We all love eggnog, and why shouldn’t we? The perfect mixture of sugar, milk, cream, and eggs gives us that seasonal beverage that rocks our taste buds. This can be gotten from the store or made at home using one of the many decadent homemade recipes available. Apart from taking it for its great taste, eggnogs contain vitamin D and calcium, which makes indulging in its intense flavor even more justified, especially during the holidays. However, do you know how long eggnog lasts? You need to be sure of this to ensure that you can preserve them for as long as possible without wastage. We will answer this question and more as we explore how to store eggnog, how long it lasts, and how to tell if it goes bad.
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Can Eggnog Go Bad?
Eggnog is a seasonal beverage that is a favorite in many homes. While you indulge in this remarkable beverage, you may be wondering if it can go bad. The simple answer to this is yes. Eggnog can go bad, and this is hugely because of its ingredients. Eggnog contains alcohol, sugar, cream, milk, and eggs. These are mostly perishable food items that will eventually go bad. They have an expiration date where bacteria can still grow in the eggnog despite being pasteurized.
How to Store eggnog
Eggnog contains whipped cream, eggs, and milk. These are all ingredients that need to be refrigerated to avoid spoilage. Therefore, it is vital to store eggnog in a refrigerator as well. For homemade eggnog, you have to leave it to cool down for a while before refrigeration. As soon as it is warm enough, pour the eggnog into a mason jar or airtight container. Seal this container tightly and leave it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Store-bought eggnog has a slightly different storing process. Since this is usually packaged in a Tetra Pak, you have to reseal it after pouring out the quantity of eggnog you need for your recipe. Make sure that it is sealed tightly before placing it in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can transfer the little eggnog left into a container or mason jar. Then, store in the refrigerator.
To store your eggnog in the fridge, you have to remember that you should keep it away from the fridge door. This is the spot that experiences the most temperature fluctuations. Therefore, this will not be ideal for preserving your eggnog for as long as possible. Instead, place your eggnog at the far corner of your fridge if you plan on keeping it in there for more than a day. This is where the temperature is stable enough to keep your eggnog safe.
Can You Refrigerate or Freeze eggnog?
It is recommended to refrigerate eggnog rather than freezing it. This is because frozen eggnog leads to separation and the creation of lumps after thawing. This is similar to the reactions of other dairy beverages like sour cream and buttermilk. While blending and shaking it can help to an extent, it may not be suitable for many recipes and defeat the purpose of preservation in the first place. Therefore, using frozen and thawed eggnog is not a great idea, except you wish to use it in baked dishes or as a creamer.
If you would like to freeze your eggnog to be used as a creamer, you should use an ice cube tray. This will ensure that you can get it in small amounts to add to your coffee easily. However, if you intend to add the frozen eggnog to specific recipes, place it in an airtight container. This should be sealed tightly with a little headspace that is roomy enough for the liquid to slightly expand.
An even better idea is to divide the eggnog into several portions for your different recipes. Freeze these separately, so you won’t have to thaw everything and refreeze every time you need some eggnog. Defrost your beverage by leaving it in the refrigerator overnight.
How Long Does Eggnog Last?
Homemade eggnog lasts about three days. This is because it contains no preservatives and is not pasteurized. Therefore, this reduces its ability to stay for a long time without spoilage. On the other hand, store-bought eggnog has a sell-by date that gives a reasonable estimate of how long it would take for the eggnog to lose its freshness. An opened carton of eggnog can last for about 5 days and be extended to seven days. However, an unopened one can stay fresh for only about three days.
How Can You Tell If Eggnog Has Gone Bad?
Just like any other dairy products, your senses are very important in checking if your eggnog has gone bad or not. To determine if it is safe enough to drink, you need to rely on your senses of smell. Start by giving the eggnog a good whiff to check if it smells sour. If it does, then you must discard it. The next stage is to study its appearance. For this, transfer some eggnog into a transparent glass. Look closely to determine if the color has changed. If it is entirely different from how it looked initially, then you should throw it out. A change of color is an indication of spoilage.
Finally, look at the texture of your eggnog. It shouldn’t be lumpy or clump together unnaturally. If your eggnog has this texture, it is not safe for you to drink. If you have checked these different features and your eggnog seems to have passed the test, you can give it a taste as a final check. This will let you know for sure if it is good enough to use in your recipe. To be on the safer side, throw out any store-bought eggnog that has spent more than a week and a half in your home. Do the same for homemade eggnog that has been kept for more than a week. Even when you feel like they are still in excellent condition, it’s safer to throw them out rather than risking a trip to the hospital.
Is It Okay to Use Expired eggnog?
It is not advisable to drink expired eggnog. Usually, this will contain bacteria that can lead to food poisoning. Therefore, you will be putting yourself and your loved ones at the risk of food poisoning from salmonella and other harmful bacteria.
What type of eggnog should you use?
Eggnogs can be cooked or uncooked. The uncooked eggnogs are made with raw, beaten eggs. However, most people would instead use cooked eggnogs, and it is not hard to see why. Cooked eggnogs are known to have a little more body and flavor. Therefore, if you want that badass consistency you would find in cake batter or cookie dough, cooked eggnogs are the way to go. For homemade eggnogs, you can add more yolks to give it more flavor.
Should you use spices in your eggnog?
It is an excellent idea to use spices in your eggnogs while it is still hot. Doing this will ensure that the spices cook a little when the mixture is still very hot. This will draw out its flavor and add to the overall taste. One spice to use in your eggnog is nutmeg. Rather than going for pre-ground nutmeg, use fresh-ground. People can always tell the difference when it is not done fresh, and doing it this way has much better results.
How can you use leftover eggnog?
There are several other ways to use leftover eggnog apart from drinking it. You can make your Christmas morning coffee even more spectacular with a generous addition of eggnog. Even better, your hot chocolate will be even more amazing with some eggnog. Leftover eggnog can be poured over your oatmeal or porridge without the need for any kind of sweetener. Another way to use leftover eggnog is to pour it into an ice cream maker and use it to create your ice cream. It is also great to soak this in bread and fry into French toast. Thinner eggnog can be whisked with more raw eggs and used to make bread pudding in a baking dish.
Leftover eggnog can be substituted for buttermilk in waffles and coffee cake. In these recipes, you can add less sugar, which the eggnog will make up for. Other ways to use leftover eggnog are:
Now you know that you shouldn’t intentionally drink eggnog that could be spoilt or use it in any recipe. Drink eggnog in reasonable quantities when it is fresh. To get the best out of your eggnogs, get fresh ingredients from the right sources, store it properly in a refrigerator, and drink it within a few days. All that’s left is to enjoy your eggnog and have an eggnogy holiday.