Have you got eggnog in your fridge? If so, you may be wondering how long it lasts for and when you need to discard it.
How long does eggnog last in the fridge? Eggnog often lasts for about 7 days in the fridge, but quite a few things can affect the shelf-life, including the storage method and the ingredients. If you have made eggnog at home, it may not last as long as commercially purchased eggnog.
How Long Does Eggnog Last?
Eggnog tends to last for up to a week in the fridge. Some eggnog contains raw eggs, so it’s important to store it correctly at below 40 degrees F, or there is a high risk of salmonella poisoning. A lot of eggnog recipes also contain cream and milk. Don’t leave eggnog of any kind on the sideboard or out of the fridge.
There are quite a few different kinds of eggnog, and canned eggnog can last a lot longer than fresh eggnog. However, most eggnog will go off if you leave it out of the fridge for more than two hours, or an hour if the weather is warm.
If you have purchased commercial eggnog, it should have an expiry date printed on the packaging, no matter what type you have bought. Check this and defer to it over the estimates given here, because eggnog can vary quite a lot depending on the ingredients.
Eggnog that contains preservatives will last a lot better, and unopened eggnog will also keep better. You should therefore follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on when to use the eggnog by.
You can improve the longevity of eggnog by placing it in the back of the fridge, rather than in the door. The temperature of your fridge’s door fluctuates considerably as you open and close it, and products that are stored there may not stay particularly cold. You won’t be able to guarantee that your eggnog is cool enough to keep it fresh if you leave it in the door.
How Long Does Homemade Eggnog Last?
If you are making the eggnog yourself at home, it will need to be used up more quickly because it will not contain the same preservatives as commercial eggnog. However, its longevity is determined by the alcohol to a degree. The more alcohol you put in, the longer it will last. For low alcohol eggnog, use 3 days as your deadline for consuming the drink.
When you make eggnog at home, the perishable ingredients, such as the dairy and the egg, can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria. This is a particular problem if you use raw egg in the drink, because there is a high risk of it getting contaminated by salmonella bacteria.
However, salmonella cannot survive when placed in alcohol, so if you use a reasonably large quantity of alcohol in your eggnog, you should overcome this danger and dramatically increase the amount of time that you can store the eggnog for.
As an example of this, an eggnog recipe with ½ a cup of rum should last for around 3 days in a sealed container in the fridge. Adding a full cup of rum instead can make the same recipe last for a week or even longer.
Some eggnog drinks are made as early as November for Christmas, but if you want to do this, make sure you choose a reputable source for your recipe, and check their storage advice. Do not keep eggnog for longer than the recipe suggests, especially if you are going to be serving it to guests.
How Do You Tell If Eggnog Has Gone Bad?
If you are worried that some eggnog has gone bad, you should check the smell, consistency, color, and taste. All of these things will help you to determine whether it is still good to drink or not.
You may be able to tell whether eggnog has gone off just by looking at it. Take the eggnog out of the fridge and inspect it. Tilt the container so that you can see the consistency as well as the color.
Eggnog that has turned gray or darker yellow should not be consumed. Eggnog ought to have a rich creamy color, somewhere between white and beige. Any other hue or any noticeable changes to the color indicate that the eggnog has gone off.
If the eggnog has turned lumpy or separated at all, this is also a clear sign that it has gone off. The liquid should be smooth and silky, like when it was first made.
If you are still unsure about a batch of eggnog, smell it, and consider tasting a small amount. A sour smell or unpleasant flavor both show that the eggnog has gone off and needs to be discarded. Spit out the liquid you tasted, rather than swallowing it, and get rid of the eggnog.
Can You Freeze Eggnog?
You can freeze eggnog, perhaps surprisingly. A lot of people do this, and it can extend the shelf-life to approximately 6 months. However, you should make sure that you put the eggnog in a sealed container.
You should leave about half an inch or an inch of space at the top of the container, as this will allow the eggnog room to expand and prevent it from splitting the container when it freezes. Make sure you seal it to reduce the risk of freezer burn damaging the drink.
It is a good idea to use eggnog up within 6 months of freezing, or you may find that the texture of the drink is ruined. Sometimes, it will turn lumpy in the freezer, so test your recipe with a small batch before freezing a full batch of eggnog.
Eggnog’s longevity varies quite a lot depending on the alcohol content, but you shouldn’t keep most kinds of eggnog in your fridge for more than 7 days. Homemade eggnog with a low alcohol content should be used up within a couple of days, or it may become a breeding ground for unpleasant kinds of bacteria.