Make this year’s Christmas festivities special and make a batch of eggnog now and age it in your fridge for the next 73 days.
This stuff is so much better than the cartons you see in stores around the holidays. I talked my parents into making some around the beginning of December last year and it turned out great. It was even better around the beginning of January. The age improves it pretty quickly, rounding out the bite of the alcohol and blending the flavors together.
It probably isn’t worth the time and fridge space tradeoff aging it longer than 2-3 months. There is some disagreement on exactly when the aging peaks. I suggest a test in the spirit of science and fun: Make it now and split it into two containers. Drink one at Thanksgiving and the other at Christmas!
You need to get some decent alcohol, but there are so many flavors in eggnog that you don’t need to go top shelf. The subtleties that sets top-shelf liquor apart won’t shine in this drink. For bourbon, look for Old Heaven Hill Bottled in Bond, Old Fitzgerald, Four Roses Yellow Label, or Old Grand-Dad. For brandy, I usually grab E&J VSOP (the blue label) for mixing. To be honest, I’m not that knowledgeable about rum so I’m not going to make a recommendation. My parents prefer white rum, I prefer dark rum. Choose your favorite.
Don’t worry, there is enough alcohol in there to keep the bad bacteria away as long as you age it in the fridge. Use a gallon jug, two growlers, or a few large jars. Stir the mixture once every two weeks until Christmas.
To serve, make sure you pick up some whole nutmeg and use your micrograter to top each drink.
We use Alton Brown’s recipe:
Here are some photos my parents sent me last month of mixing together this year’s batch. I think it is going to become a yearly tradition. There is nothing better than sipping a cup of this in front of the fireplace on a cold night. I’m excited to go home for Christmas!