Expired Eggnog? Discover If Your Holiday Favorite Really Goes Bad

Yes, eggnog can go bad, but the length of time before it spoils depends on several factors. Eggnog is a popular holiday drink enjoyed by many during the festive season.

It’s made from a blend of milk, cream, sugar, eggs, and spices like nutmeg or cinnamon. While it’s a delicious and creamy treat, one may wonder whether it can go bad. The short answer is yes. Since eggnog contains milk, cream, and eggs, which are all highly perishable ingredients, it can spoil if not stored properly.

The length of time before eggnog spoils will depend on several factors, such as the storage temperature and whether it contains alcohol or not. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about eggnog, from its shelf life to how to tell if it has gone bad.

Expired Eggnog? Discover If Your Holiday Favorite Really Goes Bad

Credit: punchdrink.com

What Is Eggnog And How Do You Make It?

Does Eggnog Go Bad?

Eggnog is a popular beverage traditionally consumed during the holiday season. But after a party, or the season has passed, you may wonder if the remaining eggnog in the fridge will still be good for drinking. The question then is, does eggnog go bad?

Definition Of Eggnog

Eggnog is a rich and creamy beverage made by combining milk, eggs, sugar, and spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon. Some variations of the drink may include alcohol, such as rum, bourbon, or brandy, giving it an extra punch. Eggnog can be served hot or cold, and it’s a must-have during the holiday season.

Ingredients Commonly Used To Make Eggnog

Here are the typical ingredients used to make eggnog:

  • Milk
  • Egg yolks
  • Granulated sugar
  • Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Heavy cream
  • Vanilla extract
  • Bourbon, whiskey, or rum (optional)

Recipe For Homemade Eggnog

If you want to make your eggnog, here’s a recipe that you can follow:


  • 4 cups of whole milk
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 12 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups of bourbon, whiskey, or rum
  • Whipped cream and cinnamon sticks for garnish (optional)


  • In a saucepan, combine milk, cinnamon sticks, and nutmeg. Heat for 5 minutes until simmering.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until light and frothy.
  • Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking continuously to incorporate them well.
  • Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.
  • Remove from heat and add heavy cream, vanilla extract, and bourbon (if using), and stir well.
  • Transfer eggnog to a large bowl or pitcher. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
  • Serve chilled eggnog with whipped cream and a cinnamon stick for garnish.

Eggnog is a classic holiday beverage that is perfect for entertaining. Whether you choose to make your eggnog or buy it from the store, now you know the key ingredients and what it is. Drink up while it lasts, as homemade eggnog typically lasts for only about five days.

Enjoy your eggnog before it goes bad!

How To Tell If Eggnog Has Gone Bad

Understanding The Shelf Life Of Eggnog

If you love the festive season, you probably love eggnog. However, this holiday staple can easily go bad. To understand the shelf life of eggnog, consider the following:

  • Eggnog typically lasts between 5-7 days if refrigerated.
  • Homemade eggnog can go bad faster than store-bought varieties that contain preservatives.
  • Eggnog that has been opened or has passed its expiration date will spoil quicker.

As eggnog sits, the alcohol and dairy in the drink begin to break down, and bacteria can grow. Understanding the shelf life of eggnog is key to identifying the signs of spoiled eggnog.

Common Signs Of Spoiled Eggnog

It’s essential to know the common signs of spoiled eggnog to avoid drinking contaminated beverage. Common signs of spoiled eggnog include:

  • Unusually thick consistency
  • Separation of liquid and solids
  • Sour smell
  • Mold
  • Yellow or green color

If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to throw out the eggnog. The consumption of spoiled eggnog can result in severe food poisoning.

Smell, Taste, And Appearance: How To Identify A Bad Batch

The smell, taste, and appearance are the primary indicators that you should look out for to identify a bad batch of eggnog. Here are some valuable insights:

  • Smell – bad eggnog has a sour, off smell, different from the rum or nutmeg aroma.
  • Taste – spoiled eggnog tastes sour and might have a yeasty, unpleasant flavor.
  • Appearance – the color of spoiled eggnog can change from creamy white to an unappetizing yellow or green.

