Eggnog is one of the decadent treats of the season, something I allow myself to have in the evening with a little brandy, or warmed with coffee in the morning. People have been making their own eggnog for decades, but did you know that some of these same folks actually age their nog anywhere from one month to one year? I didn't either until I read Holly Jenning's exploration of the topic in a recent piece for Art of Eating. But first before exploring the topic too heavily, what is aged eggnog? It is really just as you'd think: homemade eggnog that is left to sit in barrels to age on its own. Some recipes leave out the dairy altogether, stirring it in at the very end. Others fold in whipped cream while others still fold in additional egg whites.
Jennings experimented on her own, aging her nog for 3 months before serving it to dinner guests. Her conclusion: a much "rounder, smoother, and noticeably more complex" flavor. I couldn't help but thinking: how much better could it really be? Did eggnog need that much improving in the first place? Plus, I couldn't help but wonder about the safety of the whole endeavor. It seems Jennings was anticipating that, noting that aged eggnog is actually "safer to drink than fresh eggnog made with raw eggs because the alcohol, after three weeks, kills any trace of salmonella."
So now I suppose my skepticism has turned more to a fierce curiosity. I'd love to know: have any of you tried aged eggnog?
→ Read more: Aged Eggnog at Art of Eating
Related: DIY Recipe: Eggnog Latte
(Image: Epicurean Mom)