(Aged) Eggnog for Ye Olde Holidays from CHOW

by Sarah on December 5, 2011

You must know by now that I’m a little bit crazy when it comes to things food and drink.  I want to know where things come from, man.  Like, eggnog.  Eggnog didn’t originate in a carton in the dairy aisle.  Did it?  No, it didn’t.  I read about it in a book.  I get a lot of my crazy ideas out of old books.

Then I feed my crazy ideas with more books.  And magazines.  And The Internet. DUN DUN DUNNNNN…

So last year I got the kooky little idea that I should make some eggnog, except I got the idea a couple of days before Christmas.  I didn’t know, see, that eggnog needs to sit around and age and mellow and ripen….not unlike it’s much maligned holiday friend the fruitcake.

So I scrapped that idea for a whole eleven months.  Well eggnog, your time has come.

So here’s the funny part.  I can’t show you what it will look like when we are going to serve it for another three weeks because we’re aging it!  And if I make it, so must you!  But just play along will ya and we can all post our fluffy eggnog photos when we’re done with it.

I thought this was going to be a lengthy process but it literally took minutes.  It also helped that I had a couple of little Christmas elves in the kitchen doing all the dirty work and all I had to do was bark orders and snap photographs, but hey, I think it would be easy even if you had to do it yourself.

This recipe came from CHOW by the way, and had a very charming backstory about the writer’s grandfather wheedling the recipe from some holiday host in Shanghai in the ’20’s.  Go read it.

Next comes an absurd amount of alcohol.  A liter of bourbon, a half cup of rum and 3/4 cup of cognac.  I got pretty buzzed from the fumes alone.  And did you know that Costco has their own line of bourbon?  Aged 7 years and everything.  Not too shabby.

Don’t forget to give it a little pinch of salt.  Speaking of salt, I actually RAN OUT of salt today.  That is some kind of travesty.  It was baffling and shocking at the same time.

Pour into a gallon-sized jar and seal ‘er up.  Chow says it’s “traditional” to cover the jar with foil (shiny side out) and to tuck your whole nutmeg inside the foil for grating.  I foiled it but didn’t put the nutmeg in there, mostly because I am out of whole nutmeg.  Refrigerate the nog for 3 weeks, or according to Chow, UP TO 1 year, stirring occasionally.

They say the traditional way (which I plan to do) is to pour the eggnog into a punchbowl, then whip the egg whites to firm peaks and also some cream to firm peaks and fold both through the nog.  Grate with fresh nutmeg to taste.  They say you can use more sugar if needed also.  The comments say it’s super boozy, but on Christmas, that’s a good thing, right?

Definitely RIGHT.

Chow's Best Eggnog Recipe


  • 12 large eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 quart (4 cups) whole milk
  • 1 liter (about 4 cups) bourbon
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 1/2 to 1 cup good Cognac or other brandy
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • To serve (optional):
  • 10 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream


  • Separate egg yolks and whites.
  • Combine yolks and sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk until well blended and creamy.
  • Add cream, milk, bourbon, rum, Cognac, and salt, then stir.
  • Bottle it right away and refrigerate it until it’s ready. (An old liquor bottle works great, as do 22-ounce bail-top bottles, available in brewing supply stores.
  • (It’s traditional to wrap the bottle in aluminum foil, shiny side out, together with a fresh nut of nutmeg tucked into the foil for grating later.)
  • Keep refrigerated for at least 3 weeks, or up to a year if you can.
  • Serve aged eggnog on the rocks with some freshly grated nutmeg on top, or if you want to serve the eggnog in the traditional way, pour it into a punch bowl. In separate bowls, whip 10 egg whites and 1 1/2 cups heavy cream to soft peaks and fold them into the eggnog. Serve in punch cups, garnished with freshly grated nutmeg.

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