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Dec 1, 2010 02:12 PM

How long will home made (cooked) Eggnog last before it spoils?


I am going to a Christmas party this weekend and wanted to bring a bottle of home made Eggnog as a gift. I was curious to know how long the batch will last so i can tell the host.

I will very likely follow the Alton Brown recipe:

I have heard dates ranging from 2 days to 1 month. Some people say that cooking the mixture + the alcohol kills all the bacteria which will enhance the shelf life of the product. Is this true? Does cooking or adding alcohol matter at all?

Please let me know if you have any idea about the matter.


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  1. Rampopo, which is a cooked Mexican-style eggnog and therefore pasteurized, has an entirely longer shelf life than classic homemade eggnog, which contains raw eggs and cream and should be used the day of prep. (or definitely within a day that the base is made, w/ liquor added just before serving).

    1. One of my college friends had a family recipe for eggnog that called for the booze-sugar-raw egg concoction to be aged 10 days in the fridge before drinking. I think this is because there was so much booze in it that it needed the time to mellow. I have had this many times at her house (we are still friends decades later), and no one has become ill from it, although many people, not tasting its potency due to the long mellowing, have become mighty tipsy.

      My suggestion is that if you make your 'nog in advance, make it a seriously boozy one and warn people!

      1. Cooking kills bacteria and adding alcohol prevents things from growing. Eggnog can last a long time if it's at least 20% ABV. Your local liquor store, for example, almost certainly stores its boozy eggnog at room temperature

        Here's a Chow feature on the science of eggnog:

        4 Replies
        1. re: lavaca

          My friend's recipe was definitely more about the "nog" than the eggs!

          1. re: Isolda

            I do not know if the ABV is above 20% in the Alton Brown recipe. Perhaps I will simply add additional booze and hope for the best. Any other suggestions are always welcome.

            1. re: gae204

              'hope for the best'

              Don't give someone an experiment as a gift. Give them something you do well.

              1. re: Cathy

                I do experiments well.

                Thanks everyone for the help.