Prepared and bottle by M.S. Walker, Inc. of Somerville, I picked up a 1.75 liter bottle of Old New England Egg Nog the other day. It was discounted from $12.99 to $10.99.
The label on the neck says this beverage is "freshly made." It's a seasonal drink, so that may be true. Or, conversely, it may have been fresh when it was made. At 30 proof, it's not going to spoil anytime soon. In fact, I bought a bottle last year and it lasted eleven months. Needless to say, it's not that popular around this household, but I'm a sucker for anything that says 'New England' and I like things that come from Somerville.
Unlike other foods, liquor apparently doesn't have to list its ingredients, because I can't find what the alcohol is mixed with except in the vaguest terms. There is a note on the neck that contains artificial colors and FD&C Yellow #5. Aside from that, if I may quote the back of the bottle: "This delicious beverage is made with a fine brandy, smooth blended whiskey and rum with our natural egg nog base. The dairy ingredients used in this egg nog were prepared by New England's finest dairy."
What is New England's finest dairy and why are they so shy about being mentioned on the Old New England Egg Nog bottle? Is it Hood? There aren't any clues at the New England Dairy Promotion Board. I couldn't find any mention of egg nog. It's as if the board doesn't want to be associated with M.S. Walker.
What makes up an eggnog base, exactly? Milk, cream and eggs? Is there sugar? Nutmeg? Some people use cinnamon. This paragraph also appears on the back label: "Our laboratory staff developed this traditional NEW ENGLAND EGG NOG after extenisve research and experimentation and we unconditionally recommend it as America's finest." Maybe it's best not to ask too many questions and just trust the experts.
If you are wondering where the 30 proof comes from..."made with kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, rum, brandy, and 3 year old blended whiskey." Just the way New Englanders traditionally like their nog. Also all dairy ingredients have been homogenized. It's a proprietary secret though, what those ingredients are. The company has been around since 1933, so they must know what they're doing.
Shake well - Serve chilled. Don't make your bottle last a year.