National Eggnog Month: Making It Safely
December 12, 2012

There is nothing better than sitting around a bonfire drinking eggnog and talking holiday memories with your family (especially if a little bourbon is involved). In the past I used to buy eggnog from the grocery store—it was quick, easy, and only cost me a few dollars. It was not until I tried making my own that I realized the store bought stuff has nothing on homemade eggnog!!! Like many drinks and desserts made during the holidays (including my Black Bottom Pumpkin Pie), eggs are a standard ingredient. To avoid getting sick from Salmonella when consuming these homemade goodies, the Egg Safety Center and FDA recommends using a cooked egg base.

How do you make a cooked egg base? Well, first you need a recipe! An easy recipe for Classic Cooked Eggnog can be found on the American Egg Board’s website under Recipes and More. When making your cooked egg base, pay attention to the FDA recommendations below:

  • Combine eggs and half the milk as indicated in the recipe. Other ingredients, such as sugar may be added at this step.
  • Cook the mixture gently to an internal temperature of 160° F, stirring constantly. The cooking will destroy Salmonella, if present. At this temperature, the mixture will firmly coat a metal spoon (but please don’t lick the spoon if the custard is not fully cooked!).
  • After cooking, chill the mixture before adding the rest of the milk and other ingredients.

Don’t have time to make a cooked egg base but still want homemade eggnog? You can use other options for safe eggnog, such as egg substitute products or pasteurized eggs instead of raw eggs. You might think that adding alcohol to the recipe kills the bacteria, but this is false!

By following a good recipe and these simple recommendations, you can be sure to have delicious AND safe eggnog for your entire family to enjoy!

For more safety information on preparing homemade eggnog visit:

Happy National Eggnog Month!