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Egg nog is as synonymous with the holidays as gift-giving, and with good reason. The decadent drink is traditionally made with cream, sugar, and whipped eggs, and then spiked with brandy, rum, or bourbon. The fact that it essentially tastes like a dessert makes it particularly dangerous—in the best possible way.
While the best eggnog will forever be the kind that’s homemade on a cold winter’s day, don’t worry if you don’t have time to slave away in the kitchen: A pretty impressive array of store-bought options exist on shelves—though some of them are much better than others. We tasted seven store-bought nogs to find the best and the worst of the bunch—just in time for you to get your holiday drink on.
1. Horizon Organic Egg Nog, $3.58 For 1 quart
Taste Test Notes: Something about this eggnog makes it taste a bit too much like bananas, and the texture is a little off-putting. We prefer a bit more of a classic flavor, and a creamy texture, and there are definitely better options on the shelves.
Our Grade: C –
If you’re looking for authentic nog, keep looking.
2. Organic Valley Eggnog, $5.99 For 32 ounces
Taste Test Notes: This option has a strong nutmeg component to it, but it scores high for being just the right level of sweet (and we loved the hint of vanilla in it too). While we were fans, if nutmeg isn’t your thing, stay away.
Our Grade: B +
If you’re a nutmeg fan you’ll love this. If not, move along.
3. Trader Joe’s Premium Egg Nog, $2.69 For 32 ounces
Taste Test Notes: This option has a very classic eggnog taste, but it’s missing some of the creaminess of made-from-scratch eggnog. Like Horizon, it has a bit of a weird banana flavor.
Our Grade: C +
Not undrinkable by any means, but you can find better options on grocery store shelves.
4. Hood Golden EggNog, $2.50 For 32 ounces
Taste Test Notes: This stuff has a very sweet flavor—a bit like cake batter, though it scored high marks for its pitch-perfect spicy nutmeg flavor.
Our Grade: B
Not our absolute favorite, but perfect for when you’re serving eggnog in bulk at holiday parties—the price can’t be beat.
5. Traderspoint Creamery Traditional Egg Nog, $9.59 For 32 ounces
Taste Test Notes: This eggnog is ridiculously good for a store-bought option (no surprise, it was also the most expensive of those we tried). Made with 100 percent grass-fed milk it hits all the right notes—creamy, not too sweet, and just the right spicy kick.
Our Grade: A
While there are cheaper options, this is a real standout.
6. Turkey Hill Egg Nog, $5.49 for 64 Oz
Taste Test Notes: A little on the watery side, this option was way too sweet for our tastes. If you are a sugar fiend this might be your top pick, but for most people it’s going to be too much.
Our Grade: C -. Way too sweet.
7. Ronnybrook Egg Nog, $4.79 For 32 Oz
Taste Test Notes: One of our favorites of the bunch, this eggnog tastes like the kind your mom would make (or the kind you wish she had made). It has a very classic taste and is quite thick (almost like a custard). The one downside to it is that it’s not as spicy as some other options out there but you can always add cinnamon and nutmeg to taste.
Our Grade: A -. Not as flavorful as it could be, but it tastes great with alcohol.