Slow cured non-alcoholic eggnog made with kefir is a new spin on the iconic holiday beverage, and elevates it to new heights (literally!) It has a creamy, fizzy sweetness and a wonderful mouth feel. It is rich and frothy, like a whipped or soft-serve ice cream, with no whipping needed!
WARNING: Even in the refrigerator, pressure builds up with this ferment! We recommend consuming within 4 weeks. There have been some unexpected messes made in my kitchen with eggnog that’s older than this!
- 12 large pasture-raised chicken eggs
- 8 oz. (225 g) by weight, about 2¼ cups by volume raw organic sugar
- 6 oz. (170 g) by weight, or ½ cup by volume honey
- 1 pint (475 ml) organic, grass-fed half-n-half
- 1 pint (475 ml) milk kefir
- 1 pint (475 ml) organic, grass-fed heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon (1.5 ml) fine sea salt
- Separate the yolks from the egg whites, and store/use the whites for another purpose.
- Beat the yolks with the honey, sugar, salt and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl until the mixture is smooth (no lumps) and is a light yellow color.
- Stir the kefir, cream and half-n-half slowly into the egg mixture.
- Dispense mixture into glass bottles (three 750ml bottles e.g.) that have tight-fitting bottle caps or use grolsch style swing top lids.
- Place bottles in the refrigerator to cure for 1 to 4 weeks, burping the bottles every week. The nog will slowly but significantly thicken and build up pleasant carbonation as it cures.
- Be careful when opening-- best to open slowly over the kitchen sink, with the bottle over a bowl to catch any extra that spills over. Some pressure may have built up in the bottles.
- For the best texture, let eggnog warm slightly before enjoying. You should notice it getting nice and bubbly! It will be better and more unctuous than the richest cappuccino you've ever had. (YES, this final step is worth waiting for!)
- Consume within 4 weeks, lest the pressure build up and you may get an eggnog geyser!
The Boozy Version
You can also make a boozy version of kefir eggnog. The kefir yeasts and bacteria do not survive the high alcohol (up to 20% abv) environment, so the texture of the finished nog will be different from the non-boozy kind. It still contains many of the added nutritional benefits of kefir versus milk, just without the probiotic element. It won’t be as frothy on its own (you can always whip it or add whipped cream into it).
I made two batches side by side, one with alcohol and the other without. Only the non-alcoholic version showed signs of development in the fridge (which acts as a fermentation “super-slow-mo” button). In fact, it thickened quite nicely, too. The alcoholic version was tasty but other than a slightly more sour flavor, it didn’t differ much from traditional nog recipes (i.e. which use non-cultured dairy).
Add 3 cups of distilled spirits (I use a combo of 1 cup rum, 1 cup cognac, and 1 cup whiskey) to the base mixture and then bottle. Will yield 2.75 liters, or about 3 quarts. If you’re making the boozy kind, don’t worry about carbonation building up– the high alcohol content kills the yeasts & bacteria.
It’s still best to let the boozy version cure in the fridge. It gets better with age, with 4 to 6 months being the peak flavor.
On Using Raw Eggs
This recipe uses raw eggs. Be careful when consuming eggs– there is an extremely small risk (1 in 30,000) of food poisoning from raw eggs. Always be sure to buy your eggs from a reputable farmer/source. If you are squeamish about using raw, you can use pasteurized eggs for this recipe.
There is evidence to support the fact that kefir bacteria and the organic acids they produce during fermentation ward off pathogenic bacteria such as E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella. so even though we are using raw eggs, the kefir offers a protective effect against bad bacteria.
- Is Eating Raw Eggs Safe and Healthy? Healthline. Accessed Dec. 20, 2018.
- Bacterial Inhibition and Antioxidant Activity of Kefir Produced from Thai Jasmine Rice Milk. Accessed Dec. 20, 2018.
- 9 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Kefir. Healthline. Accessed Dec. 20, 2018.
- Alton Brown’s Aged eggnog recipe. altonbrown.com. Accessed Dec. 20, 2018.