Does eggnog go bad? How long it lasts, how to store and more

Does eggnog go bad?

Eggnog has a rich history. It is believed to have descended from “posset,” a drink of hot curdled milk, wine, ale, and spices for the monks and wealthy. Presently, this beverage is considered to be a holiday drink that everybody loves.

Whether you make it at home or use a store-bought one, the eggnog’s quality might concern you the next day. Does it go bad? How long does it actually last?

While eggnog does go bad, you can increase its shelf life by storing it the right way.

Wondering how? Well, the following article has the answers to your questions. So brace yourself, and let’s learn how to preserve this delicious drink for a long time to retain the holiday spirit!


How Long does Eggnog Last?

How long does eggnog last?


According to research, if stored correctly, eggnog will last for 7 days after its “best by” date. The shelf life of eggnog is affected by several factors. Be it the heat and light exposure or how the manufacturer is manufacturing eggnog, it all affects the shelf life.

Talking about manufactured eggnog, we can usually see an expiration date on the label. The expiration date clearly states how long the product can remain fresh. The shelf life of manufactured eggnog is anticipated to be 3 to 5 days.

How long is eggnog good for after opening? 

Eggnog can last for 2 to 4 more days when it is opened but shouldn’t be kept any further than that. It gets a little difficult when you create your own eggnog.

The cream can be kept for 1 to 3 weeks after the “best by” date, while milk can be kept for up to a week after the expiration date. When eggs are kept in shells, 2 to 4 days is the maximum time you should store them.

How long is eggnog good in the fridge? 

Since homemade eggnog lacks preservatives, it’s only safe to keep it in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. The earliest expiration date is probably preferable to the latest when it comes to food safety.

How long is eggnog good for unopened? 

The following table will highlight the tentative dates through which your eggnog will retain its quality:

Unopened Refrigerated 
Canned eggnog 4-5 months
Store-bought eggnog 5-7 days
Homemade eggnog 2-3 days
Reduced-fat eggnog 5-7 days
Opened Refrigerated
All eggnogs 5 days


Signs of Eggnog Spoilage | How can you tell if eggnog has gone bad?

How to tell if eggnog has gone bad?

Just like most dairy products, it is not recommended to store eggnog for a prolonged period. It is preferable to trust your senses and instinct when it comes to this.

  • Smell: 

First and foremost, let’s talk about the smell. Take a smell of the liquid after opening the carton or container. When eggnog starts smelling bad or rotten, discarding it is the only way to go.

  • Texture and appearance:

According to research, the next step is to examine the appearance. It’s impossible to say what it should or shouldn’t look like because there are many recipes, each with its particular color. Check the color in a glass to see if it has changed.

However, if the color has altered much, it should be discarded. If you see the texture is lumpy, do the same thing.

  • Taste: 

If you don’t find any abnormalities in the eggnog, you can most certainly consume it. Taste it to see if it’s still perfectly edible.

Finally, if you stored homemade eggnog for more than a week or an opened store-bought eggnog for more than a week and a half, toss it out. Yes, even if they still feel comfortable about drinking.

As is customary, early indicators of rotting are difficult to detect, so it’s better to be safe than sorry at this time.

Even if your eggnog is appropriately refrigerated, it will go bad at some point. The texture and smell of egg nog can help you figure out if you’re ignoring it has gone bad.

Lactic acid spoilage bacteria can make your eggnog have lumps and have a somewhat unpleasant odor when it goes bad. Your eggnog may also have visible mold developing on it.

Ignoring is made using a number of ingredients like spices, cream, milk, and eggs. When you look at eggnog, you can determine its shade of it. It is basically a little whitish-yellow or beige. When you see that the color of your egg is non-changing from light yellow to dark yellow, you can state that it has become inedible.


Risk Of Consuming Expired Eggnog

If you’ve visually inspected your eggnog and are still unsure whether it’s safe to drink, it’s time to give it a whiff. We’ve all smelled rotten milk before, and it’s not good if your eggnog smells the same.

The smell is because of lactic acid bacteria in the milk and cream that has gone bad. If something smells like sour milk, it most likely is.

Essentially, while making eggnog is a bit of a hassle, determining whether it is or isn’t safe to consume is a piece of cake. And if you’re undecided, it’s probably best not to take a chance.

