Eggs, whiskey, and science: Aged Eggnog


Breakfast of champions?

I Just started a batch of 3-week eggnog to have on hand for Christmas festivities later this month. This particular recipe was inspired by a combination of factors: Ruhlman has been talking up his aged eggnog for years now, and it’s one of those things I’ve been meaning to try since he first mentioned it; Alton has a good recipe with a little bit of history, hailing eggnog as “our first health drink” and “patriotic duty,” (patriotic!); and Science Friday ran a story last year about the microbiology department at Rockefeller University. Not only have they been been making a pretty potent batch for the last 40 years or so, but they also ran a test to see if the booze would actually kill any bacteria that might be present in the raw eggs. And it does. Go science! Streak-plated cultures from an inoculated batch (actually spiked with Salmonella — they are microbiologists, you know) right after mixing result in a veritable field of bacteria. They tested the plates again each week for 3 weeks, and each time there were fewer bacteria. 3 weeks does it. Check out the video below. Those guys know how to throw a good holiday party.

I trust the microbiologists. I also trust Alton, who says that as long as your mix contains about 20% alcohol then it should fine. Ruhlman’s happens to be the most potent recipe of the group, so he’s in the clear as far as the booze and the bugs go. I picked a happy medium between the two of them, just a shade stronger than the microbiologists. Apparently it mellows out over the month. We’ll see how it goes. Cheers!


Aged Eggnog 12-1-13

  • 1 dozen egg yolks
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 750 mL (24 oz) bourbon
  • 1/2 c (4 oz) dark rum
  • 1/2 c (4 oz) cognac
  • 1 qt whole milk
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • grated nutmeg to taste

About Scott

occasionally-bearded teacher/musician/cook
This entry was posted in drinks, holiday, recipes, science and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Eggs, whiskey, and science: Aged Eggnog

  1. This looks pretty solid. I’m definitely going to give this a shot and since raw milk is legal in my state I may opt for raw milk and cream.

  2. Scott says:

    Nice. I’d be curious to taste the difference in flavor, how it changes over time relative to the pasteurized dairy. A future study!

  3. Tamara says:

    Holy cow, this looks delicious…and a science experiment to boot! Definitely going to try it for Christmas!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s