Photo by Donna

More than two years ago, before I began asking my wife to contribute her lovely pix, I made and wrote about aged eggnog after reading a story on Chow (recipe here).

We drank the eggnog then, and we drank it again last year.  And I kept about a cup and a half at the back of a basement fridge.  Here it is, very aged, more than two years old, loaded with egg and cream, very mellow and delicious still.  What has happened to the flavor?  The egg and cream come in at the end, but the predominant effect is alcohol.  Spike some Bailey's with Maker's Mark and that's the effect.  Verdict: Make some now for next year—it's a delicious treat and you will have preserved egg and cream for a year, a noble end in itself for a cook.  If you don't drink it all, it will probably be good in two years.  Mine was.  But I definitely checked for anything growing on top before shaking it up and pouring it.

I am not alone in being supremely eager to send 2008 packing and wish peace and prosperity and good health to all in 2009.


36 Wonderful responses to “Happy New Year! (with 2 year old nog!)”

  • Tags

    Or you could spike some Maker’s Mark with some Maker’s Mark.

    Happy New Year to all who read this and their families.

  • Rhonda

    I’m with ya on this one. GOODBYE 2008…and good riddance!


  • Frank M

    Interesting, but I have a couple questions-
    Was there alcohol in the recipe to start with?
    If not, what converted the fermentable sugar into alcohol? What is your guess of the ABV of the 2 year old nog? How come it does not sour?
    Have a great 2009!!

  • Greg.Turner

    I doubt my wife would *ever* let me get away with this, though I’ve been tempted to try it.

    And while I’m eying 2009 with a hint of suspicion, it’s nice to be done with 2008.

    Cheers to you, Michael Ruhlman 🙂

  • dailyfill

    Thank you for constantly reminding us that there is a whole world of food out there that home cooks are missing due to our current fads and fears.

    I cured my first salmon this year because of you.


  • lux

    A healthy, happy, and delicious 2009 to all!

    I’m one of the few people for whom 2008 was not a big suckfest, but my turn will come, no doubt.

  • jscirish27

    Happy New Year Michael… thanks again for providing a thoughtful and provocative forum for the discussion of food and cooking and all of the things that make life worth living… Slainté

  • Kent Bunn

    Sounds great. A damn shame the recipe wasn’t mentioned 3 weeks ago, so I could have some tonight.

    I wasn’t around 2 years ago, to see the instructions the first time around.

    I wonder if I’ll remember this in 49 weeks so that next year…

  • Pavlov

    Happy New Year to you as well Michael… Thanks for a great Blog in 2008, and looking forward to a safe, happy and healthy 2009!

    As for me, I’ll give Lagavulin with a fist sized chunk of ice (sans the nog)a try… Cheers!

  • Kelly

    All the best to you, Michael, and the rest of the bunch who read and post to this blog throughout the year. I have just the best time reading everyone’s thoughtful input. Here’s to no more snow in Seattle for the rest of the winter!

  • Michael Franco


    Thank you for a another year of culinary adventure and for sharing your life with we who respect you. As a reader I feel that I have made friends here.

    Best wishes to you, those you love, and to all your readers.

    Happy New Year!

    Michael Franco

  • Jeff Adams

    Thanks for another interesting recipe/food tip – I linked it out on the intraweb.

    Happy New Year – keep up the excellent work!

  • Duncan | The Gastronomer's Bookshelf

    And Happy New Year to you Michael and all your readers. 2008 seems to have been sucky for many of us, so if we all wish hard enough maybe 2009 can be stupendous:)

    I’m not quite sure whether you feel Year 1 or Year 2 was the best? Was the mellowing of the egg/cream notes too much?

  • Karin (Grew up in Cleveland and miss it in VA)

    Every Christmas as a child, my grandmother would make Eierlikeur (egg liquor). Basically egg nog with brandy/vodka.

    She made it the first week of December so that it would be ready Christmas Eve. It was the only “drink” we children were allowed to have. Never had the chance to test the aging, it didn’t last that long.

    The tradition has now been taken over by the grandchildren and may even be better!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks also for offering a place where I am reminded of my cooking heritage. For offering a forum where old knowledge is put into practice with modern dialogue.