Follow the storage guidelines of eggnog, know its common signs of spoilage, and trust your senses while identifying a bad batch. Stay safe and enjoy your festive season with good-quality eggnog!

The Risks Of Consuming Expired Eggnog

Eggnog is a traditional holiday drink that is enjoyed by many during the festive season. Made up of milk, sugar, eggs, and nutmeg, eggnog has a delicious and creamy taste that is hard to resist. However, it is essential to know that eggnog can go bad just like any other perishable drink or food.

Common Illnesses Associated With Consuming Expired Eggnog

Expired eggnog can cause serious health problems and lead to foodborne illnesses. Here are some of the common health concerns associated with expired eggnog:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain or cramps
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Dehydration

How Bacterial Growth Can Affect The Safety Of Eggnog

Eggnog can easily get contaminated when it is susceptible to bacterial growth. The mixture of egg and dairy in eggnog provides an ideal environment for bacteria to grow and multiply, especially if it is left at room temperature for an extended period.

Let’s take a closer look at how bacterial growth can pose a threat to your health when consuming expired eggnog.

  • Eggnog can get contaminated with harmful bacteria, such as salmonella or e. coli, during production or preparation.
  • Bacterial growth can lead to changes in the appearance, taste, and texture of eggnog.
  • Consuming expired eggnog can result in food poisoning, which can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Why It’S Important To Be Cautious When Drinking Eggnog After Its Expiration Date

Drinking expired eggnog can be risky, and it’s crucial to make sure that you only consume eggnog that has not passed its sell-by or use-by date. Here are some of the reasons why you should always be cautious when drinking eggnog after its expiration date:

  • Expired eggnog can be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
  • It’s difficult to tell if the eggnog has gone bad because the appearance and smell of the drink might not change much.
  • The symptoms of food poisoning can be severe, including fever, dehydration, and stomach cramps.

So, next time you plan to enjoy a glass of eggnog, make sure to check the expiration date, and if you’re in doubt, just avoid drinking it to prevent any possible health issues.

How To Store Your Eggnog Safely

Proper Storage Method For Eggnog

Eggnog is a traditional holiday drink made with eggs, milk, sugar, and sometimes alcohol. It is a perishable beverage that needs to be stored properly to prevent spoiling. Here are some tips for storing eggnog safely:

  • Store eggnog in the refrigerator and keep it below 40°f (4°c) to prevent the growth of bacteria.
  • Keep eggnog away from foods with strong odors that can be absorbed, altering its taste.
  • Store eggnog in an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing unwanted flavors and smells.
  • Do not leave eggnog at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

Tips For Preserving The Freshness Of Eggnog

To ensure that your eggnog stays fresh, follow these tips:

  • Always check the expiration date before purchasing eggnog.
  • Use fresh ingredients when making eggnog at home.
  • Shake the container before pouring eggnog to mix any settled ingredients and create a creamier texture.
  • Do not mix old eggnog with new eggnog.

How To Extend The Shelf Life Of Eggnog

To maximize the shelf life of eggnog, take these steps:

  • Store eggnog in the freezer if you want to keep it for longer than a few weeks. Transfer it to the refrigerator the day before you plan to serve it, and shake it well before pouring.
  • Add alcohol to eggnog to help preserve it. Eggnog with alcohol can last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
  • Add pasteurized eggs to eggnog. Pasteurized eggs have been heated to kill any bacteria, which can help prolong the shelf life of eggnog.

By following these storage and preservation tips, you can enjoy delicious eggnog safely and extend its shelf life. Remember to always check the expiration date and use fresh ingredients when making or serving eggnog.

Alternatives To Eggnog During The Holidays

Does Eggnog Go Bad?

The holiday season is the perfect time to enjoy delicious eggnog. With its creamy texture and festive flavor, eggnog has become a holiday staple for many people. However, despite its popularity, it’s important to know when to say goodbye to your eggnog.

In this blog post, we will explore whether eggnog goes bad and offer some tasty alternatives to help you enjoy the holiday flavors.

