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Colleen Graham

Brandy, Rum or Whiskey - Which Makes the Best Eggnog?

By December 19, 2008

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Will it be brandy, rum or whiskey in your eggnog this year? All are relatively common spirit bases but which is the best? I put this question to the test, making a glass of eggnog using each liquor and tasting them side by side. My conclusion is that while each has their own profile and are nice in their own right, brandy is the best. That's my personal taste, but brandy is probably the most traditional eggnog base - rum is also right up there - and that many years of this drink's popularity are there to back me up.
Rum Holiday Egg Nog
© Mount Gay Eclipse Rum
  • The Brandy Eggnog (I used Korbel VS) was perfectly balanced with sweetness throughout. It has a catchy, lively flavor with more depth than the others and a nice, warm brandy note that isn't hidden by the nog nor overly pronounced. This eggnog is almost floral and a real delight - for any anti-eggnog person, this one will turn you around.
  • Rum Eggnog (tested with Mount Gay Eclipse) was my second choice, although compared to the brandy, the rum fell a little too much into the background, almost to the point of being unnoticeable. While the rum was very subtle it was a bit more pronounced on the backed and overall the eggnog was tasty and just sweet enough so I could tell there was something beyond creamy egg inside.
  • My Whiskey Eggnog was not what I was hoping for and I'm thinking that a rye or sweeter bourbon like Maker's Mark would be a better fit than the sour mash bourbon I had in stock and used. It was certainly an interesting eggnog and the sweet and sour flavor was captivating at first, then the novelty wore off. Whiskey, no matter which style, does make the most flavorful eggnog as the profile just pops out of the drink.


December 23, 2008 at 9:59 am
(1) Chris, The Santa Fe Bar MAn says:

Hey Colleen

I like to combine a 2:1 mix of brandy and rum in my eggnogg. The combination of those two spirits interplays vey well with each other. Give it a try and have a wonderful holiday!!!!


December 23, 2008 at 11:20 am
(2) cocktails says:

Thanks for the tip Chris. I will definitely try that – not quite nogged out yet.

December 23, 2008 at 1:34 pm
(3) Curt says:

Buttershots is good too, sometimes.

December 26, 2008 at 3:59 am
(4) DaveO says:

I find that Jameson’s Irish makes for an excellent Egg Nog.

December 17, 2011 at 2:56 pm
(5) Murray says:

Have you ever tried Southern Comfort in egg nog? Yum

December 25, 2011 at 1:27 pm
(6) Poobrains says:

Fireball Cinnamon Whisky + eggnog is a favorite of mine.

August 28, 2012 at 5:56 am
(7) Kim says:

I made my Eggnog with Brandy, Bacardi Gold Rum, and 1/2 cup of Tia Maria. Yummy

December 2, 2012 at 9:29 pm
(8) Normbc9 says:

I’m with Dave but I use Tullamore Dew. But thanks for the comparisons and your valued opinion. When I was young and lived on a ranch my folks would make their own Rum and boy it could knock you into tomorrow if you weren’t aware of the strength!

December 21, 2012 at 4:55 pm
(9) Diana says:

Korbel VS good choice for brandy, Captain Morgan spiced rum makes a smooth nog, and Southern Comfort Is best if you want to use whiskey :)

November 22, 2013 at 11:21 pm
(10) Ken says:

The answer you are looking for is AMARETTO !

November 27, 2013 at 7:30 pm
(11) joe says:

i think cognac (a variety of brandy) is best for eggnog: chabaneau VSOP yum!

December 29, 2013 at 8:12 pm
(12) Julie says:

are you supposed to warn the eggnog up?

January 6, 2014 at 11:15 am
(13) cocktails says:

Eggnog is served cold. A Tom and Jerry is similar and that one is warm. http://cocktails.about.com/od/rumrecipes/r/tomnjerry_htdrk.htm

January 3, 2014 at 8:56 am
(14) Dr. Doug says:

Wild Turkey 101 enhances the flavor combination…but not too much. : )

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