Can Commercially Bought Eggnog Be Frozen?

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Cup of eggnog
Cup of eggnog (Image: Brent Hofacker/iStock/Getty Images)

Typically sold only during the winter holidays, eggnog contains cream, eggs, sugar, milk and spices. While you can freeze commercially produced eggnog to extend its shelf life, the process will change the texture of the dessert drink when you defrost it, making it lumpy and unpleasant to drink.

To Freeze or Not to Freeze

The usual shelf life of commercially produced eggnog is between five and seven days if stored in the refrigerator below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. While freezing eggnog at 0 F means it will last up to six months, the freezing process separates the ingredients that make up the eggnog. Once you defrost the eggnog, it will be safe to drink but it will contain lumps that will not mix back in. For this reason, only freeze eggnog if you plan to cook or bake with it, rather than drink it.

The Big Chill and Non-Frozen Alternatives

Pour commercially prepared eggnog into an airtight container, leaving at least 1/2 inch of empty space at the top, before freezing it at 0 F. The extra space allows the eggnog to expand as it freezes, preventing the container from exploding. Defrost it in the refrigerator overnight and use it within five days. Don't freeze it again. If you wish to keep eggnog around to drink past the holidays, buy canned eggnog, which lasts four to five months in a cool, dry pantry.

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