Eggnog is a festive favorite in many countries around the world and its warm and creamy taste can ignite fond memories of Christmases that have passed.
It’s such an old tradition that some historians believe that there was an early form of eggnog enjoyed as far back as Medieval times.
It was also famously adored by George Washington himself and it remains popular today, particularly in December.
There’s even a National Eggnog Day (December 24th, if you’re curious).
A less appealing alternative name for eggnog is milk punch or egg milk punch. This is due to its ingredients, which consist of milk, cream, sugar, whipped egg whites, and egg yolks.
The egg is what gives the beverage its signature frothy texture and rather funny name.
Traditionally, eggnog is an alcoholic drink and is usually mixed with bourbon, whiskey, brandy, or rum, making it the perfect boozy cocktail for a cozy winter’s night indoors next to the fireplace.
Of course, eggnog can be enjoyed without alcohol too and can be served either hot or cold. However, eggnog is typically served chilled. Finally, it’s usually dusted with nostalgic spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg which enhances the festive spirit.
As eggnog contains, well - egg, you may be wondering if it can be frozen and still remain edible after thawing. The simple answer is yes.
Both homemade eggnog and store-bought eggnog is perfect for home freezing, so you can keep sipping that ‘milk punch’ all the way into the new year.
You could even make up extra cartons in large batches and store them in a chest freezer to enjoy it all year round.
Although both homemade and store-bought eggnog can be frozen, they’ll need to be frozen slightly differently.
Here’s how to do it…
How do you freeze eggnog?
Freezing Homemade Eggnog
Whether it’s a traditional family recipe that has been passed down through the generations or you’re a first-time eggnog brewer, the process of crafting your own can help to increase the festive vibes this Christmas.
However, especially when following online recipes, we can sometimes make more than we can drink. To avoid waste, we recommend putting your homemade eggnog in the freezer to keep it fresh.
Once you have made the eggnog at home, you will need to allow it to rest at room temperature, to cool down completely. Once cooled, pour the eggnog into a plastic freezer container or a freezer bag.
Remember to leave an inch or two of space, as the eggnog will expand slightly when frozen, and you do not want it to explode in your freezer.
Once in the container, label the package with the date of freezing so you know how soon you should use it up.
You are also able to use this method if you have store-bought eggnog, but have already opened the packaging. You can pour the leftover eggnog into a plastic freezer container or plastic bag and place it in the freezer.
Freezing Store-bought Eggnog
If you’ve gone down the lazy route of purchasing your eggnog from the store, you mustn’t remove the packaging that it comes in. So only unopened eggnog can be frozen using this method.
Home freezing your store-bought eggnog is easy. You don’t have to prepare the eggnog before freezing, instead simply place the unopened eggnog carton upright in your freezer and leave it for a few hours.
Once the eggnog is frozen solid, place it into a plastic freezer bag and put it back into the freezer. If it’s frozen solid, which it should be, you can then lay the eggnog flat or standing up, whichever makes the most out of the space in your freezer.
The purpose of the freezer bag is to prevent freezer burn and protect the contents of the carton. You should also label the plastic freezer container with the date of freezing, so you have a better indication of when to use it.
The eggnog should be kept at a constant temperature, below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, to ensure it keeps at a good quality for an extended period. Fluctuations in temperature might affect the quality of the eggnog.
How to defrost eggnog
As eggnog contains raw eggs, it’s sensitive to temperature changes and needs to be thawed with care to prevent any cross-contamination or bacteria growth.
The best way to thaw your eggnog is to remove it from the freezer and place it directly into your fridge. Leave for a few hours or overnight. Any eggnog left at room temperature is going to go sour pretty quickly.
Once the eggnog has thawed, we recommend reheating it. Give your eggnog a thorough stir to break down any lumps and to mix any separated ingredients.
If the consistency of your eggnog still isn’t quite right, consider using an electric whisk until the mixture is creamy and smooth.
To reheat your eggnog, you can pour it into a saucepan and heat it over low heat on the stove, or put it in the microwave on low heat to warm up, but check it after every 30 seconds to check the heat.
Factors to consider before freezing
It’s important to note that once thawed, homemade eggnog will keep in the fridge for around 3 days, so make sure you only thaw it when you actually want to drink it.
However, store-bought eggnog tends to be packed full of preservatives that help to keep it fresh, so it can last up to 7 days in the refrigerator after thawing.
If you are making eggnog at home and you plan on incorporating alcohol, it is recommended to use at least 20% alcohol in the mixture. This helps to kill off any bacteria in the eggs within 24 hours, allowing it to stay fresher for longer, before spoiling.
As a rule of thumb, 3 tablespoons of 80-proof liquor should be added for every egg, to ensure it is properly sterilized.