Come December, the dairy aisle transforms to accommodate the holidays. Suddenly, next to the creamer and buttermilk and blocks of cheese, there’s an array of the most controversial seasonal drink. Yep, we’re talking about eggnog. The creamy drink is so much more than thick milk: Eggnog is a stellar ingredient in festive desserts and classic base for holiday cocktails, and even if you’ve got a little too much, you’re gonna have a good time.
Making homemade eggnog is pretty easy, but if you’re strained for time or just don’t feel like doing it (no shame!), here are the store-bought options worth buying.
Organic Valley Eggnog, $4.99
Organic Valley’s eggnog was the only one with consistently positive ratings. We found it creamy, thick, and appropriately spiced—everything eggnog should be. It is on the viscous side, but if you’re mixing it with alcohol, the texture will thin out a little. One tester called Organic Valley’s nog the “best one of the milk-based [options],” and another said they’ll probably end up buying it.
Trader Joe’s Premium Egg Nog, $2.99
If you like a milder eggnog with a less viscous consistency, you’ll want to go with Trader Joe’s version. We think it’s worth buying and sprucing up with some fresh nutmeg or whiskey.
So Delicious Coconut Milk Holiday Nog, $3.49
Thanks to its coconut milk base, So Delicious’ coconut nog featured a nice but not nauseating, sweetness. If you don’t or can’t eat dairy, this non-dairy nog is a little thin, but the closest you’re going to get to the real thing.
Trader Joe’s Almond Nog, $2.99
Like its dairy counterpart, this almond nog is subtle and more on the liquid side. Trader Joe’s Almond Nog wasn’t quite as thick or spiced as our ideal cup of nog, but it’s a much better choice than the other almond-based nog we tried.
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Not Our First Picks
Lactaid Eggnog, $3.55
Lactaid’s Eggnog makes up its, well, lack of lactose with an intense sweetness reminiscent of melted vanilla ice cream. However, it was thick and rich, so it passed texturally.
C.F. Burger Old Fashioned Eggnog, $6.69
C.F. Burger’s Old Fashioned Eggnog had the right smooth and creamy texture, but the taste had bubblegum notes. Still, a few of us would drink it.
Califia Farms Holiday Nog Almond Milk, $5.99
Given Califia Farms’ track record, their almond nog was a letdown. It was thin, which couldn’t exactly be helped, but the flavor was dead wrong. “I don’t know what this tastes like, but not eggnog,” one tester noted.