Can You Freeze Eggnog? – The Best Way
The festive season just would not be the same without eggnog. The egg-fortified beverage, mixed in with milk, cream, sweetener and sometimes alcohol, has become synonymous with all things Christmas and winter.
Store-bought eggnog usually cannot be found throughout the year, and you will have to wait until the last few months of the year to buy some eggnog unless you are willing to make it at home.
No matter where you get your eggnog from, or if you make it at home, you might be looking for a way to extend its shelf-life.
Can you freeze eggnog? Both store-bought eggnog and eggnog made at home can be frozen successfully. The two will need to be frozen differently, but with the right storage conditions, eggnog can be kept frozen for a few months, furthering its shelf-life.
Don’t run out of eggnog during the year, and rather buy an extra carton or two, or make an extra batch, to keep tucked away safely in the freezer until the craving calls.
Here is exactly how to freeze eggnog, both store-bought eggnog, and the delicious homemade variation as well!
Freezing Store-Bought Eggnog
If you are wanting to freeze eggnog you have bought from the store, you should not open the container prior to freezing. If you are wanting to have some eggnog before freezing it, rather buy two cartons and freeze the unopened one.
Freezing store-bought eggnog is easy. You do not have to prepare the eggnog at all before freezing. Simply place the unopened eggnog carton standing upright in the freezing, and leave it for a few hours.
Once the eggnog is frozen solid, you should place it into a plastic freezer bag and place it back into the fridge. As it is already frozen, you can lay the eggnog flat or standing up, whichever makes the most out of the space in your freezer.
The plastic freezer bag stops freezer burn and further protects the contents of the carton. You are also able to easily label the plastic freezer container with the date of freezing, so you have a better indication of when to use it.
The eggnog needs to be kept at a constant temperature, below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, to ensure the eggnog keeps at a good quality for an extended period. Fluctuations in temperature might affect the quality of the eggnog.
Freezing Homemade Eggnog
For some, making eggnog at home is part of really getting into the festive feeling, and being able to make something on your own is pretty rewarding! Many families have their own secret recipe of eggnog that they swear is one hundred times better than the store-bought variety.
Whatever the reason, you might be left with some extra eggnog, or you have made an extra batch to keep to enjoy throughout the year, and understanding how to freeze it properly will ensure it is kept in the best condition possible to enjoy whenever the time comes.
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, allowing you to keep better track of when you need to use it.
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.
Thawing And Reheating Eggnog
Knowing how to thaw and reheat eggnog properly is so important, as eggnog contains raw eggs, which can be difficult to keep in the right condition when thawed and reheated.
The best way to thaw eggnog is to remove it from the freezer and place it straight into the fridge, allowing it to thaw completely in the fridge overnight or for a few hours. This is the safest way to thaw eggnog and does not put the ingredients at risk of spoiling.
You should never leave eggnog out at room temperature to defrost. If it is left at room temperature, the ingredients will separate and will create an uneven, inedible consistency that will ruin the drink completely.
There is also a chance that if the eggnog is left out at room temperature for too long, the contents might spoil and the eggnog could turn sour, and this will have to be thrown away immediately.
Once the eggnog has thawed, you will want to reheat it to be able to enjoy it warm, which is important on those chilly winter days. It is important to note that there might be some separation of the ingredients as the eggnog defrosts, and it is common for this to happen.
To solve this, you should give the eggnog a good mix to reincorporate all the ingredients back together to have a smooth consistency. If you are having trouble doing this, and want a frothier, creamier consistency, you can place the eggnog into a blender and blend it until it is creamy and smooth.
To reheat the 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.
Eggnog which has been thawed and reheated should never be frozen again.
If you are freezing a large portion of eggnog, but do not think that you will finish the frozen eggnog in the right amount of time once it has thawed, you can look to freeze it in smaller portions, so you can defrost a small amount at a time instead of a large batch that will need to be thawed all at once.
A great way to do this is to portion small amounts into plastic freezer bags, label them, and stack them flat, one on top of the other, in the freezer. This way you have easy access to smaller portions and don’t have to worry about thawing a larger batch that will go to waste.
There is a good chance that eggnog which has been thawed and refrozen, will turn sour when thawed and reheated again. You should discard any eggnog which has been reheated and not consumed, as the ingredients would have been exposed to a higher temperature, which put them at risk of bacteria growth and spoiling, especially the raw egg.
Eggnog Freezer Shelf-Life
Eggnog can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months. It will still be fine to enjoy after this amount of time, but the quality of the eggnog will deteriorate after 6 months.
Once thawed, eggnog can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. However, if it is reheated, it should be consumed immediately and not placed back into the fridge. There is too high a chance of bacteria growth and spoiling, which could lead to food-borne illnesses.
For those who are making eggnog at home and using alcohol, it is recommended to use at least 20% alcohol in the mixture, which will help to kill off bacteria in the eggs within 24 hours, allowing it to stay fresher for longer, before spoiling.
3 tablespoons of 80-proof liquor should be added for every egg, to ensure it is properly sterilized.
How long can I keep eggnog in the fridge?
Homemade eggnog can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days, as long as it is kept below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and in the right conditions.
Store-bought eggnog contains more preservatives and can last for up to 7 days in the fridge. Canned eggnog has a much longer shelf-life, and can be kept unopened for up to 5 months, but will need to be used within 7 days of opening when kept in the fridge.
What is the best way to enjoy eggnog?
If you are wanting a drink with a bit of a kick, you should pour 1 cup of eggnog into a cup and add in ½ tablespoon of rum into the eggnog and mix it well.
Place some whipped cream on the top and sprinkle in some ground cinnamon and nutmeg. It can be enjoyed either hot or cold!
Which alcohol goes best with eggnog?
Traditionally, brandy is added to eggnog, but you could also use dark rum, cognac or bourbon, whichever you prefer the most
Freezing Eggnog: Conclusion
There is no reason you shouldn’t be able to enjoy eggnog all year round, so purchase an extra bottle or two from the store, or whip up an extra batch at home, and get freezing. Eggnog is easy to freeze, and once thawed, all you need to do is whisk it all together again and serve hot or cold.
Frozen eggnog is also great to use in dessert recipes, so having a frozen batch on hand will help to make up some delicious desserts, especially when eggnog is not in season.