent-alcohol mixture in an airtight container. 
  • After three weeks, pour the base through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any egg solids.
  • Mellow out the mixture with 6 cups of whole milk and ½ cup of cream, bringing it down to about 8 percent alcohol.

Or, if you have a favorite eggnog recipe, use 1 1/2 ounces of 80 proof liquor for every egg, and leave out the dairy until serving.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.