‘Tis the season for Christmas trees, Rudolph, the movie Elf, gingerbread houses, garland, and…eggnog.
Those two little words invoke a strong reaction in most people. For some, it’s adoration. For others, it’s closer to disgust. Us, you ask? One of us has the former reaction, one the latter. We’ll let you guess who has which…
Regardless of your feelings about egg nog, one thing that’s for sure is that purchasing eggnog can be a bit overwhelming. Should you get alcoholic or not? What brand? Should you get spiced or classic? Our reader Julia requested some eggnog advice when we asked over on Instagram @fizz.and.fork what you all wanted to see from us during this busy season, so here we are, hoping to make your Christmas grocery shopping just a tad easier!
Before we dive in, a quick disclaimer–we know technically this taste testing isn’t from a restaurant, but we’re going to file it under that category because you a.) buy these without additional ingredients and b.) no preparation is required. Now, let’s get crackin’!
To really get the full scope of the nog world, we bought three brands/flavors/types. We got these from Target, but you’ll find similar options at your local grocery store, whatever that may be. First up on the docket, in the #1 spot on our flight board was Southern Comfort Vanilla Spice Eggnog. Hear us out on this one–it tasted like Bluebell classic vanilla ice cream that has been melted, followed by an aftertaste of Dubble Bubble gum. Granted, that doesn’t sound like the most appealing description, but this one was actually really good! We both liked it (a feat considering one of us isn’t a fan of nog in general) and this was our favorite of the three. It’s a good starter nog if you’ve never tried the drink before.
Next up, in the #2 spot? Oak Farms Holiday Eggnog. This one was a classic eggnog–thicker than the previous one, very creamy and eggy, and with a full mouth-feel. The vanilla was a lot stronger, too, since this one didn’t have added spices. If you know you like eggnog, you would love it. If you’re not a fan, we would say to probably skip this one.
We rounded out the non-alcoholic nogs with an option for our non-dairy friends, Silk Nog Original. We have to say we were skeptical about this one at first because, well, it’s eggnog without the egg, but we were pleasantly surprised. It’s definitely thinner than classic eggnog, which can be off-putting, but it’s got a great cinnamon flavor to it. To us, it tasted like the milk in a cereal bowl full of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
For the Adults
Now, to really get you into the holiday “spirits,” we also taste-tested spiked eggnogs. Yes, that pun was fully intended, and you should have expected it by now! Same as before, we tried three different brands, all available at your local Total Wines.
The flight board was replenished and newly in the first spot was Pennsylvania Dutch spiked eggnog. According to the Total Wines consultant, this is their best seller, and we believe it. The combo is a doozy of eggnog, rum, brandy, and blended whiskey. It’s full and creamy but the brown liquors bring a spiciness that will warm you down to your toes.
Feeling hopeful from our first round, we poured a glass from the #2 bottle. This one was Old New England Cinnamon Spiced Nog and oh, gosh. I wish I had better news, but we both hated this one. It’s very viscous (almost clumpy?), not sweet at all, and the cinnamon adds to the already-spicy rum to make the whole thing over the top. Wouldn’t recommend this one unless you really love rum.
Third up was Appalachian Eggnog, which came in really cute mason jar packaging that, we will confess, largely contributed to our purchasing of it. This one was a bit different because instead of being a mix of eggnog with alcohol, it was actually an “eggnog cream liqueur.” This one fell pretty solidly in the middle of the other two. It had a touch of creamy sweetness but was still pretty strong on the alcohol front. Overall, 6.5/10. We think this one might be good as a mixer!
What you should know before you buy eggnog:
• If you can’t decide whether you should pick up an alcoholic or a non-alcoholic nog, go with the kid-friendly version. You can always pick up a bottle of bourbon, rum, or whiskey (or all three) and do the mixing yourself!
• If you do want to go with a spiked nog, we suggest going to a liquor store instead of picking it up at your grocery store. Each person who works there will be able to guide you towards something that will fit your tastes and your budget.
• Eggnog is great on its own, but also super fun to mix. You can pair it with coffee as a substitute for your classic creamer or with ice cream for an eggnog float!
When should you have eggnog?
Unfortunately, Christmastime is about the only time you’ll be able to find eggnog in the stores, so make sure you make the most of it! Holiday parties, Christmas dinners, cookie-making sessions, a casual Thursday evening, any would be good options for eggnog as long as it’s in the months of November or December! As for us, we’ve got six bottles in our fridge that we don’t intend to let go to waste…
We hope this was a helpful comparison of the available eggnog options, but whatever your choice in holiday beverage, we wish you the best Christmas season. We’ll be back next week with TWO of our favorite holiday recipes. Until then, happy nogging!