What Alcohol Goes with Eggnog: A Guide to Perfect Pairings

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What alcohol goes with eggnog? Eggnog is a classic holiday drink that is enjoyed by many during the festive season. It is a rich, creamy, and sweet beverage that is traditionally made with milk, cream, sugar, and egg yolks. While eggnog is delicious on its own, many people like to add a splash of alcohol to give it some extra flavor and kick.

When it comes to adding alcohol to eggnog, the options are endless. The most common alcohol choices are rum, brandy, and bourbon, but other spirits like whiskey, tequila, and amaro can also be used. Each type of alcohol has its own unique flavor profile that can complement or enhance the taste of eggnog.

The choice of alcohol largely depends on personal preference and taste. Some people prefer the warmth and sweetness of rum, while others enjoy the spiciness and complexity of bourbon. Brandy is also a popular choice as it adds a rich and fruity flavor to eggnog. In this article, we will explore the different types of alcohol that can be used in eggnog and what flavors they bring to the table.

What Alcohol Goes with Eggnog?

What Alcohol Goes with Eggnog

Eggnog is a classic holiday treat, best enjoyed with a festive alcoholic beverage. When it comes to pairing alcohol with eggnog, you have several options!

Brandy or dark rum are the traditional choices for adding a boozy kick to your eggnog, but bourbon, whiskey and cognac all make delicious additions as well. For something lighter and fizzy, try adding some champagne or sparkling wine. You can also explore other fun concoctions such as flavored liqueurs, coffee-flavored liqueur, amaretto or even Bailey’s Irish Cream.

For those looking for a non-alcoholic option, there are plenty of creative alternatives such as eggnog-flavored coffees and teas, spiced cider or even eggnog-inspired milkshakes. Whatever you choose to pair with your eggnog, make sure it’s a festive and enjoyable experience!

Understanding Eggnog and Alcohol

What is Eggnog?

Eggnog is a rich, creamy, and sweet holiday drink that is traditionally made with milk, cream, sugar, whipped eggs, and spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. It has a distinct flavor and texture that makes it a favorite during the festive season. Eggnog can be enjoyed on its own, but it’s also a great base for adding alcohol.

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What Types of Alcohol Can You Mix with Eggnog?

When it comes to adding alcohol to eggnog, there are several options to choose from. The most popular choices are rum, bourbon, and brandy. These spirits are rich and flavorful, and they add a warm and cozy kick to the drink.

According to Taste of Home, 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.

It’s important to note that not all types of alcohol work well with eggnog. For example, gin and tequila may not be the best choices because of their strong and distinct flavors that can overpower the drink. Vodka is also not recommended because it doesn’t add any flavor or warmth to the drink.

When it comes to the alcohol-to-eggnog ratio, a solid ratio is 1:5 (1 part spirit, 5 parts eggnog), as recommended by Allrecipes. This applies to both store-bought and homemade eggnog. So, if you buy a one-quart container of eggnog, add 6.5 ounces of your chosen liquor(s).

Pairing Alcohol with Eggnog

Whiskey and Eggnog

Whiskey is a classic choice to mix with eggnog. The rich, smoky flavor of whiskey pairs well with the creamy texture and warm spices of eggnog. Rye whiskey is a popular option, as its spiciness complements the nutmeg and cinnamon in the eggnog.

Bourbon is another great choice, as its sweetness balances out the richness of the eggnog. For a unique twist, try using a flavored whiskey, such as honey or apple, to add an extra layer of complexity to the drink.

Rum and Eggnog

Rum is the traditional alcohol to mix with eggnog. Its sweetness and caramel notes complement the creamy texture and warm spices of the eggnog. Dark rum is often used, as its bold flavor stands up to the richness of the eggnog. For a lighter, more refreshing drink, try using white rum instead. For a festive twist, try using a spiced rum, which will add even more warm flavors to the drink.

Brandy and Eggnog

Brandy is another popular choice to mix with eggnog. Its smooth, fruity flavor complements the creamy texture and warm spices of the eggnog. Brandy is often used in European-style eggnogs, which are thinner and less sweet than American-style eggnogs. For a richer, more decadent drink, try using a cognac, which is a type of brandy made from specific grapes and aged for a longer period of time.

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Bourbon and Eggnog

Bourbon is a great option to mix with eggnog. Its sweet, vanilla notes complement the creamy texture and warm spices of the eggnog. Bourbon is also a great choice for those who prefer a stronger drink, as its bold flavor stands up to the richness of the eggnog. For a unique twist, try using a flavored bourbon, such as maple or cinnamon, to add an extra layer of complexity to the drink.

Vodka and Eggnog

Vodka is not a traditional choice to mix with eggnog, but it can be a great option for those who prefer a lighter, less sweet drink. Vodka’s neutral flavor allows the creamy texture and warm spices of the eggnog to shine through. For a festive twist, try using a flavored vodka, such as vanilla or caramel, to add an extra layer of flavor to the drink.

Experimenting with Eggnog and Alcohol

Experimenting with Eggnog and Alcohol
Experimenting with Eggnog and Alcohol

Eggnog is a delicious and creamy holiday drink that is perfect for sipping by the fire on a cold winter night. While it is traditionally made with eggs, cream, sugar, and nutmeg, it is also common to add alcohol to the mix for a little extra kick.

How to Make Eggnog from Scratch

Making eggnog from scratch is surprisingly easy, and allows you to customize the recipe to your liking. To make a basic eggnog, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Then, slowly add in milk, cream, and your choice of spices, such as nutmeg or cinnamon. For a spiked version, add in your favorite alcohol, such as brandy, bourbon, or rum.

Different Variations of Eggnog

While traditional eggnog is made with eggs, cream, and sugar, there are many different variations that you can try. For a lighter version, use almond milk or coconut milk instead of cream. For a vegan version, substitute the eggs with silken tofu or cashews. You can also experiment with different spices, such as ginger or cardamom, for a unique flavor.

Creative Ways to Mix Eggnog and Alcohol

There are many different types of alcohol that pair well with eggnog, including brandy, bourbon, rum, and even vodka. To create a classic brandy eggnog, mix brandy, eggnog, and a pinch of nutmeg together in a glass. For a bourbon twist, try adding a splash of maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon. For a tropical twist, mix rum and eggnog, and garnish with a slice of pineapple.

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When experimenting with eggnog and alcohol, it is important to remember to drink responsibly. Always monitor your alcohol intake, and never drink and drive.


The holidays are all about celebrating traditions with family and friends, and that includes a festive eggnog with the perfect alcoholic accompaniment. With the wide array of spirits to choose from, picking the right one can seem daunting.

We hope this article gave you some helpful guidelines in finding the right drink to pair with your traditional eggnog. Whether you’re enjoying an aged rum or a classic bourbon, it’s sure to make every holiday celebration that much more merry!

Be sure to keep an eye on our blog for other food and drink ideas as well! Follow us at fleetstreetkitchen.com and read more articles that fuel your culinary creativity so you can craft memorable flavor experiences this holiday season and beyond.

Chef at Fleet Street Kitchen | Website | + posts

Chef Michael Correll began his restaurant career near his home in his teens as a pizza cook, but soon moved to Philadelphia where he first landed at Jones, an acclaimed Stephen Starr restaurant on Chesntut Street. It was also in Philadelphia that Chef Correll pursued his culinary education, graduating from the Art Institute of Philadelphia in 2008. After school he worked for Chef Marc Plessis at Nineteen in the Park Hyatt Hotel before moving to Pinehurst, North Carolina to open the Carolina Room.

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