Nothing warms the heart on a chilly day quite like a cup of eggnog. Eggnog, a type of frothy dairy drink, can be made from scratch or bought at any supermarket. But can you freeze eggnog? Eggnog contains raw eggs, cream, and milk. These ingredients aren’t exactly known to keep well in the fridge for a long time.
The fact is yes, you can freeze eggnog. Because of its delicate ingredients, you have to store the drink carefully to prevent unpleasant changes in the texture. You see, when eggnog is improperly stored in the fridge or freezer, it will take on a lumpy, watery consistency once it’s defrosted.
It’s worth noting that homemade eggnog has a shorter lifespan than its store-bought counterpart. On average, homemade eggnog will only keep well in the fridge for a day. Since store-bought eggnog is pasteurized, it stays fresher in the fridge for longer. Keep the fridge temperature at 40 degrees Fahrenheit for best results.
Image used under Creative Commons from Rick Stilwell
When stored in the fridge, store-bought eggnog will keep fresh for up to 7 days. When frozen, the drink’s shelf life is extended to about 4 to 6 months. Of course, do note that the shelf life of eggnog in the refrigerator will depend on different factors. These factors include the processing method, storage preps, and exposure to light, heat, and moisture. If you’re wondering how can you freeze eggnog, here’s a step by step guide:
To freeze homemade eggnog, leave the drink to cool at room temperature. Then, transfer the drink to a rigid plastic container with an airtight cover. Leave about an inch or two of space so that the liquid has enough room to expand during freezing. Close the container, add the label with the storage date, and stick in the freezer. This step also goes for leftover store-bought eggnog.
If you’re freezing an unopened carton of eggnog, you don’t have to prep the product prior to freezing. Just stick the eggnog in the freezer in an upright position. Once the eggnog is frozen solid, place the carton in a heavy-duty plastic bag and stick it right back in the freezer until it’s ready to use. Ideally, you have to freeze the eggnog at below 0 degrees Fahrenheit so the drink will last for months.
To defrost frozen eggnog, simply transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge and leave to thaw overnight. Never thaw the drink by leaving frozen eggnog to sit at room temperature. This will cause the drink’s ingredients to break down and take on a lumpy, unpalatable consistency! Worse, if you leave the thawed eggnog sitting on the counter for too long, it could go bad because of the raw eggs.
Once completely thawed, you can reheat the drink. Do note that separation of ingredients is normal as the drink thaws; just give the drink a good stir prior to reheating. This will incorporate the ingredients together. If you’d like to get a creamier, frothier consistency after defrosting, pour the eggnog into a blender and blend until thick and smooth.
Image used under Creative Commons from Didriks
Eggnog can be served hot or cold but if you’d like to enjoy a warm cup, stick the defrosted eggnog in the microwave and heat for a couple of minutes. You can also reheat the eggnog in a pot over medium heat until the drink is steamy hot. Never refreeze thawed eggnog again because there’s a good chance that it’ll go bad once it’s been defrosted a second time.
Eggnog is a seasonal drink so it’s usually available during the winter or holiday season. But now that you know how to store eggnog in the freezer, you can enjoy this delicious drink all year round!