My Best Aged Eggnog Recipe | Jam & Bread | Matthew Smedal
Drinks,  Alcohol,  Christmas

My Best Aged Eggnog Recipe

George Washington’s aged eggnog recipe is as follows: One pint brandy, one half-pint rye whiskey, one half-pint Jamaican rum, one-quarter pint sherry, one dozen eggs, one dozen tablespoons sugar, one quart milk, one quart cream.

You could argue that Washington’s recipe is quintessential. And there is a certain nostalgia for recreating something that someone who founded a nation used to drink. But looking at that epic slog of ingredients (combined with a surprisingly restrained amount of sugar) I feel the three words that best describe it are as follow (and I quote): Stink. Stank. Stunk.

Where did we get aged eggnog from anyway?

Even though Washington’s aged eggnog recipe might not have stood the test of time it’s hard to argue that it isn’t traditional. It is, in fact, the most traditional ever as both Washington and Eggnog are fairly American. I know it seems like aged eggnog is something we directly inherited from England but ask a Brit and they’ll shake their heads and pass it off as an American concoction.

That said, eggnog is a descendant of way-back-traditional English foods. Most food historians believe it’s the great-great-great-grandchild of Posset (a sort of 13th century, medieval-monk indulgence of hot ale, eggs, and figs… Mmmm! 🤮), which developed into Sack Posset in Elizabethan times (a three-layered drink consisting of “grace,” the foam on top; “spoon meant,” a highly spiced and often curdled custard in the middle; and the “pipe,” fortified wine on the bottom… SIGN ME UP! 🤮🤮) , which eventually became George and friends chucking a dozen eggs into a barrel of mixed booze and celebrating Christmas.

My Best Aged Eggnog Recipe | Jam & Bread | Matthew Smedal
My Best Aged Eggnog Recipe | Jam & Bread | Matthew Smedal

What makes my aged eggnog recipe traditional, you ask? IT’S NOT THE SPOONMEAT. It’s traditional because we’re not going to heat a custard on the stove to 160°F to do it. That’s the modern way, and it’s 100% food safe. It’s also fast. But look away from the stove at just the right moment and the temperature of your eggs will spike and you’ll be left with really sweet scrambled eggs. And that’s not fun.

How do we make and eggnog recipe safe to drink without cooking the eggs?

So how to we make a 100% food safe eggnog that doesn’t require lots of heat? We’re going to do like George and rely on alcohol and time to sterilize our eggs.

Before you freak out about raw eggs sitting around in your fridge for an extended period of time, rest assured that the relatively large amount of alcohol that we’ll combine with our eggs is sufficient to destroy any harmful bacteria that will even think about forming.

In fact, two microbiologists at Rockefeller University in New York City did research on this very topic. They purposefully added salmonella to their eggnog and then analyzed the bacterial content of the eggnog over a period of three weeks. Vince Fischetti and Raymond Schuch (the microbiologists) found that at the 21-day mark the alcohol had destroyed all the bacteria present in the mixture — including the salmonella that they had purposefully added — rendering their eggnog completely sterile. That sounds like a win to me.

The only caveat? It has to be a high-octane eggnog for this trick to work. You need at least 1.5 ounces (45 milliliters) of 80-proof alcohol per egg for this all to work. We’re going to be slightly over that mark, so rest assured that — even if your eggs are a bit larger than standard large eggs — we will have enough booze for it to work its magic.

My Best Aged Eggnog Recipe | Jam & Bread | Matthew Smedal

Other Holiday recipes you might be interested in:

If you’re looking for more inspiration for your Holidays you might enjoy one of these other recipes I’ve posted!

Tag me Instagram @jamandbreadofficial (I love seeing when other people make one of my recipes!) and please consider leaving me a review below if you make my aged eggnog recipe. I really hope that you love it, and that you are ON BOARD with making my aged eggnog a staple of your Holiday routine. 

For even more recipe ideas you can follow me on Pinterest!


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My Best Aged Eggnog Recipe | Jam & Bread | Matthew Smedal

My Best Aged Eggnog Recipe

  • Author: Matthew Smedal
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 weeks (mostly hands off!)
  • Yield: 18 servings 1x
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: Wait A While
  • Cuisine: American


  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups of bourbon (425 milliliters) 
  • 1 cup of dark rum (250 milliliters)
  • 1/2 cup of brandy (175 milliliters)
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar (300 grams)
  • 6 cups whole milk (1.5 liters)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (175 milliliters)


  1. Combine your eggs, sugar, nutmeg, and salt and whisk until the eggs have broken down and the sugar is incorporated. Add your bourbon, rum and brandy and whisk until just combined. Pour your eggnog base into an airtight container and refrigerate for at least three weeks (21 days) and up to – no joke – one year, stirring occasionally to prevent separation.
  2. Just before you serve your first glass, strain the eggnog base through a fine mesh sieve to get rid of any gunky egg bits that no one will be interested in having in their drink.

To make individual servings: Combine 3 ounces (85 milliliters) of strained eggnog base3 ounces (85 milliliters) of milk and 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) of heavy cream. Stir well. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with nutmeg

To prepare the whole kit-and-kaboodle for a party: Just before hosting your party, mix your strained eggnog base with with your whole milk and heavy cream. Garnish each pour with nutmeg. 


Eggnog is best served extremely cold, so you might want to stick the final product into the freezer for 30 minutes before serving.

Keywords: Christmas, eggnog, eggs, nutmeg, bourbon, rum, brandy

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