Category Archives: Science!

Aged Eggnog: Safe or Not?

Every year at this time, the question arises, Is it safe to drink eggnog that has aged in your fridge? It’s a simple idea: you make a batch of homemade eggnog, spike it, and leave it in the fridge for weeks or even months. As the eggnog sits in the fridge, its flavor changes. It tastes more rounded and mellow and less boozy.

I’ve never really tried it. We have a jar in the fridge with spiked eggnog, but the nog itself was purchased premade from a vendor at our local farmers market. (Yes, I cheated.) But every year I want to, and every year, I forget about it until mid-December.

The question is, Is it safe? Will the ‘nog get yucky from germs as it sits, or will the booze kill any pathogens?

NPR’s Science Friday tackled the question. For years, it seems, the microbiology lab at New York’s Roosevelt University has made a batch of eggnog in November, before Thanksgiving. They age it for five or six weeks, and then drink it at Christmas. No one’s gotten sick from it. So, being microbiologists, they decided to test it. They laced a batch with salmonella, aged it, and tested the results. Science Friday was on hand to film the results.

http://www.sciencefriday.com/tools/players/mediaplayer.swf