    Wishing Michael and family and et al, a joyous and prosperous new year,

  • HappyHoarfrost

    An aged eggnog and a nubile nutmeg…that puts the lush in luscious–as usual, Team Ruhlman!
    Thank you for another wonderful, well-marbled year here in your world, where there is always a spirited trench scholar’s tone & the sense of plenty.
    Some things are worth the anticipation–I’m going to double down on this year and its nog.
    Thank you for being an ever-gracious host, and Happy New Year!

  • Robert McGee

    Happy New Year Ruhlman!
    …Now get a #$%^& haircut already!
    All the best in 09
    Robert McGee

  • Kate in the NW

    You are a radical dude, MR. You do all these things that we have all been told/conditioned/indoctrinated not to ever, EVER attempt in the kitchen or we’ll die of food poisoning.
    Age/cure our own meats?
    Drink two-year-old raw eggs and cream?
    Cook stuff at low temperatures for a long, bacteria-nurturing time?
    (and who-knows-what-else…I’m still a relative newbie here)

    I’m beginning to think that you’ve got bigger culinary “nutmegs” than the weird-foods guy on TV. PLUS, you help us reclaim our kitchens, our foods, our health, our farms, and, by extension, our culture and families.

    So, thanks for that…Happy New Year…and the real question…
    …have you ever made yourself sick with all this daring-do?

  • Marlene

    Michael, all the best to you and your family in 2009. I’m willing to bet it’s going to be a great year for you. 🙂

  • Rhonda

    One thing I have not seen yet is a great big “Thank You” (with hugs and kisses), to Chefs Pardus and del Grosso. Thank you both for your kindness, generosity and wisdom. “Fluffy” is great and all and we love him but his mentors ROCK!

    Happy New Year!

  • jacqueline church

    I just saw the NPR piece on the six month (I think it was) egg nog and the bacterial tests which showed much crazier growth in the store bought egg nog.

    Good riddance to a craptacular 2008 and here’s to 2009!

  • Sherie Huffman Swerdlow

    Happy New Year Michael! I don’t know if you remember me and my sis, Linda from Palm Beach days. I was friends with your Mom. I have been following your blog and have several of your books…saw you on “The Next Iron Chef”. I remember when you were traveling and writing and am happy to see where your path has taken you. I am a true foodie and love your blog. Anyway, just thought I’d say “hi” and Happy New Year to you and Donna. P.S. I was able to snag a table at The French Laundry a couple of years ago when in Napa. Hard to believe he got his start the
    Yacht Club in WPB. Loved it, every morsel and minute of that experience.

  • Mike

    I can’t believe you kept it TWO YEARS!!! I made my own batch and kept it for nearly a year – the only one willing to try it, too. You’re right, at the end it was a wall of alcohol; not a bad thing, but very different than the corn syrup-artificial flavor mix you buy at the grocery store. Congrats to Miss Donna on the picture – it’s great!

  • Darcie

    I have eggs, cream and liquor…now I just need to find a recipe. Thanks for the reminder and Happy New Year to all!

  • FoodPuta

    Maybe I’ve just never had the good-stuff. Just something about that doesn’t sound so appealing.

    Here’s to a great new year of Food!

  • Feisty Bourbon Girl

    Wow, this sounds so good. And 2008 was *not* sucky for me, b/c I found this blog. Thanks Michael for all your great writing – it inspires me to get more adventurous in my own cooking (and writing). I’m a little late on this, but Happy New Year! to you and yours…

  • allen

    I just made a batch for next year, I intended to make two batches so I bought 1.75 litres of bourbon, when I started filling my pyrex bowl it took the whole bottle to get to the 4 cup line. I think they meant 1.75 litre and not 1 litre, I hope or my nogg is going to be very strong next year. Also try a sip of Booker Noes bouron sometime, it is way too expensive to use in this but if you could afford it, yikes! It would make a great egg nogg or just a little sip is fine. Lots of Oak, vanilla, maple. Unlike any bourbon out there.

  • allen

    O.K. I have sampled the one week old batch and it will be gone well before next Xmas! 4 cups does = 1 litre – and I wasn’t even drinking the stuff when I made it. Must’ve been the fumes.