However, drinking outdated milk and eggs puts you in danger of food poisoning, which isn’t the best way to start the Festive season.


If you are trying eggnog for the first time and are unable to determine if it has gone bad or not, trust your instincts. Your gut can tell you better if or not you should throw it away.


Can you freeze eggnog?

Can you freeze eggnog?

The answer is yes; eggnog can be frozen. While freezing eggnog, keep in mind that you leave at least half an inch from the top so that it freezes properly. Eggnog survives for up to 6 months when frozen.

Frozen eggnog, whether store-bought or homemade, should last about six months. Due to the general sensitive ingredients, the drink must be stored carefully to avoid unwanted texture changes.

If you don’t store your eggnog properly, you can notice that it becomes either watery or lumpy.

4 to 6 months is roughly the time to which you can increase the shelf life of eggnog when you freeze it. Although, there are a lot of factors that affect the shelf life of eggnog when you store it in a refrigerator.

How the manufacturer manufactures the product, how it is stored, and how much it is exposed to heat, light, and moisture are all determinants.

Bringing your eggnog to normal room temperature before freezing is considered ideal. After this, store your eggnog in a container that has a sealed lid so that moisture doesn’t seep in.

Place the container in the freezer, close it, and add a label with the storage date. This procedure applies to leftover store-bought eggnog as well.

While freezing an unopened carton of eggnog, there is no preparation that you need to do prior to that. Place the eggnog in an upright position in the freezer.

Once the eggnog is completely frozen, place the carton in a heavy-duty plastic bag and store it in the freezer until ready to use. The eggnog should be frozen at or below 0 degrees Fahrenheit to keep it fresh for months.


How to Store Eggnog?

Keep eggnog fresher for longer by storing it away from light and promptly placing it in the back of your refrigerator after use. Store it on an inside refrigerator shelf instead of storing eggnog in the door, where the temperature swings with the frequent opening.

Furthermore, because the containers were created expressly for this function, opened eggnog should be stored firmly in its original unopened container.

What are the Alternatives to Eggnog if it has gone bad? 

If you are looking for other festive holiday drinks apart from eggnog, you can try the following substitutes:

  • Coquito
  • Rompope
  • Bombardino
  • Ron Ponche
  • Vegan Eggnog

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)-

How long should eggnog sit before drinking?

Eggnog tastes better after sitting for at least 24 hours. The tastes blend better, much like a delicious soup. Some individuals even consume eggnog that has been “aged.” There will be a few extra steps to complete on serving, but most of the work will be done.

Why is eggnog bad for your health?

Eggnog has always been considered a fattening beverage. It’s far too thick and tasty to be nutritious. A cup of store-bought eggnog contains 350 calories and 149 milligrams of cholesterol. That’s the equivalent of two double cheeseburgers, two fries, and two soft drinks in terms of cholesterol.

Which is the best alcohol to put in eggnog?

We prefer to start with a combination of black rum and cognac when making eggnog, which is generally made with rum, bourbon, or brandy. Yet there’s no need to spend a lot of money; we suggest selecting a low-cost, high-proof VS cognac. Due to the higher alcohol content, the sweetness of the other ingredients will be cut through.

Why is my eggnog lumpy?

Your eggnog might be lumpy if the egg, milk, and sugar haven’t mixed well. When such eggnog is refrigerated, the milk separates from the cream and causes chunks.

Is eggnog supposed to be thick?

While eggnog can be hot or cold, its consistency should be thick and creamy. Eggnog shouldn’t be runny.

Can you freeze eggnog in a carton?

Yes, you can freeze eggnog in a carton and use it for up to 6 months. However, the cartons should be kept upright to maintain the correct consistency.

How long is eggnog good after the expiration date? 

Under proper storage conditions, eggnog will remain at its peak quality for 7 days after its expiration date.

Can you get food poisoning from eggnog?

Since eggnog contains egg that might contain salmonella, it might lead to food poisoning.

Final Note

Even though not that good for health, the best holiday beverage scores a 10/10 on taste. It is easy to make with minimum ingredients, so even when you can’t find it in the nearby stores, you can always make yourself one.

This guide in the above article might have mastered everything related to eggnog. Whether related to storage or expiry, you are now informed about everything.

If you found this information helpful, let us know in the comment section below.

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