Other Popular Holiday Drinks

Eggnog may be the most famous holiday drink, but it’s not the only one. There are plenty of other delicious beverages to enjoy during the holiday season. Here are a few popular holiday drinks to try:

  • Hot cocoa: Cocoa is a classic choice during the winter months, and it’s easy to see why. With its warming flavor and cozy texture, hot cocoa is the perfect drink to snuggle up with on a cold day.
  • Mulled wine: Mulled wine is a warm and spicy beverage that has been enjoyed for centuries. It’s made by heating red wine with spices and fruits, and it’s the perfect way to warm up on a cold winter night.
  • Cider: Cider is a warm and tangy beverage that’s perfect for chilly evenings. It’s made by simmering apples and spices and can be enjoyed with or without alcohol.

Recipes For Non-Alcoholic Holiday Beverages

If you’re looking for a holiday drink that’s a little less boozy, there are plenty of non-alcoholic options to choose from. Here are a few tasty recipes to get you started:

  • Peppermint hot chocolate: Mix your favorite hot chocolate mix with crushed candy canes for a festive and refreshing drink.
  • Sparkling cranberry punch: Combine cranberry juice, ginger ale, and sparkling water for a tasty and refreshing holiday punch.
  • Spiced apple cider: Heat apple cider with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves for a warm and cozy holiday drink.

How To Enjoy The Flavors Of Eggnog Without The Risks

If you’re worried about the risks of consuming eggnog, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the holiday flavors without putting yourself at risk. Here are a few tips:

  • Make your own eggnog: By making your own eggnog, you can control the ingredients and ensure that it’s safe to drink.
  • Use eggnog-flavored creamer: If you’re a coffee drinker, try using eggnog-flavored creamer for a holiday twist on your morning cup of joe.
  • Try eggnog-inspired desserts: Eggnog-flavored cookies, cakes, and pies are a delicious way to enjoy the flavors of eggnog without the risks.

The holidays are a time for celebration and indulgence, but it’s important to be mindful of what we’re consuming. Whether you’re indulging in eggnog or trying out a new holiday drink, be sure to drink responsibly and enjoy the flavors of the season.

Frequently Asked Questions For Does Eggnog Go Bad?

How Long Does Eggnog Last In The Fridge?

Eggnog can last up to 5-7 days in the fridge if kept tightly sealed. It is crucial to ensure that the eggnog is stored at the right temperature of 40°f or below to avoid spoilage.

Can You Freeze Eggnog To Make It Last Longer?

Yes, you can freeze eggnog to extend its lifespan. However, it may change its texture and taste. While thawing, the consistency may become grainy or lumpy. Therefore, it is essential to shake it well or blend it after thawing.

How Can You Tell If Eggnog Has Gone Bad?

After opening the container, eggnog usually smells sour or unpleasant if it has gone bad. Also, the texture and color of the eggnog may change, and it may start to curdle or separate. If this happens, it is best to dispose of it.

Can You Still Consume Expired Eggnog?

Consuming expired eggnog can cause food poisoning and other health risks. Therefore, it is best to avoid consuming eggnog that has expired. When in doubt, always throw it out.

Is Homemade Eggnog Safe To Drink?

If you’re making homemade eggnog, ensure that you use pasteurized eggs to avoid salmonella. Also, ensure that the ingredients are fresh, and the eggnog is refrigerated at the right temperature. Raw or unpasteurized eggs in eggnog can cause severe illness or disease.


Eggnog is a beloved holiday drink that people look forward to savoring every year. However, if you find yourself with a carton of eggnog that has been in your fridge for a while, you may be wondering whether or not it has gone bad.

The answer is yes, eggnog can go bad, and it is important to pay attention to the signs that indicate it has gone sour. To ensure your safety and avoid any unpleasant effects of consuming bad eggnog, discard any leftovers that have been in your fridge for more than a week, or if it smells or tastes off.

Remember to always store your eggnog properly to prolong its shelf life, and be cautious of the eggs used in homemade varieties. Indulging in a cup of delicious eggnog is a holiday tradition that should bring cheer and not sickness.

By being aware of the signs of spoiled eggnog, properly storing it, and discarding any questionable leftovers, you can enjoy this classic drink without any worries.