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 Best Eggnog Is Old Eggnog
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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