Best Alcohol for Eggnog: Brandy, Bourbon, or Rum?
Here’s how to pick your poison.
Have you ever wondered which alcohol is best to mix with eggnog? You’re not alone. We think it might just be one of the most stressful decisions of the holiday season. Here’s how to pick the best liquor for your next batch, plus more eggnog tips, tricks, and recipes:
How to Spike Your Eggnog
Choose Your Alcohol Wisely
The three most common boozy eggnog mix-ins are brandy, rum, and bourbon. Is one necessarily better than the others? Absolutely not. It all depends on the drinker’s taste. However, there are a few things to consider when making your seasonal purchase at the liquor store:
Brandy: Makes the Most Traditional Eggnog
For the most traditional holiday experience, reach for brandy (specifically Cognac) to spike your ‘nog.
It’s important to note, though, that both brandy and eggnog are quite sweet. Combining them will produce something that someone with a sweet tooth will love, but that others may find cloying. Proceed with caution.
Rum: Blends Seamlessly, Keeping the Eggnog Flavor Intact
Fun fact: Brandy and wine from overseas were heavily taxed in the 18th century, so Americans took to spiking their eggnog with rum.
While they did it out of necessity, it seems they were onto something—rum’s flavor blends seamlessly into the egg-based concoction, preserving the wholesome holiday flavor.
Bourbon: Eggnog With a Kick
If you’re looking for a spiked drink that packs a punch, bourbon’s your guy.
Eggnog drinkers from the American South are likely used to the flavorful addition, but people who aren’t expecting the strong kick might be a bit taken aback.
Read more: What Is Eggnog—and Is It Safe to Drink?
Get the Ratio Right
According to our friends at Coastal Living, the perfect alcohol-to-eggnog ratio is 1:5 (1 part spirit, 5 parts eggnog).
If you buy a 1-quart container of eggnog, add 6.5 ounces of liquor. It’s really that simple.
More Eggnog-Spiking Tips
- Don’t waste your expensive bottles. Remember, you’re using this alcohol as a mixer—save your pricier liquors to enjoy on their own.
- Know your audience. We know, we know—we just said that 1:5 is the perfect ratio. But it’s important to know the preferences of the people you’re serving. Some people can handle more liquor, while others will prefer less. Use your best judgment.
- Make the store-bought stuff look homemade with fancy garnishes. A sprinkle of nutmeg and an orange peel should do the trick.
Meredith Food Studios
We certainly have no issue with store-bought eggnog. In fact, some of it is quite delicious. But, if you really want to go the extra mile this Christmas, we’ve got you covered. Check out some of our easiest and best eggnog recipes of all time: