What Alcohol Goes in Eggnog?

Updated: Dec. 15, 2023

It's time to get into the holiday spirit! That means we want to know what alcohol goes in eggnog to make it holly jolly.

When the holidays hit, it’s time to stock the fridge with eggnog. This creamy, nutmeg-sprinkled drink is a must this time of year. You can either have this classic drink as it is or whip up some delicious holiday-spirited recipes with eggnog.

But if you’re serving this treat at your holiday party or just sitting by the fire after a long day of Christmas shopping, you may be craving a little extra in your cup. That’s when you ask yourself what alcohol goes in eggnog anyway?

What Alcohol to Mix with Eggnog

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Know this: You don’t have to mix eggnog with any alcohol to enjoy it! This drink can be served chilled or warm and sipped right from your favorite Christmas mug.

If you want to add a little holiday spirit to your glass, though, there are a few kinds of liquor that pair well with this seasonal sipper.

Rum

Rum is the classic alcohol to splash in a glass of eggnog. This pairing is so iconic that rum is often listed in many traditional eggnog recipes.

If you’d like to add rum to your mugful, opt for a golden or dark rum. These kinds of rum have more depth of flavor than white rum. You can also add spiced rum if you want to add a kick to your drink, but know that spiced rum may overwhelm the flavor of your homemade eggnog.

Whiskey or bourbon

When wondering what alcohol to mix with eggnog, you can go beyond the traditional rum. Whiskey and bourbon are also great matches for this subtly spiced sip.

Both of these spirits work well with holiday flavors like vanilla and spice, so adding a dram to your mug of eggnog is as natural as pairing peppermint with chocolate. Be sure to use a good whiskey that you enjoy sipping on its own. The same goes for eggnog! If you aren’t making a batch from scratch, try the best store-bought eggnog as chosen by our Test Kitchen.

One bit of advice here: Steer clear of mixing Scotch whiskey with eggnog. Its smokiness will overwhelm the subtle flavors of the nog. Good thing there are plenty of other types of whiskey to choose from!

Brandy

Add brandy to the list of what alcohol goes in eggnog. This spirit works so well with the cozy ingredients in this holiday drink.

Brandy, made by distilling wine, has a slightly sweet flavor. This sweetness helps to cut the richness of nog. Try it in our classic brandy eggnog recipe.

Use any leftover brandy to stir up a batch of brandy slush, another classic holiday cocktail.

How Much Rum (or Whiskey or Brandy) to Add to Eggnog

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For the best-tasting boozy eggnog, make sure you get your ratios right. In general, this means using a 4:1 ratio of eggnog to the alcohol of your choice.

That means if you’re stirring up a single serving of nog to sip as you enjoy a Hallmark Christmas movie, combine 4 ounces of eggnog (this is a typical serving size) with an ounce of your preferred spirit. If you want your eggnog served warm, heat the nog first, then add the rum.

Use the same ratio if you’re stirring up a larger batch of spiked eggnog for your Secret Santa gift exchange. You can serve larger batches in a tall pitcher or even a punch bowl. Just be sure to stir well before pouring.

If you want to go over the top, sprinkle a touch of nutmeg or cinnamon on top. And homemade whipped cream is always welcome—especially when flavored with a whisper of bourbon.

Add a Splash of Eggnog to These Recipes
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