As much as we applaud your good-intentioned enthusiasm in wanting to make everything yourself this holiday season, when it comes to items like eggnog, there's no shame in turning to the supermarket for help.
Click here to see the Best Eggnog to Buy (and the Worst) Slideshow
Although it's not difficult to make at home, eggnog is one of those products that is easy to check off your shopping list. The only hitch? Making sure you pick the right brand. Reach for the wrong carton in your dairy aisle and you might wind up with something that tastes more like thin, banana-bubblegum-flavored milk, rather than that creamy, lightly spiced drink you were anticipating.
Click here to see 25 Favorite Winter-Weather Drinks Slideshow
Knowing that "added stress" wasn't on your Christmas wish list, eight Daily Meal editors tested popular eggnog brands to see which are best (and which you might want to leave on the supermarket shelf). Our taste test criteria? We considered texture (does it have the desired creamy thickness?), flavor (is there a hint of holiday spices?), color (is it more yellow or white?), and level of sweetness (not too cloying, please). What's more, we conducted a second round of testing that mixed in a little dark spiced rum to help determine which tasted best with a spirited addition.
Check out the results below - the brands are listed best to worst (scores are based on a 100 point scale).
6. Trader Joe's Premium Egg Nog
Nutrition: 180 calories, 9g fat, 20g carbohydrates per serving (1/2 cup)
Tasting Notes: "Thick texture, with good spice flavor." "Too thick, like melted ice cream but not necessarily in a good way." "Not too sweet." "Thicker, more noticeable nutmeg flavor, same opening chemically-custardy flavor." "Banana flavor." "Good creamy texture." "Tastes much better with rum."
5. Turkey Hill Grade A Eggnog
Nutrition: 190 calories, 9g fat, 23g carbohydrates per serving (1/2 cup)
Tasting Notes: "Very banana-y, kind of custardy." "Tastes like ice cream base." "Nice, not too sweet, vanilla-y." "Very average, thick, yellow." "Tastes spiked already." "Strong nutmeg, good egg flavor, creamy."
4. Organic Valley Organic Eggnog
Nutrition: 180 calories, 10g fat, 18g carbohydrates per serving (1/2 cup)
Tasting Notes: "Lots of nutmeg, good consistency, creamy but not cloying." "Thick, heavy cinnamon and nutmeg flavors." "Spice overwhelms." "Thickness, weight, and texture is rich." "Has Christmas spices flavor." "Sweetness offset by strong notes of allspice and nutmeg, goes well with rum."
3. Southern Comfort Vanilla Spice Egg Nog
Nutrition: 220 calories, 9g fat, 25g carbohydrates per serving (1/2 cup)
Tasting Notes: "Well-balanced flavor and aroma - easy drinking." "Good spices, maybe a little sweet, good texture." "Melted ice cream, slightly nutty." "Sugar cookie flavor." "Milky white color, tastes like a cannoli." "Slightly thinner consistency but tasty!"
2. Hood Golden Egg Nog
Nutrition: 180 calories, 9g fat, 20g carbohydrates per serving (4 ounces)
Tasting Notes: "Rich and creamy but not too sweet." "Kind of like crème anglaise, but chilled." "Has a definite vanilla milkshake quality." "You want to keep drinking this." "Tastes homemade." "Great with rum."
1. Ronnybrook Eggnog
*Best Overall and Best for Spiking*
Nutrition: Approximately 210 calories, 9g fat, 23g carbohydrates per serving (8 ounces)
Tasting Notes: "Very thick and well balanced, spice notes are subtle." "Creamy, rich." "Best with rum." "Tastes like what I think eggnog should be." "Happiness."
Click here to see 6 More Supermarket Eggnog Reviews
- Maryse Chevriere, The Daily Meal
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