Eggnog, or commonly called a milk punch, is a popular drink at Christmas time. It’s a Christmas tradition that people enjoy while unwinding with their families during the holidays.
The eggnog can have nutmeg or cinnamon incorporated into it as some delicious additives. Primary ingredients include egg yolk, sugar, milk, and cream with a dash of alcohol. Whiskey or rum are preferred choices to be included in the eggnog.
Being a drink with lush flavors, the question that arises is, how long does eggnog last? A variety of factors determines the answer to this question.
The surroundings’ temperature, exposure to different conditions, and method used for preparation, storage condition, etc.
Though eggnog is essentially a dairy product, it lasts longer than other products made from milk.
However, if not stored correctly, you stand to lose the drink of the season. When stored at a cool temperature, the unopened eggnog containers can be stored for 4-5 months.
How Long Does Eggnog Last? Does Eggnog Go Bad?
Every dairy product has a unique sell-by date till when it is safe for human consumption. It is the last date by which the product can remain on the shelves of the store.
Hence, when the date is known, you can, without a doubt, use it to add flavor to your meals.
For the store-bought eggnog, you have a duration of 5-7 days to finish it when the can is opened. Hence, you should take care to refrigerate the eggnog after consumption. The homemade eggnog also lasts for a week in the fridge.
There are many ways in which you can extend the shelf-life of eggnog. You must always ensure that the eggnog is stored in the fridge. Even in the refrigerator, you should never keep it in the side space of the door.
The temperature fluctuates a lot in the corners and remains stable in the middle. Hence, store the eggnog deeper within the fridge. Preferably, choose a space on the inside at the back end of the shelf.
The next step is choosing the right container to store the eggnog. Make sure that the container is air-tight with no room for spoilage. The sealed packs and containers from the store are your safest bet to store the eggnog for longer.
If you can go through all this trouble for storage, why not just freeze it? The problem is with the texture and consistency of the eggnog.
Freezing will result in ice formation, and the resultant thawing will only spoil the overall form of the drink.
The drink will, in turn, have clusters of cream, and the eggnog will taste different from the original one.
Another cautionary move is to keep the container away from direct exposure to sunlight. When kept out, it is better to store in a cool, dark place.
How to Tell if Eggnog is Bad?
Once you are doubtful of the quality of the eggnog, it is better to let it go and stay away. The easy way to know spoilage is through simple observation. Change in color and odor results in a difference in the stability too.
Further, the texture of the drink varies too. Small and large-sized clumps form in the eggnog, which is uncomfortable to wash down.
The changes seen in the drink are mainly due to a class of microbes called Lactobacillus or lactic-acid producing bacteria.
The eggnog’s appearance is a clear sign of the extent of damage caused to the holiday drink. Usually, it is of a beige shade, but if it turns yellowish-brown, then you know that the bacteria is causing spoilage and degrading its quality.
There is an undesirable smell, which is characteristic of microbial spoilage. A sour odor is indicative of the eggnog being spoilt. Another factor is the color, which changes from white to yellow.
You can easily understand whether the eggnog has gone a drastic change by taking a whiff of the drink. Everyone knows the smell of spoilt milk, and one can easily make out spoilt eggnog due to this fact.
You can’t save the drink if it is spoiled, and all you can do is discard the batch and start with a new one or purchase a brand new pack from the nearest convenience store. There is no point keeping a lousy set or try to salvage it.
Eggnog is the delicious beverage of the holiday season that you can relish with friends and family.
Look at all the indicators above and take care that you do not serve a bad batch to be sure of its quality. While purchasing from outside, invest in a package brand that you can trust and have previously bought from the same one.
Till then, gulp down the drink of the season and watch the festivities unravel.