There’s nothing like eggnog on a cold, wintery day to warm you up. It’s synonymous with the holidays, and the warmth and cheer created in the house, away from the frosty days.
Eggnog – the alcoholic version or not – is definitely a crowd pleaser, which is definitely helpful when you consider how short a time it actually keeps for.
Because eggnog is made up of milk, sugar, cream, whipped egg whites (see also Freezing Egg Whites) and egg yolks, you might think that this is a difficult drink to freeze, as dairy can be unpredictable when it comes to freezing it.
The good news is that you can freeze eggnog, but you have to do so carefully. Storing it wrong in either the fridge or the freezer will lead to lumpy eggnog which is somewhat watery, and it could even be unsafe to drink.
But how long does eggnog actually last?
The Shelf Life Of Eggnog
When it comes to the shelf life of eggnog, homemade eggnog is notoriously difficult to keep, as it only lasts about a day, even in the fridge.
Pasteurized store-bought eggnog will last up to a week in the fridge, which is better, but what if you won’t drink it that quickly?
Maybe it’s only you who likes the stuff, which makes consuming the lot within a week difficult.
If you freeze the stuff, it can keep anywhere from 4 to 6 months, depending on the recipe, how fresh it is, and if it’s been exposed to light, heat, or moisture.
For best results, consume it within a month of freezing, as it will still be at its best.
How Do You Freeze Eggnog?
How To Freeze Homemade Eggnog
In order to freeze homemade eggnog, you first need to wait until it’s completely cool.
Get an airtight plastic container, and decant the eggnog into it, leaving enough room at the top for it to expand. This also applies to store-bought eggnog that you’ve already opened.
Close the lid tightly, label, and store flat in the freezer.
How To Freeze Store-Bought Eggnog
To freeze unopened store-bought eggnog, put the carton straight into the freezer, keeping it upright to avoid any mess.
Once it has frozen, seal the carton into a heavy-duty freezer bag, and return it to the freezer.
How Do You Defrost And Then Reheat Eggnog?
Thawing frozen eggnog is easy. Transfer it straight into the fridge, and let it defrost overnight.
While it might be tempting to leave it out on the counter in order to thaw quicker, room temperature will make the ingredients start to break down, rendering the drink lumpy, watery, and downright disappointing.
It also makes the eggnog unsafe to drink if left out for too long, so let’s not do that.
Once it has completely thawed (not before, otherwise you risk the consistency of the eggnog altering irreversibly), you can reheat it.
You will notice that some separation will occur once it has defrosted, but stir this back in before reheating, and it should be fine.
If it still doesn’t look right, you can put it into a blender to make it creamy and frothy again.
You can enjoy eggnog either cold or hot. If you prefer it hot, you can either reheat it on the hob over a medium heat, or microwave it for a few minutes.
If you do choose the microwave, keep an eye on it, as it can easily get too hot, too quickly and curdle.
Never attempt to refreeze thawed eggnog, as the quality will suffer, and more likely than not, it will go bad when you thaw it. Cut your losses and make some more.
Eggnog is the perfect winter drink, regardless of whether you make it with alcohol (see also Can you Freeze Beer?) or not. Being able to freeze it saves a lot of fuss, as in its natural state it can go off quickly.
Because it’s traditionally drunk during winter, you may be hard-pressed to find it at other times of the year.
With this in mind, as well as the short shelf life, it can be difficult to find reasons to make your own when you have a craving. Freezing it solves all of these problems, so long as you do it correctly.